Already, the amount of optional items, or bloatware, in some browsers can come close to 20 percent. Even for browsers like Chrome or Firefox, which have typically lower levels of bloat, the percentage of optional items and targeted threats from malware will increase.
Other trends that Chris Cope, CEO of SlimWare Utilities, says will come to the forefront in 2012 include:
- Growing concern over online tracking technology, including "supercookies," that leads to more legislation prompting disclosure about what cookies are on consumers' PCs, and what information those cookies and other tracking items might be transmitting.
- Continued migration of consumer applications to a cloud environment and web-based model as consumers continue to spread their digital lives over more and more devices, such as laptops, PCs, tablets and Smartphones.
- Increased need for software and device updates and patches. Software and hardware companies will be forced to keep pace with a fragmented landscape of operating systems running on multiple devices, as well as new forms of malware and vulnerabilities introduced by these OS's and the programs that run on them. All this volatility will make updates and patches increasingly more critical in 2012.
- A surge in Windows popularity as Windows 8 takes hold and the possibility of Microsoft a tablet becomes a reality.