December 29, 2010, 9:06 AM — There's no telling what the future will bring, but one thing is sure: In the world of technology, nothing stays the same for very long. The year 2010 wasn't terribly turbulent for tech, but 2011 is shaping up to be more of a thrill than you might expect. From Android's scorched-earth march across the industry to malware threats that we have yet to wrap our arms around, it seems as if everything is about to change.
With that in mind, here are nine resolutions for the small business operator to think about for 2011.
1. Ignore Android at Your Peril
Once upon a time, Android was a quaint alternative to the iPhone, a phone OS that only a hacker could love, and even then it was more like a sisterly love than a romantic attachment. Those days have quickly gone away. Now Android is a legitimate contender, and, in some markets, it's outselling the iPhone. In fact, many a prediction has been made that Android will overtake the iPhone's market share in 2011, which means that if you're still developing apps only for the iPhone, it's time to branch out. You also need to prepare for Android moving heavily onto larger platforms, as the more tablet-friendly Android 3.0 arrives in 2011.
2. Start Prepping for Windows 8
That's right, you still haven't learned all the secrets of Windows 7, but Windows 8 is fast approaching. Microsoft hasn't announced an official release date, but most rumors and pundits figure it'll ship in 2012. That means the Windows 8 beta will almost undoubtedly arrive sometime next year, and you'll have to start tinkering with it so you're not caught off guard when it ships.
And if you haven't yet done so, it's time to start thinking seriously about getting off of Windows XP. Though minimal support has been extended until 2014, it's getting awfully rickety as a platform, and some newer hardware is no longer supporting the OS.
3. Accept Tablets as Mainstream Devices