6. Cloud email really takes off
Microsoft released Exchange Online over a year ago, but companies are finally taking the bait: cloud email costs much less than on-premise email, is far easier to configure, and some of them (most notably IBM iNotes) use state-of-the-art encryption.
7. 3D goes mainstream in the home - finally
We've been writing about 3D in the home for years - but most of the 3D monitors and goggles leave you dizzy, sick, or just confused by reality. Nvidia has hit a home run with the 3D Vision and none too soon: theatrical movies like Toy Story 3D and Avatar will be major 3D extravaganzas when they comes out on Blu-Ray next year. 3D Vision is easy to configure, and works well with many current 3D games on the PC. And then there's also 3D TV - Sky is set to launch a channel in the UK next year.
8. Open source alternatives finally mature
Have you jumped on the Linux bandwagon yet? It is the one that has the newly rotated tyres and the "Microsoft sucks" logo on the bumper. The good news if you switch is that there are now more powerful alternatives to the big name commercial wares, including Scribus, RhythmBox, and Inkscape. These products (unlike OpenOffice) are actually easier to use and in many cases more powerful.
9. Major desktop apps arrive on smartphones
Here's an emerging trend we can get behind. While the first wave of smartphone apps over the past two years were cool and innovative, the major software developers were a bit timid about the platform. Not anymore; Autodesk has released SketchBook Mobile for iPhone, Adobe popped Photoshop for Android and the iPhone, and FileMaker has released the Bento 3 database client. More on the way soon.
10. DIY home security goes legit
The home security market falls into two camps: the real monitoring services and the DIY kits form companies like D-Link. The Archerfish Solo is a hybrid because it has industrial-strength tech, recognizing the difference between a delivery person or an intruder, for example. What comes next? A holographic security guard?