10 Tech Trends To Bet On
By Fred Vogelstein

(FORTUNE Magazine) – It seems like only yesterday that pundits were writing off high tech--declaring that innovation was dead and that businesses associated with the Internet were becoming boring. Still important, sure, but about as interesting as electric utilities or railroads.

They were wrong. Tech doesn't just matter, it's sexier than ever. Stocks have risen so much in the past year that a few market watchers are fretting about a minibubble. It's a tempting comparison, except that this time, what's driving stocks is not euphoria run amok. Buzzwords born in the '90s are maturing into real businesses. People's homes are beginning to look the way bubble-era hypesters said they should--with stereos, TVs, phones, game machines, and PCs all easily connected and able to swap data without wires. Companies like Amazon, Apple, eBay, and Yahoo have really changed the way consumers shop and are making money doing it. And open-source software--Linux and its brethren--is starting to truly worry entrenched giants like Microsoft and Oracle.

In the following pages we identify ten trends that seem sure to come to fruition in the two years ahead. We've looked for companies that seem best poised to win what will surely be some of Silicon Valley's most memorable battles. What's more, we tried to create a guide that will help investors, enthusiasts, and casual tech watchers understand what's at stake--and what's about to come into your living rooms.

Does tech matter anymore? More than ever.

--Fred Vogelstein