Steven Sinofsky Presents 10 Mega Trends In Tech For 2014

Former Windows leader Steven Sinofsky put together a list of the 10 big trends in tech he’s expecting for 2014.

Sinofsky is one of the smartest people in tech. He’s currently working a partner with venture firm Andreessen Horowitz, and as an executive in residence at Harvard Business School.

High quality, but ultra low-cost devices are going to explode in popularity

We've gotten a peek at this trend in the past few months. Motorola started selling a low cost Moto G for $US179 unlocked. Just because it's cheap doesn't mean it's bad, either. Reviews are good.

Cloud-based productivity tools are going to be huge


Sinofsky ticks off a big list of web-based startups making tools for the enterprise that he thinks will see big growth: 'Asana, Quip, Paper, Mixpanel, Lucidchart, Haikudeck or others will see viral expansion kick-in. Established tools such as Evernote, Box, Dropbox, WhatsApp, and more with high active usage will see major increases in cross-organisation work as they grow to become essential tools for whole organisations.'

Corporations will be less freaked out by the cloud

Enterprises will stop buying software to install in their own data centres and use the cloud. Not only that, they won't be worried about about sharing hardware in the cloud because they will get great benefits with that, particularly when it comes to sharing data among different companies.

Messaging crushes email

'Email will increasingly be viewed as 'fax' and SMS will be used for 'official' communications and 'form letters' as person to person begins to use much richer and more expressive (fun) tools,' says Sinofsky. He advises people to, 'Skip email notifications, rely on SMS only when critical (security and verification), and assume heterogeneity for messaging choices. Expect to see more tools building in messaging capabilities with context scoped to the app.'

It's going to be a lot harder to build for iOS *and* Android

Android and iOS are getting unique enough that one general app design for both platforms will no longer work. 'Ultimately, developers will need to pick their lead platforms or have substantial code bases across platforms and face the challenge of keeping functionality in sync,' says Sinofsky.

There's going to be a big gap between your small screens and your big screens

Application designs will not be one size fits all. Some apps that started on the phone will have to be tweaked for tablets, phablets, laptops, and hybrid computing devices.

More people are living in cities and their lives will be 100% digital/mobile

'Mobile platforms will be part of nearly every purchase or transaction. Anything requiring reservations, tickets, physical resources, delivery, or scheduling will only win the hearts and minds of the new urban if available via mobile.'

Phablets become normal

iPhone 5, Frosted Strawberry Pop-Tart, Samsung

Right now they seem like goofy monster devices. Next year they make perfect sense as the device that bridges the gap between a tablet and smartphone.

Cloud storage limits go away

We hope this one is right: '2014 will be a year in which any individual will see alternatives for unlimited cloud storage. Email, files, photos, applications, mobile backup and more will be embedded in the price of devices or services with additional capabilities beyond gigabytes'.

That's a look at what will happen next year, here's a look at what didn't work this year...

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