Thirteen lucky predictions for '02

What would the beginning of the year be without a parcel of predictions (we'll skip the New Year's resolutions). Here, then, are a handful of items/trends the Network World US editorial management team expects to see this year.

          What would the beginning of the year be without a parcel of predictions (we'll skip the New Year's resolutions). Here, then, are a handful of items/trends the Network World US editorial management team expects to see this year:

          -- Hewlett-Packard and Compaq merge after a testy proxy fight, but the integration headaches are all they're predicted to be, and the integration benefits are not all they're cracked up to be. IBM and Dell are the big benefactors.

          -- All the regional Bell operating companies offer long-distance by year-end, and the market starts to convulse.

          -- The Microsoft suit fades away and the states give up, resulting in little more than a slap on the wrist for the Redmond giant.

          -- Network management platforms are officially declared dead and are replaced by somewhat easily integrated point products.

          -- Lucent Technologies or Nortel Networks is bought up by one of the giant overseas telecom equipment firms (take your pick).

          -- Despite increased acceptance of Linux, more open source-specific vendors close shop.

          -- Companies are slow to adopt 802.11a 54M bit/sec wireless Ethernet products because handheld devices don't support it and because of the looming 802.11g standard that promises backward compatibility with 802.11b. However, introduction of dual 802.11a/802.11b access points may lead to some uptake.

          -- The availability of Bluetooth in cellphones and PDAs will drive adoption in other devices and prices will come down, but Bluetooth remains a point-to-point technology.

          -- ISCSI bounds forward, raising questions about the need for Fibre Channel in storage networks, but the latter proves resilient because of performance advantages.

          -- Web service technologies gel and by year-end companies are using them to build meaningful corporate applications, but on-the-fly app development over the web remains a fairy tale.

          -- The number of employees seeking telework spikes upward, partly due to September 11 repercussions, partly due to increased pressure from employees and growing awareness and acceptance by managers.

          -- Customer relationship management was white hot in 2001 but its cousins, Supplier Response Management, gains more attention this year because the real savings are in managing supplier relations.

          -- The economy bounces back in the third quarter. The economy bounces back in the third quarter. The economy bounces back in the third quarter. (Chant this in public places until it begins to prove true.)

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