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What Are Computer Trends?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 16, 2024
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Computer trends are changes or evolutions in the ways that computers are used which become widespread and integrated into popular thought with regard to these systems. These movements often begin with one or two companies adopting or promoting a new technology, which grabs the attention of others and becomes popular. Both hardware and software can be a part of computer trends, such as the development and proliferation of mobile devices including smart phones and tablets. Changes in the Internet, the development of new websites, and the expansion of cloud computing models are likely to be similar software trends throughout the early part of the 21st Century.

Much like changing fashions in clothing, trends in computers indicate the types of technology or concepts that are popular at a given time. This can occur in a number of ways, including a company introducing new technology to a market and customers finding that they can use certain products more effectively than others. As these changes happen, computer trends typically evolve and grow over time, so that popular technology one year, may be considered outdated the next. Identifying the next major trend, and finding a way to get in on it ahead of time, can be substantially profitable for companies that work with technology.

Computer trends often involve hardware and the development or release of something new and innovative. The proliferation of smart phones throughout the first decade of the 21st Century, for example, is a major hardware trend that has changed the way in which many people access information. Mobile phones had already been established in the year 2000 as a major commodity and had gone beyond the niche item they may have been seen as in the 1980s. The development of smart phones in the years that followed, and their release as affordable products, established one of several major trends in which portability became a marketing factor for hardware developers.

Different types of software are often involved in computer trends, since applications people use tend to evolve and change over time. Although the Internet has been around since the late 20th Century, the way in which it is used and how information can be presented on it continues to change. Developments in Internet coding and viewing continue to make its growth a major trend in the computer industry.

Computer trends with software often involve the way in which information is accessed and shared. Systems like cloud computing and similar methods for data storage and file sharing are likely to continue to grow and develop throughout the 21st Century. New applications for communicating, sharing information with family or business partners, and using every facet of innovative hardware are going to be popular for years to come.

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Discussion Comments
By Mor — On Feb 20, 2014

@MrsPramm - To be fair, a lot of Apple products do last for more than a few years and other companies are fairly good at this too.

The cloud is what interests me at the moment. It seems simultaneously to be the ultimate answer to personal security and a complete security disaster.

By MrsPramm — On Feb 19, 2014

@Ana1234 - It is a trend though and I'm going to be interested to see if it ever changes. The trend seems to be that we keep getting more and more powerful and shiny new toys and we already barely use the ones we have. It's basically just a profit machine.

I'd be interested in a trend that went the other way, where people weren't trying to get the smallest, the most convenient, the smartest and so forth, but were trying to get something that really suited them. I'd like people to start wanting to get technology that lasted rather than technology that is designed to only work for a few years.

By Ana1234 — On Feb 19, 2014

It's kind of amazing looking back now on the day that they announced all the features of the new iPhone. You can watch the announcement by Steve Jobs on the internet if you're interested.

There are quite a few things I take for granted in a smartphone these days, but people are so blown away by them back then. And they were people who are only about a decade away from now. Imagine if people several decades into the past had been given a smartphone and shown how it works.

I just feel very lucky to be living in an age where we can take this kind of technology for granted. I'm not even sure if it should be called a trend, because it is such a big step forward.

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