Winners and losers for 2005

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OPINION: Gartner analyst Bob Hayward set the cat among the pigeons at this year's KickStart 2005 conference. His keynote address sounded like an obituary for technologies we thought were faring well.

Hayward was clearly not a fan of biometric technology, claiming that the number of false positives were too much of a security compromise. IBM hit back, saying that their hardware chip solution overcame any lack of accuracy, but most other notebook vendors had to admit the cool password tech was just a neat toy, for now at least.

Tablet PCs were next in Hayward's sights. With just 1.1 percent of the portable market, tablets remain firmly in 'flying car' territory for usefulness vs real world practicality.

Hayward was upbeat about VoIP. But who isn't these days? Large corporations. That's who, according to Hayward. While the cost savings are tantalising, the difficulty of converting from PSTN to VoIP scales into the very hard basket depending on how large a company is.

In consumerland, wireless home networks will grow and grow, fuelled by the success of the MP3 format. Blu-Ray DVD and Sony's PSP will be riding the same wave of success. Hayward referred to the blinding success of the iPod, as if he needed to.

Lastly, we can all stop adding an 'e' to the start of buzzwords. Thank e-God. The ubiquitous e-word will be replaced by none other than u for ubiquitous. 'U-Japan' being where it will all begin, said Hayward. U-heard-it-here-first.

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