I haven’t done one of these in a long time, but I think it’s warranted, even if these are going to be rather terse:
- Twitter will remain an industry cautionary tale. It currently stands for the absolute worst in terms of people management, censorship, privacy, monetization tactics, and development careers, and it’s quite likely to get even worse overall. Unlike Facebook, which became irrelevant to newer users, it’s becoming irrelevant among its most enthusiastic users, and although the migrations to Mastodon will likely only account for a tiny dip in its user base, the people who switched over are largely doing so because Twitter is now visibly evil whereas Facebook was only covertly so.
- The Metaverse will be outed as a ridiculous way to burn money in ill-advised attempts to improve office productivity instead of focusing on entertainment (for which it is amazing) and education/training (for which there is still a lack of easy authoring tools). Apple is quite likely to get this right, but I’m not holding my breath.
- Someone will flip the “smart headset” approach on its head by taking the millimeter wave, low latency wireless HDMI stuff that is just coming out of China and building a VR headset that is just a cheaper, dumb peripheral that runs VR off a gaming laptop.
- Stable Diffusion and GPT3 derived models will spawn a bubble of AI-driven SaaS offerings for various knowledge worker domains (as well as being relentlessly optimized for lower end hardware). Public opinion will remain split over AI use, but I fully expect gaming and media to wholesale adopt it for animation interpolation, asset creation, etc.
- My easiest Apple prediction ever: I am going to buy an USB-C iPhone in 2023, and although I really don’t think it’s that much of an upgrade from a physical, pure connector reliability standpoint, it’s going to be a welcome one (depending on how much it ends up costing, of course).
- We might, with a bit of luck, actually see an M2 Ultra Mac Pro. I’d settle for a Studio, really.
- AMD will keep trouncing Intel and annoying NVIDIA in every single aspect of “bang for your buck”, across both CPUs and GPUs.
- The ARM SBC landscape will continue its almost fractal-like fragmentation trajectory as Raspberry Pis trickle into a market thirsty for alternatives. I wish I could bet on the RK3588 becoming a de facto standard at the high end, but its software support still leaves much to be desired, and it takes more than hardware to make for a viable alternative.
- Layoffs will continue throughout the year, and not just in tech, although many large tech companies are generally overstaffed and still trying to react to the economy downturn.
- The push against remote work is going to intensify. Everyone sane agrees remote here to stay, but human nature (and bad managers) will not be denied. However, four-day weeks are quite likely to become more “normal” as businesses finally understand that people’s productivity (and, to a degree, long term allegiance) comes from their overall satisfaction with work, and that, in turn, depends on how it fits with their whole life.
- Cloud, telecoms and most sizable, pan-regional technology businesses are going to be facing more and more privacy and sovereignty regulation from the EU. The UK is going to try to straddle the divide between EU and US regulations and (as usual) end up nowhere (although, to be fair, the Telecommunications Security Act was nicely done), but things like the EU Digital Markets Act are going to raise a lot of procedural issues. Considering that GDPR compliance is, in practice, still a challenge (and not just on the vendors’ side), we’re in for another year of businesses hemming and hawing and stalling.
- Crypto is going to implode even further, and likely be outlawed in some jurisdictions.
- I have zero clue as to what will transpire in Ukraine, but of course I fervently hope Russia will retreat, even though all signs point to a renewed offensive early in the year. I lack the ability to read all the relative political posturing, but I’m positive nothing good will happen unless there is a massive internal change in Russia, and there just isn’t any reliable signal that is coming to pass anytime soon. We’ll be at war until Summer, at least.
- China, which suddenly seems to be stumbling over itself to reverse its “zero COVID” policy at what may well be the worst possible time, is headed for trouble during the upcoming lunar New Year, during which hundreds of thousands of people will crisscross the land for family reunions. Seeing as the economic slump piled on the previous year’s supply chain issues to quite an impact in Chinese economy I get why they’re trying to open up, but I fear even more supply chain disruption.
- Britain will continue its inexorable drift towards the US while it reinvents the wheels of European bureaucracy that it hoped to escape.
- Elsewhere, COVID will still be around, and people (as an aggregate) will keep being fundamentally careless.
Overall, I expect next year to still be a recovery year of sorts, with the distinct possibility of further downturns. Let’s hope I’m wrong.