The complete domination of Amazon Cloud, internet-connected glasses, and an anti-ransomware Batman. That’s what you have to look forward to in 2017.
Read our tech predictions on the year to come. Unlike Nostradamus and the Aztec Calendar, we’ll tell you what’s coming in no uncertain terms.
#1 – Amazon Will Absolutely Dominate the Cloud Market
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is set to wipe the floor with the rest of the cloud services industry in the next year, seizing major market share.
Microsoft Azure has finally picked up the pace, but since their release in 2010, it may be too late for them to switch places with Amazon. This is despite a heavy-handed campaign to bundle Azure with their 2016 releases, which may just be too little, too late.
Google will try to keep up with Amazon’s growing cloud domination, but as predicted later, their focus will be in a particular hardware market.
And to no one’s surprise, Google will continue their utter monopoly of the search engine market—with Bing barely blipping on their radar. Yahoo—which rebranded itself as ‘Altaba‘ this month—will also fail to make waves.
…. They really should have taken Microsoft’s $45 billion dollar deal in 2008.
#2 – Ransomware-as-a-Service Will Rampage Unchecked
With the speed in which ransomware strikes, and the degree to which law enforcement agencies are bound by jurisdiction and software ability, there’s little to no chance anyone’s going to be able to stop Ransomware-as-a-Service growing out of control. Even big federal agencies have only been able to give advice to businesses, and at best, a head’s up about the threat of the week.
With so much money to be gained from ransomware attacks and so many businesses to exploit, ransomware will run even more wild than it has in 2016—and since a few months ago, upfront capital and hacking skill are no longer an obstacle to becoming an international crypto-criminal.
If there’s any good news to be had from this, it’s that backup and disaster recovery software still provides a total safeguard against all but the most clever ransomware attacks, provided you’ve got a proper backup strategy in place.
If there’s any retaliation to be had against ransomware makers, it will be much like international law enforcement’s efforts against movie piracy—sporadic bursts against the biggest and easiest to hit crypto-crims. Alternatively, we might see the rise of vigilante hackers working against ransomware makers, fighting fire with fire.
An anti-ransomware version of Batman going head-to-head with super-villains like Jigsaw is not beyond the realm of possibility.
#3 – There Will Be No Significant Desktop CPU Innovation in 2017
Every year, market leader Intel brings out a new chip, and usually it’s a step up on the year before. Ars Technica put it the most succinctly when they said Kaby Lake—this year’s Intel chip—is what happens when a chip company is so far ahead, they just stop trying.
With AMD almost fenced out of the mid-to-high-end desktop market and every part of the laptop market, the only competitor Intel really has is itself. Specifically, the chips they built five years ago. With no real difference between chips in the last few years, Intel has to convince users to upgrade to an essentially identical processor.
They’re also running to the end of Moore’s law, with many dubious that any more processing power can be crammed onto our existing chips—or if they can, the method will be highly impractical. Still, Intel’s trying to figure out ways around it.
#4 – The Winners and Losers of the VR Race Will Solidify
In 2016, we went from a world where there’s been no good virtual reality headsets, to a world where everyone and their dog can get one. There’s the Playstation VR, the HTC vibe, Google Cardboard, Oculus Rift, and a slew of other market competitors.
All of them are rushing to secure themselves as the leader in VR tech, much like Google has with search engines or Intel has with chip processors. It’s too early to tell which one of these companies will come out on front, though there are some early signs.
Oculus, who for years have been the first and only developers in the VR market, have suddenly found themselves falling behind to the slew of newcomers. Even though they had a six year head start, they only released their bulky headset mid-last year—which now makes them one of many. 2017 will be the year where we see if they push forward with their years of experience, or fall behind experienced tech companies such as Google and Sony.
All this competition is good for consumers, because it means we’re going to have a lot of new, competitive VR products to try in 2017 and 2018.
#5 -AI and The Internet Of Things (IoT) Will Get Even Closer to Skynet, with Google Leading the Way
We’ve already got a Go-playing AI who can’t be beaten by any human player, watches and phones that track us via GPS, and voiced virtual assistants to connect to every device in our home. Whether it’s utopian or dystopian, 2017 is a year things are going to get even more sci-fi, as much as George Orwell might disapprove.
Google will be leading the charge with their line of IoT products, from Google Watches, Pixel 2.0, and Glass all set for release in 2017. They’ll also be advancing their AI Research and Google Home technology. But you’ve got to trust a company whose (former) motto was “Do No Evil”, right?
In all serious, Google’s okay. I hear you get free massages and music lessons once you’re processed into the Googleplex.
#6 – We Still Won’t Have Hoverboards or Hovercars
I remember being promised this in Primary School: that by the year 2000, we’d have flying cars that could drive us automatically to America and back.
It’s 2017. I’m still waiting. We just passed the year that Marty McFly went to the future! Sure, we’ve got tablets, cleaning robots, flying drones, voice activated technology, VR headsets, AI assistants, holograms, live video chat, and yes, even self-tying shoes. But where’s all the things we were promised?
That said, the Airbus Group plans to have a prototype of a self-piloted flying car by the end of 2017… so perhaps there’s hope for 2018.
#7 – BackupAssist Will Get Even More Awesome
In 2017, one thing we can absolutely tell you is that BackupAssist will become even more amazing at backing up your data. Unlike the other predictions, this one is 100 percent certain. So keep a lookout!
If you’re not running it already, give BackupAssist a free trial and see how easy it is to use. You don’t have to leave your data undefended, and it doesn’t need to cost you a mint to protect, either. You don’t have to wait until the future for amazing backup technology!