Here's a nice report from some predictions for 2003 that, obviously, we can believe them or not .


(Report from

Cyberterrorists will launch a major attack in 2003, according to research firm IDC, which has released a laundry list of predictions for the coming year. The offensive will involve a network intrusion or a distributed denial-of-service attack -- or perhaps even an attack on the Internet's physical infrastructure .

This act of cyberterror will completely halt online traffic for a full day or longer and will seriously affect the economy, IDC forecast. "We've already seen some evidence of this," IDC analyst Dan Kusnetzky noted.

"If it's difficult for someone who has hostile intent to get into the U.S., then it may be much easier to come across the network and execute harmful behavior here," he told NewsFactor.

Kusnetzky said he agrees with IDC's prediction that hostilities with Iraq will encourage Internet hackers. "Quite often, when you're dealing not with an organized country but with a loose group of people, there's the possibility of a large amount of independent action."

IDC developed its 2003 predictions by polling its staff of more than 700 analysts. They include experts in virtually every area of technology, from telecommunications to IT to wireless.

Nostradamus Wasn't Perfect, Either

The forecast was not all gloom and doom. IDC predicted an IT spending increase of more than 6 percent, to US$1.9 trillion, for next year. That might seem like good news -- until you realize that IDC previously forecast an IT industry recovery in mid-2002.

The company had to admit it missed the target on that forecast. IDC also incorrectly forecast that digital identification services would become widespread in 2002.

Yet the company has made some accurate predictions. It projected that Web services hype would grow even louder -- clearly true -- and that corporations would reset their security plans -- true, though admittedly a hard-to-miss item at the end of 2001.

Linux 2003

Among other projections, IDC forecast that Linux will take significant market share away from Unix operating systems in 2003. "Linux is already gobbling up the low end of the Unix market," Kusnetzky said. This development is "making it difficult for the purely Unix vendors to continue to invest in the high-end features that distinguish them from other high-end Unix vendors."

Kusnetzky noted that each and every Unix supplier now has a Linux strategy to attempt to capture revenue from the low-end market. "Our surveys show that Linux is not viewed as different from Unix; it's just viewed as a low-end Unix, even though that's technically not correct," he said.

Kusnetzky added that over the long haul, "Linux may have mainframe-class capabilities."

Additionally, IDC has identified a trend among companies running computer systems for which stability is essential, such as the financial markets, to use a cluster of Linux-based servers to power those systems.

Mixed Bag

Another market segment in which IDC anticipates positive developments next year is midrange servers. The firm believes sales of such boxes will increase, recovering from 2002's 20 percent dip.

However, adoption of 64-bit computers will move at a snail's pace in 2003, according to the research firm.

Not surprisingly, IDC's forecast calls for online communications to increase considerably in 2003. Yet, according to the firm's research, a corresponding jump in productivity is not guaranteed.

Specifically, the number of users of corporate instant messaging services will double to more than 30 million, and 30 percent more e-mails will be sent, for a total of 40 billion per day. The number of e-mail addresses will pass the 1 billion mark. On the negative side, spam will mushroom to comprise nearly 40 percent of all e-mail.

The 2003 Grab Bag

IDC predicted that software sales will rise 7.5 percent next year. The biggest growth sectors will be security and programs that manage existing systems.

2003 also will be a big growth year for wireless local area networks. But the opposite is true for telecommunications spending, which is expected to drop 5 percent.

E-commerce spending will reach the $1.5 billion mark, aided by an increase in the total number of PCs installed, to 6 billion.

In fact, IDC predicted that the Internet user population will swell to 700 million in 2003, and that more than 80 million homes will have broadband access by year's end.