Larry Hipp / Digital Strategy / December 27th, 2013

Predicting Technology Trends for 2014

Rather than looking back at 2013, we’d like to take some time to guess what the future holds. As technologists, we think it’s a great  idea to make predictions as to what we will all see in 2014. Technology has been moving quicker than ever, especially in the web development world, so we’re joining technologists around the world to throw a few predictions [Editor’s note: some slightly more serious than others] into the mix. We’ve consulted our magic eight ball, and here are a few things that we see going down in 2014.

Microsoft’s New CEO Awakens a Sleeping Giant

Microsoft has struggled to find a technical edge of the last 5 years and is poised for a comeback in 2014. Microsoft will hire a CEO that shakes the company up much like Marissa Mayer style has done for Yahoo.  We also won’t be surprised if tech giants Sheryl Sandberg or Scott Forstall end up as CEO either, but we also like the idea of Alan Mulally stepping away from Ford – a company that has worked closely with Microsoft to integrate tech into their cars.

The Year of Encryption

In the wake of everything-Edward-Snowden, encryption will become a top priority for the enterprise and startups alike. With revelations that encryption giant RSA perhaps unknowingly (sure) created a backdoor for the NSA, encryption will become a real concern for companies. The enterprise will attempt to over-compensate for the potential risk associated with government and competitive spying. We’ll also see startups emerge attempting to secure consumer data. Photos, socials and online spending will lead the internet land grab for encryption startups.

A Selfie Startup Will Sell for a $1 Billion

ron burgundy selfieThe ever-so-irresistible selfie will score a startup a $1 billion exit. Why? Because someone in this world has too much money and doesn’t know what to do with it. A startup will emerge that generates no revenue, but captures 100 million selfie’s a day. For some reason Snapchat turned down Facebook’s offer of $3 billion in 2013, and the Facebook-owned Instagram quickly turned around with Instagram Direct. New photo apps crop up all the time, and one is bound for a payday.

Microsoft Surface Downplayed in Favor of Xbox

The Surface had lots of promise, but hasn’t been able to emerge as a viable competitor to  iPad or Android tablets.  In 2013, Microsoft had to write-down nearly $1 billion from unsold RT versions (you could buy a entire selfie startup for that!). Given Microsoft is poised return to greatness with their next CEO, the Surface will likely go the way of the Dodo bird. The new CEO will consolidate around Xbox and the company’s efforts to make the game console/entertainment platform the center of your living room and/or life.

Apple Enters the Enterprise

Apple hasn’t fully embraced the enterprise yet. Even though it’s sitting on more than a $100 billion in cash, investors will continue to demand more from the tech giant. In 2014 we’ll see an iPad that is fully capable of integrating with the enterprise along with tools for the enterprise to manage OSX machines. Although Samsung has been the leader in enterprise smartphones, Apple will make a run at Microsoft’s stranglehold on the enterprise computing market, and it will be up to the new Microsoft CEO to defend its territory.

Netflix Buys (or just becomes) HBO

Netflix has come a long way since we all thought they went crazy and tried to split their service offerings (ah, Qwikster – we hardly knew ye). Netflix has been feverishly attempting to be HBO before HBO can become Netflix, and they are succeeding. In 2013 Netflix scored some big exclusive content with Arrested Development and House of Cards, and it’s already looking like 2014 is going to be another great year. Netflix’s will win this game in part by its technical edge and ability to gain squeeze amazing performance from Amazon’s EC2 cloud. Netflix’s cloud superiority and content offerings will make it the strongest VOD service by the end of 2014, especially with HBO’s reliance on cable providers and aversion to opening their content offerings to the masses.

Geoff Wilson Switches To A Mac

This one is more pipe dream than prediction, but 352’s CEO Geoff Wilson is a long time Windows user, and at this point in life is most definitely a PC! I know this prediction is a little close to home, but the change is coming, and I want to be the first to call it out. While his new Windows 8 laptop is comparable to the Macbook Air I’m using to write this post, by the end of  2014 we’ll all see Geoff sporting a Macbook something. If you have any tips for Geoff to prepare for this transition to a Mac drop them in the comments below. We’ll make sure he gets them.

Think we’re crazy? Not crazy enough? Let us know by leaving us your thoughts in the comments.

 Image credit: Tim de Groot