Table: Winners to Watch
Tired of tech? Get some rest--then get ready. Before long, you'll probably be using some of these technologies.
Not long ago, only big companies had high-speed Net access--T1 lines costing about $1,000 a month. Now, small business has affordable cable and DSL, and soon may be able to take advantage of broadband wireless.
Cell phones and PDAs will merge into a single, multifunctional handheld device that bundles voice and data. Application software is developing rapidly, and broadband wireless modems are on the horizon.
As "always-on" broadband connections become common, firewall systems, either hardware or software, are critical to protect your data. Viruses aren't going away, either, making a backup system more important than ever.
The entry of branded players, such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Verizon, promises new growth and credibility for an industry that has suffered from hype, skepticism, and a slow start.
Digital Signal Processing chips keep getting faster. The next step: devices that let you call your computer on your cell phone, dictate an e-mail, and send it.