Meanwhile, after years of being regarded as the "ugly stepchild" of unified communications (UC), video is poised to take off in 2009, says Yankee Group, which predicts that video-enabled business processes will be born in 2009.
"Videoconferencing has grown steadily as a replacement for travel due to green benefits and lowered travel costs, and this year will see the full emergence of this trend," Yankee Group reports. "In fact, video will actually vault to the forefront as the lead for UC in many deployments."
Other technologies on the upswing include thin client technologies and tiny notebook computers.
"Thin-client deployments on the back of desktop virtualization will gain traction in 2009, and further accelerate into 2010, as PC replacement cycles peak across the region," IDC predicts. The research firm expects thin-client shipments will grow 12% to 15% over 2008 levels, to about 765,000 units in 2009.
DisplaySearch is predicting a surge in demand for mini-note PCs, which it describes as "low-priced, thin and very light (less than 3 pounds) products that provide at least a modicum of typical office software functionality and also enable greater mobility."
Demand for mini-note PCs will be driven by a variety of sources, "including early adopters, consumer and enterprise PC customers seeking a smaller or secondary notebook PC, as well as new PC customers in emerging markets," says John Jacobs, director of notebook market research at DisplaySearch.
On the personnel front, Sun will find a new CEO to replace Jonathan Schwartz, predicts the IDG News Service. "We're torn between the view that he'll be ousted and the view that he'll decide it's just time to go, but either way we don't believe he'll be Sun's CEO at the end of 2009, if he even makes it past the first quarter or so," the news agency posits. "And Sun will cease to exist in its current incarnation, perhaps being part of a blockbuster acquisition, perhaps going private."
The IDG News Service also predicts that Time Warner will unload America Online, "either by spinning it off as a separate company, selling it, or using it as the basis of a joint venture formed with another company."
Other acquisition targets could include management vendors BMC and CA, which are becoming increasingly attractive to software vendors such as Microsoft, Oracle and SAP that need to fill out their respective management and automation offerings.
"Neither [BMC nor CA] wants to be acquired, but they continue to become more attractive morsels to the likes of Microsoft, which has no choice with its virtualization push to take on a bigger management role," says Glenn O'Donnell, a senior analyst at Forrester Research.