Let's start with global shipments of computing devices, which this year will reach 2.16 billion units – a 0.9% improvement on last year, predicts research from tech analyst firm Gartner, although last year also marked the lowest shipments in almost ten years. The main driver of Gartner's forecast is the mobile phone market, which analysts believe is set to grow by 1.7% in 2020. Yet PC shipments are about to go through yet more hard times, as sales will decline through 2020 and beyond.
SEE: Windows 10 upgrade rush got us buying PCs again - but not for very long
In fact, other research suggests that even last year's modest uptick in PC sales is unlikely to be repeated any time soon. According to Canalys, PC sales are likely to decline for the next few years at least. Canalys pointed to broader macroeconomic factors that will impact the PC industry heavily, with key markets like the US, Japan and India expected to under-perform.
SEE: After the Windows 10 rush ends, this is what happens to the PC next
Cloud computing in 2020 is more mature, going multi-cloud, and likely to become more focused on verticals and a sales ground war as the leading vendors battle for market share. Picking the top cloud services provider isn't easy given that the answer - much like enterprise software and IT in general - boils down to "it depends." That said, a few key trends are emerging for cloud computing in 2020, reports Gartner.
SEE: Top cloud providers in 2020: AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, hybrid, SaaS players
Microsoft's fiscal second quarter earnings highlighted commercial cloud momentum, a big Windows 7 end of life push to Windows 10, and solid results across its business units. The company reported second quarter earnings of $11.6 billion, or $1.51 a share, on revenue of $36.9 billion, up 14% from a year ago. The company said commercial cloud revenue was up 29% from a year ago to $12.5 billion. That tally puts Microsoft's commercial cloud on a $50 billion annual run rate.
SEE: Microsoft's Q2 surges, commercial cloud hits $50 billion annual run rate, Azure revenue up 62%
Programming language C is still hugely relevant for developers today and, by one measure, still more popular than Python. That's according to Tiobe's language popularity index. Tiobe awarded C the programming language of 2019 title because it saw an increase of 2.4% in queries over the past year, which was greater than C#'s 2.1% and Python's 1.4%. C is currently the second most popular language, behind Java and ahead of Python.
SEE: Programming language of 2019? Python beaten by trusty old C
Recruiter Morgan McKinley says development lead (average salary £140,000), chief information security officer (£120,000), and head of data engineering (£120,000) are among the highest paid permanent roles identified by the company's salary guide. The salaries for developer roles vary, with C++ developers and Java developers among the highest paid at £90,000 on average (rising to £130,000).
SEE: Java or C++, Full stack or Front end: The programming languages and developer jobs that pay you the most
According to data collected by Yell Business, the UK ranks fifteenth in terms of web developer salaries when adjusted for the cost of living, with the average salary listed at £32,286. In Yell's list of 25 nations, only 13 countries had unadjusted average web developer salaries lower than in the UK. Chinese developers are the biggest winners, with a salary of £55,352 when adjusted for the cost living, which is much lower in China.
SEE: Web developers: These are the countries where you'll get paid the most
According to Gartner, the bulk of a manager's workload - manual tasks, forms, updating information and approving workflows - is going to go away. Gartner argues in its research report that managers will spend more time on learning, performance management and goal setting.
SEE: Your manager, or 69% of what that person does, will be automated, says Gartner
A survey of more than 10,000 office workers suggests that they're more than willing to accept automation if it can reduce manual computer tasks. The survey, conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by Automation Anywhere, shows that data entry is the most hated of tasks and workers are wasting more than 40% of their day on manual data tasks.
SEE: Office workers would welcome automation of repetitive digital tasks, says survey
Each year, CES runs an extensive programme of innovation awards. Companies with the most award-winning products in 2020 were all familiar names with large portfolios: Samsung (38), LG Electronics (17), ASUS (11), MSI Computer (8), and HP Inc (7). The leading product category for awards was Smart Home with 51, although this was down on the number for 2019 (61). Health & Wellness saw a big jump in award-winning products, from 16 in 2019 to 46 in 2020.
The vast majority of Australians are concerned about the use of biometric technologies to confirm their identity, according to research from the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC). Over 81% of respondents are concerned about being forced to use biometrics without their free consent.
SEE: Biometric ID is a worry but still acceptable to Australians: AIC
Finally, consumers in the Middle East and North Africa are "among the most connected and digitally savvy in the world", Bain notes in a report on e-commerce. The region's e-commerce market was worth $8.3bn in 2017, with 80% of that figure being generated in the Gulf nations and Egypt. In those markets, e-commerce is growing at 30% a year.
SEE: Middle East tech's biggest trends in 2019? Startups, 5G – and internet shutdowns