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2007 Technology Trends

While common computer technology terms such as CPU and OSI Model make the top 15 tech terms on Webopedia nearly every week, technology trends (and the terms that define them) come and go with the changing tides. Heading out of 2006 and into 2007 we've seen a number of new computer and technology terms added to Webopedia. Our Top 10 Tech Terms list represents some technologies that could be the best to hit mainstream in 2006 while others represent new technologies sure to make even more headlines in 2007.

Blu-ray (define)

While certainly not a new technology, 2006 marks the period where consumers let go of some cautiousness and began putting money into the HD-DVD media format. Rewritable Blu-ray discs can hold up to 27GB of data on a single-sided single layer disc (compared to the traditional DVD.s 4.7GB capacity), which amounts to about 12 hours of standard video or more than 2 hours of high-definition video. Blu-ray took a long time to catch on, but several companies have announced support for Blu-ray in 2007 as well as compatible hybrid Blu-ray/HD DVD discs.

data deduplication  (define)

When talking storage, one common concern is redundant data. Data deduplication is one solution to this problem. In the deduplication process, duplicate data is deleted, leaving only one copy of the data to be stored. The benefit is that deduplication is able to reduce the required storage capacity since only the unique data is stored. However, indexing of all data is still retained should that data ever be required.

federation (define)

Instant messaging users are clamoring for it, and those IM networks supporting XMPP are providing it. In instant messaging, federated IM networks are those that allow communications across different IM clients and platforms, similar to the way e-mail allows people to communicate regardless of which e-mail client they choose to use. Federated IM networks basically maintain an open directory that allows other IM networks to message their users. We're seeing the trend move away from proprietary IM platforms to systems with interoperability.

m-commerce (define)

Short for mobile e-commerce, m-commerce describes the growing trend of using networks that interface with wireless devices, such as laptops, handheld computers or mobile phones to initiate or complete online electronic commerce transactions. With localized searching and Web browsers on almost every new phone, 2006 opened up the mobile commerce playing field and companies will be trying to get on the bandwagon with apps and support in 2007.

network neutrality (define)

Everywhere you turned last year, the term "net neutrality" ran amok. Due to political debate in 2006, the definition of network neutrality has changed to mean "those who run networks" as opposed to the network itself, where net neutrality is generally understood to mean that the service and telecommunication providers do not discriminate against rivals or individuals when they charge fees or when they prioritize traffic. While this was a term that had a huge awareness in 2006, in 2007 AT&T agreed to a variety of net neutrality provisions as a way to get Democratic FCC commissioners to allow it to buy BellSouth. We expect to see net neutrality remain a hot topic in both technology and political circles in 2007.

social network (define)

Social networking in a Web 2.0 world is certainly gaining ground. Technically speaking, a social network is a social structure made of nodes that are actually individuals or organizations. A social network represents relationships and flows between people, groups, organizations, computers or other information/knowledge processing entities. 

virtualization (define)

Virtualization technologies, including storage, server, networking and operating system virtualization, grab the headlines in 2006. In computing, virtualization means to create a virtual version of a device or resource, such as a server, storage device, network or even an operating system where the framework divides the resource into one or more execution environments. Devices, applications and human users are able to interact with the virtual resource as if it were a real single logical resource.

Voice 2.0 (define)

Last year it was all about Web 2.0 and this year the hot term is Voice.2.0. With the growing popularity of Skype and advances in IP telephony, Voice 2.0 is the buzzword being used to describe the trends, technologies and applications used to bring IP telephony to the Web to create a new class of voice-enabled applications.

Web services (define)

Web services, also called application services, is the term used to describe a standardized way of integrating Web-based applications over an Internet protocol backbone. Used primarily as a means for businesses to communicate with each other and with clients, Web services allow organizations to communicate and exchange data without intimate knowledge of each other's IT systems behind the firewall.

Windows Vista (define)

There's no denying that operating systems change the way in which many consumers and businesses compute. For years, computer users heard of a mysterious new operating system from Microsoft, codenamed Longhorn. In 2005 Microsoft officially removed the Longhorn codename and announced the operating System under the official name of Windows Vista. Two years later professional editions of Microsoft's operating system are available and consumer versions are expected to hit retail this month.





Based in Nova Scotia, Vangie Beal is has been writing about technology for more than a decade. She is a frequent contributor to EcommerceGuide and managing editor at Webopedia. You can tweet her online @AuroraGG.





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