Help us spot tech trends

I had a teacher in journalism school who said that real reporters never used the word “will.” Good journalists, he’d say, stick to the past and present tenses, and avoid the use of the future. Good advice in theory, I suppose, but—like so much else I learned in journalism school—not entirely realistic.

Take, for example, one of the most common questions we get from Macworld readers: I’m thinking of buying a new Mac. Should I buy now or wait? Answering that question requires thinking about the future. Is Macworld Expo coming up? If so, there’s a good chance Apple will announce a new Mac. If the product line you’re considering is getting a little long in the tooth, there’s a chance it’s the one that it will get updated. So you might want to wait until Expo is over.

(Look, I used the word “will” twice in that one paragraph!)

That’s not wild-eyed speculation about the future. It’s just rational consideration of what’s likely to happen and how it’ll affect your buying decisions. And that’s exactly what we’re hoping to do in an upcoming Macworld feature story: We want to identify the technology trends that will have the greatest impact on Mac buyers over the next 12 to 18 months. The article is going to explain what those trends are, how we expect them to play out, and—most important—what they’ll really mean to you as someone who uses and buys Mac hardware and software.

As we’ve learned over the years, Macworld ’s readers are a pretty savvy bunch. They’re plugged into the latest and greatest technology. So we wanted to ask you: Which technology trends are you watching? Which ones do you think will have the greatest impact on you over the next year or so? Just to prime the pump, here are a few of the trends we’re considering ourselves:

  • The rise of flash memory as a replacement of, or supplement to, traditional hard drive technologies;
  • the use of the Mac as a home-entertainment platform;
  • the ever-increasing megapixel counts on digital cameras.

That’s just a few of the ideas we’re kicking around. We’d like to get more. What do you think the big technology trends are? Again, we’re talking near-term (the next 12 to 18 months) and relevant to real Mac users (leave the nanotechnology to Wired, please). If you have some suggestions, visit our forums via the thread below and leave us a note.

We will be so grateful.

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