TechRadar's 2010 technology predictions

What we're looking forward to over the next 12 months

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As the turkey begins to finally run out and the hangovers subside, it's time for the TechRadar team to dream about the tech we expect to see emerge over the next 12 months.

Whatever this new year holds, we won't have to wait long until we see the first fruits. The Consumer Electronics Show starts next Wednesday in Las Vegas – so expect new kit aplenty.

First, let's look at what we expect to happen in mobile phones during 2010. "It's the beginning of the end for the featurephone, those pretty but less functional handsets," says mobile phone specialist Gareth Beavis. "It's not that the segment is dying, rather that it's re-inventing itself as part of the smartphone revolution, meaning more applications for everyone."

"Samsung's pledge to use Bada, which brings smartphone capabilities to cheaper handsets, on its lower end range shows that the soon-to-be world's biggest phone manufacturer wants to see smartphones in the hands of many more people, with the rest of the industry set to follow suit too."

Windows Mobile gets good?

We'll also see one of the internet's worst kept secrets confirmed: "Windows Mobile 7 will arrive during Mobile World Congress in February," says TechRadar's Editor (Reviews and Features) Paul Douglas.

"Microsoft will back down on internal marketing plans to tout it as 'the funnest phone ever' and instead advertise it with a line like 'your phone connects you to the people and programs you love', or 'your phone, simplified'. It won't feature an ad campaign that says 'I'm a phone and Windows Mobile 7 was my idea' because the idea of many Windows Mobile 6 users was to defect to Android or iPhone."

But will Windows Mobile 7 finally bring in the missing piece – an interface that's pleasurable to use and that doesn't send handset makers such as HTC rushing to build their own interface on top?

"Leaked mock-ups suggest Microsoft has got it right, though Android 2.0 and a new iPhone in 2010 will raise the bar still higher," believes Paul. "I own a Windows Mobile phone and I've joked to my smug iPhone-toting friends that I'm holding out for Windows Mobile 9 – Android handsets are looking really compelling at the moment and I'm so starting to worry about doing just that."

A big year for Google

While 2010 still won't be the year when Google's mobile OS ends up on handsets left, right and centre, 2010 is certain to be a huge year for Google. And not just in mobiles - Google OS will truly set the cat among the pigeons.

"We'll see a bunch of Google OS netbooks arrive in the second half of 2010 and the tech press will gasp and complain because they don't retail at a Google-We're-Not-Evil price point (ie 50 pence each)," says TechRadar's Deputy Editor Dan Grabham.

"Questions will be raised about netbooks that can't run desktop apps such as Outlook and Photoshop and there will be stories about people returning Google OS netbooks to the stores because they thought they had bought a 'real computer' and ended up with a big, bulky Twitter status updater."

Gareth believes Google OS will present "a great opportunity for cross platform functionality with a big dollop of cloud computing to boot."

But unlike Linux netbooks, which didn't exactly set the world on fire, by 2015 we'll probably all own a netbook that runs Google OS. And maybe, just maybe, we'll have found a use for Google Wave on them by then.