J003-Content-7-Tech-Predictions-for-2016_SQHere at GFI we’re all about reviewing the year gone past. At the start of the month we had the End of tear security overview: State of the internet report, and at the start of this week we published our Tech year in review.

But now it’s time to look forward and together with our 16 for’16:  New Year resolutions for the new version of Exchange, today we will be speculating on a few predictions for 2016.

Facebook continues to rule, even as youngsters flee

I have four kids, and know that while Facebook is important (at least for three of them), other networks like SnapChat, Instagram and Pinterest are just as compelling for the young ones. None of these newer systems have the reach of Facebook, which is the social media giant’s main advantage. You can find, connect with, track and share with almost anyone and that is why Facebook will stay in the lead for 2016 and years later. Google+ be darned.

Microsoft Surface has record year, PC far from dead

How many years have we heard pundits predict the death of the Windows PC? Network computers, now represented by Google’s Chromebook, were supposed to replace the more complex PC. Then smartphones and tablets were going to do the deed. Oh, and the free and open Linux at some point was going to be the death of Windows.

The device that could have put the Windows PC on its heels, the Mac, never did, because Apple simply didn’t care. They never made it cheap or open enough to make a dent.

And now Microsoft, with Surface, is the only company to blend a true tablet and a full PC, something Apple refuses to do even though it has both technologies.

That leaves the market wide open for Windows 10 and Surface which keep getting better and better.

The new HP does better in enterprise than consumer

HP, which used to be called Hewlett-Packard after its two founders, ran into trouble when it got too big. It did so by buying too many large companies like Compaq and Digital Equipment Corp. The problem was that what HP bought it already had. In fact, everything that Compaq offered, mainly PCs and servers, HP had in stock.

That albatross never left HP’s neck, and in recent months it tried to reorginse its way out of this mess by separating into two companies – HP aimed at consumers with PCs and printers, and HP Enterprise with servers and networking.

The consumer space is tough, especially with Microsoft now selling its own line of PCs. My guess? HP Enterprise fares far better.

Hack attacks worsen

Here is the unfortunate reality about computer security – as the defensive tools get better the hackers keep upping their game even more. And the attacks are getting more and more severe as time goes by.

In 2016 a new record will be set for data breaches and these breaches will involve more victims and cause more harm. The answer is to always heighten defense, but I think governments should get more serious about going after and punishing hackers.

Apple Mac has slow year

Apple may have set a revenue record in 2015, but its growth is slowing and it missed analyst expectations. Part of this is that the Mac is going nowhere. Let’s face it, there hasn’t been a revolution in Mac technology since it learned to multitask and display color. Instead, it has steadily gotten better and is a fine personal computer.

It is just that now the Mac lacks a true edge over PCs, which include full tablet function. The real plus of the Mac is stability, security and user affinity – not enough to be a recipe for dynamic growth.

Storage, especially backup, moves to cloud

Storage hardware is getting cheaper by the day. So why do I predict a big year for cloud storage? Because backup takes proper set up, regular attention, and you need to make all the right moves when it comes time to restore.

With the cloud, the storage vendor automatically backs up your data, and it is safe and sound in the event your local drive crashes. For IT, it means they can focus on primary storage, and leave the backup to someone else.

Cyberwarfare intensifies

Earlier I mention that hack attacks will worsen. One of the most troubling categories is state-sponsored hacks and cyberwarfare where countries go after each other. There is a non-virtuous cycle which shows no signs of relenting. Here one country attacks another, say China against the US, and the other responds. Like two kids saying “I told you so” the back and forth will likely not stop in 2016. The only answer is treaties between the cyber warring countries, which might be a long way off.

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