In 2006, Windows will release the final commercial version of Windows Computer Cluster Server 2003, under the windows Vista family. This will actually benefit Knoppix Linux, as customers will want the clustering functionality without the Microsoft costs.
Smaller software developers will gain legitimacy by delivering products online. Programs such as BitTorrent will allow smaller companies to deliver their software in a similar fashion to their larger counterparts. By the end of 2006, this will manifest in medium-sized software companies to become more competitive in their product design and prices.
Google will jump on the VoIP bandwagon (or should I say bandwidth-wagon?). With Yahoo's recent announcement involving a new VoIP service, and with Google's past ambitious projects, we will undoubtedly see Gigabit-VoIP in the near future.
Similarly, VoIP will become increasingly popular in households and businesses. This will lead to the formation of new VoIP companies, as well as the adaptation of traditionally POTS providers, such as Verizon or Sprint.
Internet television will not meet expected goals. Although touted as a revolutionary form of entertainment, it will not reach widespread acceptance for several years.
Although Google's city-wide wireless model in Mountain View, CA, will be considered a success, it will not be a great financial boon. However, this will start a battle for municipal contracts among Internet service providers. Google itself will not become a major player in this war though.
Chris Cox is a network administrator for the United States Army, based in Fort Irwin, California.