5. Windows phones
Android and the iPhone have won, and in 2013, Microsoft will finally decide to give up on the Windows phone. As much as the platform matches up with Windows 8 and the Surface tablets, consumer interest is not nearly as fanatical. Analyst firm IDC expects Windows Phone to land an 11 percent market share by 2016, while Ovum suggests a 13 percent share by 2017, but there's little sign that Android and iPhone users are ready to switch.
Of the 40 people I met at a recent tech conference, a few had an Android, the rest had an iPhone, and not one person had a Windows phone. If early adopters skip the platform, who will stick around?
6. Private Branch Exchange (PBX) Systems
The desktop phone in your cubicle might be on its last leg. Adam Hartung with consultancy Spark Partners says the big technology fail of 2013 will be the traditional corporate PBX system-those desk phones that tie into a corporate data center.
Case Study: Implementing VoIP: Lessons Learned Killing PBX
The problem is that escalating costs and maintenance fees look less and less attractive to companies, especially when employees have started bringing their own gadgets to work and using them exclusively. "Employees are happy to bring their own phone," Hartung says. "Companies only need to know how to collect and manage the connections."
7. Fax machines
The fax machine will finally sputter out and die next year, says Keval Desai, a partner at InterWest Partners. We all know faxing is a sign of another age when our data flowed over standard phone lines. New services such as Adobe EchoSign offer a way for lawyers, insurance agents and your real estate agent to obtain a verifiable digital signature and transmit legal contracts with full authentication.
John Brandon is a former IT manager at a Fortune 100 company who now writes about technology. He has written more than 2,500 articles in the past 10 years. You can follow him on Twitter @jmbrandonbb. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline, on Facebook, and on Google +.
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