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WEB MASTER TUCKER HOTTES looks into HIS wonderfully nerdy crystal ball


Techie predictions for 2013
Last week, we said goodbye to 2012 and I took a look back at how my musings in January for the year in tech stacked up to reality. This week, it’s time to peer into the fog of the future and talk about what we can expect in the world of gadgets and tech for 2013.
Mobile phones and tablet computing have become one of the leading market segments for electronics manufacturers (unsurprisingly). It seems our lust to have ever-more-capable tiny (and sometimes not-so-tiny) computers in our pocket isn’t slowing down at all. I expect we’ll see more and more devices of all sizes and shapes flooding the market this year, but I don’t see any major changes to either the Android or iOS platforms. Apple typically takes a year off from major revisions, so unless they break trend, we’re likely to see an iPhone 5s (or something similar) rather than a fancy new phone.
We’ll hear more from Google in a couple of months, but my money is on them trying to increase the reach of the Android 4.2 “Jelly Bean.” They’ll likely announce the rumored 5.0 “Key Lime Pie” version, but that will initially be for early adopters of new hardware and won’t see widespread release for a while.
Expect Microsoft to continue to push the hell out of its new Windows Mobile phones and tablets, while the rest of us look around scratching our heads at Windows 8. I’m sure there must be someone out there with a Windows Mobile phone, and I’m sure that person enjoys it very much, but right now the thing still seems like something of a myth. All the Microsoft ads floating around seem like fake ads running in the background of a movie — the products look like something that could conceivably exist, but they seem like parody versions of real things. It’s kind of bizarre. Still, they’re doing better than RIM, who continues to try to sell BlackBerry devices to aging executives who insist they “can’t use a touchscreen.” The last of my friends uttering that excuse switched over to iPhones and Android devices months ago.
This year will be a pretty major one for video games. The year starts off with some blockbuster titles (not coincidentally from already-established franchises) like Grand Theft Auto V, God of War: Ascension, and Gears of War: Judgment. Just hang out in the “G” section of your favorite local retailer, and tell them to reserve you anything with “… of war” in the title.
Once the big selling titles hit the shelves, it’ll be time for the manufacturers to tickle our fancy. Expect new console announcements from both Sony and Microsoft — it seems we’ll have the next generation of consoles on the market this holiday season. It’s been a long generation for the current Xbox 360 and PS3, so it will be very interesting to see what the major players have up their sleeves. The mobile gaming market on phones and tablets has been really cutting into the bottom line of the set-top consoles — both manufacturers will be looking to build excitement and revitalize the console gaming market.
Regardless of where we are this time next year when I see how much of this pans out, we’re in for another exciting year of tech and gadgets. The pace of adoption and innovation is amazing. Consider this: the original iPhone came out in June of 2007, not even a full six years ago, and look how much has already changed.
It’s a good time to be a technophile.

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