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Internet

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DQI Bureau
New Update

By the end of 2005, about 45% of the companies in the US will likely be using

some form of a Web service, according to market research firm Gartner. Web

services use the protocols that power the web to turn raw information into a

kind of utility that can be repurposed in many forms. The promise is the ability

to exchange data in ways that only blue-chip companies like GE or Cisco Systems

have been able to do in the past, but without a bewildering array of heavy-duty

protocols like electronic data interchange (EDI).

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Search me



The amount of data that we store on our desktop computers is exploding. A

whole new industry has popped up to enable users to search their desktop files

easily, including Google's desktop search tool, and startup Blinkx. Desktop

search isn't just another cool technology. Search engine companies believe

there is a great revenue potential in getting desktop customers to click on

sponsored links, which generates online advertising dollars. The burgeoning

market also has put the spotlight on a group of companies focused solely on

desktop search. Companies like Copernic, ZyLAB, ISYS, dtSearch, X1, and Enfish

hope to out-innovate the larger players in a new area. Some make their money by

selling their software, while others offer free downloads and generate revenue

with ads. Google says that hundreds of thousands of users have downloaded its

desktop search feature. San Francisco-based Blinkx reports 1.5 mn people

downloaded its software since it launched in July last year, exceeding its

initial forecasts.

Search engine wars



Microsoft and Yahoo will slug it out with Google for search supremacy this

year, while a host of startups will get funding to bring new search technology

to market. By this year-end, expect search engines to do a better job of

interpreting your needs as well as searching images, maps, libraries and who

knows what else. The best part? It's all free to the user.

Blogging for business



Corporations have seen the Web blog light, and blogs will become common for

business use. Unfortunately, far too many of these efforts will just be

marketing fluff disguised as blogs.

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WiMAX coming up



In 2005, WiMAX (IEEE 802.16) wireless metropolitan-area networks will be

adopted by service providers for backhaul and wireless broadband delivery,

dramatically increasing local-loop competition and driving down access prices by

10% to 20% per year (starting in 2006), while providing an alternative for

enterprises interconnecting campus buildings.

At

first glance, WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) seems like

Wi-Fi on steroids, with a range of up to 31 miles, compared with Wi-Fi's 300

feet or so. But WiMAX isn't so much an alternative to Wi-Fi as an alternative

to cable modems and DSL lines. It's a last-mile technology that brings

wireless broadband to office parks and neighborhoods.

WiMAX has some powerful backers, too, most notably Intel and Nokia. Indeed,

Intel is working on a WiMAX chipset and hopes to put the technology in laptops

within the next couple of years. But that's where things may get a little

tricky. WiMAX was designed for fixed locations, and mobility has been an add-on,

with an enhanced standard (802.16e) expected to be approved later this year. A

rival standard (802.20, or Mobile-Fi) was designed from the ground up for

mobility, so it can handle mobile communications in fast-moving vehicles. But

WiMAX gear is expected to hit the market first. And with Intel pushing the

technology, no one is quite ready to bet against it.

In a broad sense



Employee-driven, diverse models of broadband will proliferate in the

enterprise for remote access and home offices. DSL will become a major factor in

business access (especially for small/midsize offices and in the retail

vertical). Business broadband services will proliferate in Europe, while

broadband will be a lower-cost/lower-reliability alternative in the US. In US,

the carriers will roll out fiber to more residential locations, emphasizing

entertainment and gaming, as well as household wireless. Satellite broadband

services will decline rapidly, while broadband over powerline will fail to take

hold.

Streaming video



Video streaming will be slowly adopted, with applications built around

streaming events as well as on-demand services (eg, training). Businesses will

increasingly use external providers to deliver video streaming capabilities.

Videoconferencing will become integrated into traditional conferencing and

collaboration platforms, but desktop-based two-way videoconferencing will not be

broadly adopted before 2009.

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