We're heading to the United States on the 4th of January to attend the Consumer Electronics Show, the annual conference that kick starts the beginning of the year in Las Vegas and which will last until the 9th of January 2011.
Once over there, we will meet dozens of technology companies, big and small, which will all be very eager to show us their latest hardware, applications and services; but we've got a shortlist of five of them which we believe may bring out game-changing technology.
AMD will be the first company we will meet once in Las Vegas and 2011 will be a very challenging year for the x86 manufacturer, not least because other than Intel, a slew of ARM-based semiconductor companies may soon start to compete with it and eat away its revenues.
Next year will see the mainstream appearance of the first Fusion product in the form of the Brazos platform and made up of Zacate and Ontario. AMD will be demoing full working Fusion products at CES 2011 where it has already scooped the Innovations 2011 Design and Engineering awards in the Computer hardware category.
Microsoft will also have a fairly interesting 2011 as rumours of a Windows 7 For Tablet operating system have recently emerged; one that could expose some serious cracks in the 25-year old relationship between Intel and Microsoft. If Microsoft goes ahead with a version of Windows 7 for the ARM platform, it will be the first time for more than a decade - not since Windows NT 4.0 that Microsoft will have released a desktop OS for a non x86 platform. Microsoft's CEO, Steve Ballmer, will deliver a preshow keynote address at CES 2011 and previous major announcements by the company at the event include the Xbox and Windows Vista. We won't expect anything less this time around.
The last time we spoke with a Motorola executive, he told us that the company have a game changing announcement at CES 2011. Apart from the fact that the company will be split into two next year, we know that there is a tablet coming, one which is based on Honeycomb and which will probably be known as the Xoom (or Everest). Expect the company to release its first dual core smartphone, based on Nvidia's Tegra 2 SoC and known as the Olympus or Etna.
Intel will have a massive presence at CES 2011 as it is usually the case and as expected this year will see the formal launch of Sandy Bridge, the follow-up to the ubiquitous Core series circa 2010. SB is set to pile more pressure on AMD and will bring some serious improvements to its onboard graphics module.
A number of Intel's strategic partners like Asus, MSI and Gigabyte will be there and one can be sure that we will see a LOT of Sandy Bridge motherboards and products. We will also probe Intel with regards to its storage (Solid State Drives), wireless technology (wUSB, wHDMI etc) as well.
As for Sony, the company promises to announce a number of products and new technologies at CES 2011. We're hoping to see the Sony Ericsson PlayStation phone behind closed doors ahead of its presentation at MWC or CeBIT. This smartphone may well, single handedly, position Android as the main gaming platform for mobile phones especially if Sony (or Sony Ericsson) decide to open the service up to other Android manufacturers.
CES 2011 promises to be even more exciting than the previous one as the global economy shows encouraging signs of recovery after one of the hardest recessions ever. Brand new technologies coupled with disruptive trends mean that the 12 months ahead could well see some technology giants topple over or at least lose its footing.