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Wolfe's Den: Top Technologies To Watch In 2011, Part 1

A shift in the way we think about security, along with predictions about the death of the desktop, the rise of the "Internet of Things," and HP's rebound from the Hurd scandal are on our columnist's list of prognostications for the new year.

Alexander Wolfe

January 3, 2011

3 Min Read

The Chinese, which are out front here like they soon will be for the world economy overall, call this the "Internet of Things."

For consumers, it's a chance to save some money on electricity by having appliances tune their usage to off-peak times. (And also to worry if some government functionary is monitoring how much power you send to your no-doubt-legal hydroponic plant setup.)

For technology vendors, it's an obvious opportunity to embed computing capability in everything. Intel is one company which, in particular, sees a huge market here. However, they believe "smart TV" is the biggest embedded play. Strictly speaking, Googly televisions are not part of the Internet of Things. I don't believe such TV-cum-Internet appliances will ever take off in a big way. Computationally enabled "things," though, could sneak up on us in the chaotic fashion which is the hallmark of the 'Net.

5. HP Gets Back to Business.

In 2010, Hewlett-Packard was the New York Jets of computer companies, in that their off-field flubs distracted from a pretty decent record of real accomplishments.

It's still a mystery how one non-relationship could set of such a tortured sequence of events, in which Mark Hurd left the CEO position at HP and moved over to Oracle as co-president, while ex-SAP CEO Leo Apotheker assumed Hurd's old job.

In 2011, assuming HP's board lets bygones be bygones, there's good chance we'll spend more time talking about the computing powerhouse in terms of technology leadership. As Global CIO guru Bob Evans has written, HP has a claim on server market supremacy. The company is also fielding a solid data-center strategy in the form of its Converged Infrastructure offerings.

As well, what formerly looked like Carly Fiorina's folly -- the acquisition of Compaq -- is now no longer widely viewed as a failure. In a similar vein, new CEO Apotheker will have an easy shot at changing the narrative from "left SAP after less than a year as sole CEO" to "new CEO who led HP to a bunch of successful quarters." Heck, he's already partway there.

Apotheker also has an opportunity to establish himself as an industry voice of reason -- or, at least, a non-bomb thrower. But first he'll have to come out of his bunker.

Recommended Reading: Top 5 Tech Trends For 2011 Top 5 Reasons Intel Is Winning And 4 Potential Pitfalls Top 5 Reasons Windows Phone 7 Will/Won't Succeed Wolfe's Den: Top 5 Enterprise 2.0 Roadblocks Cisco Quad Exec Talks Enterprise 2.0 Video: SAP Demos StreamWork At Enterprise 2.0 IBM Adds Heft To Enterprise 2.0 Top 3 Pluses & Minuses Of Enterprise 2.0

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Alex Wolfe is editor-in-chief of InformationWeek.com.

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Alexander Wolfe

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Alexander Wolfe is a former editor for InformationWeek.

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