Crystal Ball Gazing Into 2013

At the end of the year it’s somewhat of a tradition for every commentator, columnist, blogger, would-be guru and crystal ball glazer to either write about “that was the year that was” or bravely make their predictions for the coming year.

Two such predictions that have been bouncing around, from respected research houses, particularly interest me.

The first comes from In-Stat and it’s a prediction for 2013 that was made back in 2010. At that time In-Stat predicted that by the end of 2013 some 79% of all businesses will have converted to VoIP. When the prediction was made, business VoIP penetration was only at about 33%, with an estimated 42% of U.S. businesses having VoIP in at least one location.

Interestingly, over the past 24 months, few soothsayers have updated that In-Stat prediction, and dozens have repeated it. Personally, I’d buy 79% of all U.S. businesses having VoIP in at least one location. But I’m not quite ready to expect to see that percentage applying to ALL business telephony.

Still, it’s easy to see a majority of all business telephony having migrated to VoIP by the end of the year, as realization of the benefits of business VoIP, virtual switchboards and the cloud computing paradigm that makes VoIP work penetrate ever more deeply into the business world.

As for the second prediction, that’s one made by Juniper Research a couple of weeks ago, in which it said 2013 would be “The Year of Microsoft” in the mobile industry. That’s based on the release of Windows 8 mobile, the mobile OS with which Microsoft hopes to finally make up a lot of lost ground in the mobile industry.

Indeed I’ve already seen several predictions over the past year or so that Windows mobile will become the number two operating system for mobile phones by the end of 2013 or 2014, trailing only Android. That of course means that Apple will fall from its leadership position in smartphones, just as BlackBerry did before it.

As to whether Windows 8 really is good enough to live up to that prediction, I should be able to pontificate in a short while. I’ve just obtained a shiny new HTC Windows 8 phone (I guess AT&T owns my mobile soul for another two years). And it is an LTE phone, so I may soon get to play with Voice over LTE (VoLTE), the upcoming “killer” version of wireless VoIP.

This wasn’t, by the way, done for the sake of this blog. It’s the result of my clumsily dropping my phone in a hospital parking lot. Some kind soul found it and turned it in to the hospital lost and found but, alas, the device had already been fatally injured by an errant vehicle.