The long overdue
release of XP Service Pack 3 will be a must have for the majority
of Windows users who see no need to move to the newer operating
The release of the iPhone
We expect to see the iPhone available in Australia some
time this year. This will change the way phones are bought and
sold in Australia. While you may not buy an iPhone yourself, some
of the innovations will be in the next phone you buy.
opening of the Sydney Apple Store
Apple will open their first Australian concept store in Sydney
this year. If the experience of Apple stores overseas is any guide
this should raise the bar for Australian computer retailers.
The idea of both Microsoft and Apple is to replace the DVD player
and HiFi with a computer that will control everything and stream
it through the house. Windows Home Server has been quiet for sometime
but we expect this to start to take off in the market
The Asus EeePC created a new market for ultra small laptops
and Apple have joined it with the MacBook Air. This is the
first of a wave and we can expect laptops to become cheaper and
smaller throughout 2008
It won't be just portable computers where we’ll see lower
prices. Internet access, wireless equipment and mobile phones
will all see some substantial falls.
of smaller providers and shops
A consequence of the lower prices will be fewer shops as the dollar
margins get tighter. This isn’t going to be helped by even
faster changes in inventory. We're seeing some of these problems
already which we discuss later in the newsletter.
Sustainability, reducing energy costs and minimising the carbon
footprint will be one the greatest issues of the year. The IT
industry will be part of this and we'll be spending a lot of time
looking at how to reduce the effects of technology on the environment.
More Web services
Web 2.0 is sooooo 2006, but we’ll continue to see more so
called 2.0 applications available. Some of them will be useful
to your home and business.
Australian broadband mess will continue
2008 will see Telstra and Optus frantically try to shore
up their declining mobile and fixed line revenues. We can expect
a big battlefield will be broadband and wireless Internet. This
is why you should keep a close eye on what's available.
operators will suffer as the tightening credit markets make their
funding more difficult. We expect a big rationalisation of providers
will try a number of ways to undo the damage of twenty years of
misguided policy by both political parties. We think they will
fail or end up with an even worse problem.
This is another area the government will grapple with. Over time
this will probably whither away given the resistance of the
industry and the massive resources required to filter the Internet
Privacy will continue to be an issue with people continuing to
find confidential information leaked. Services like Facebook will
have to confront even more issues while governments and businesses
will have to beef up their systems.
We'll see the price of mobile phone based services continue to
tumble as 3, Optus and Vodafone compete with Telstra's Next G.
Already Telstra are finding their margins being undermined. If
you have a wireless Internet plan, keep an eye on what's on offer.
life or death of WiMax;
WiMax is the wireless technology that's promised a lot and delivered
little. 2008 is the crunch year for WiMax. If the OPEL
consortium in Australia can take off, WiMax may survive; otherwise
it is dead.
up to date with software changes
One of the constant battles for computer owners is to keep
their computers up to date with the latest software versions.
Security company Secunia has released a free patch detection tool that
will check your computer for out of date software.
This is well worth downloading and running on your machine
to check that everything is up to date.
One word of warning, if you are running Windows XP, the
program will warn you that this should be updated. It's
probably best to ignore that message.
newsletters ago we mentioned door to door salespeople selling
broadband contracts. This has now extended to sales pitches over
the phone. We strongly advise you
to avoid these deals and just hang up politely.
Stories we are hearing are of customers finding
they haven't got the features they thought they were getting. Often
they find what the salesman promised was impossible. Of course, the salesman has moved on.
We strongly recommend you do not enter any
plan without having first received a written contract with the
details clearly stated.
Bizarrely both of the biggest telcos are
using these tactics in a way to retain market share. In the past
this has been a PR disaster for them. Make sure you don't become
part of the problem.