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July 16, 2020

Covid-19 – Can it accelerate tech reseach?

There’s nothing positive to be said about the Covid-19 (Corona virus) pandemic. Having said that, I must say that I was quite surprised when I heard a discussion on Finnish breakfast TV yesterday morning. There, I heard from Ilkka Halava (his website in English). a “futurologist” as Bing translates his title. He boldly asserted that, in fact, the pandemic could accelerate research and evolution in a number of technical areas. When asked if futurologists must now change their predictions, and if research will slow down, he said that actually it’s quite the opposite. Because of the pandemic, research will spring forward by giant leaps.

That pharmaceutical companies around the globe are working hard at the moment is understandable. But, according to Mr. Halava, also tech in general and IT in particular will also advance rapidly. Service providers will work hard to create new platforms for instance for artists, to allow them to move live performances, exhibitions, concerts and shows online. Social media is creating new ways to stay in touch with your loved ones. More and more companies are requesting, even demanding, that their personnel work from home. In turn, this creates increased demand for services designed for remote access and use.

Microsoft announced two weeks ago they will make Teams available for everyone at no cost, showing the company’s commitment to customers during this pandemic. Last week, the MVP Summit 2020 was held online only, for the first time ever, using Microsoft Teams. Read our  Ed Tittel’s report about how well it worked. Streaming services like Netflix and YouTube are limiting streaming quality here in Europe, to free bandwidth for services such Teams.

Ed wrote earlier about Windows 10 now being installed on over one billion devices. Its market share can also benefit from the pandemic. Chatting with a mid level executive at HP’s European sales, I was told that “…as long as delivery companies will work, our sales grow every day.” The reason is obvious; because people need to stay home, the need for devices for online communications is growing.

Take my native Finland. All schools, up to the university level, are closed. Students are required to continue their studies online. One family PC may no longer be enough, especially for families with more than one child/student. But as long as Amazon still continues its same / next day deliveries, lots of notebooks and tablets can be delivered.

All this helps speed up IT and tech evolution and research. As is usual with great tragedies, I believe that the world, we geeks, science and research will come out of this pandemic a lot stronger.

Stay strong, stay home, keep faith: we will survive.


Author: Kari Finn

A former Windows Insider MVP, Kari started in computing in the mid 80’s writing code for VAX / VMS systems. Since then, he’s worked in a variety of IT positions. He specializes in Windows image capture, customization, repair and deployment as well as Hyper-V virtualization. Kari is a proud Team Member at number #1 Windows site TenForums.com.

One Response “Covid-19 – Can it accelerate tech reseach?”

  1. CountMike
    March 23, 2020 at 09:34

    Another field that should profit (if it doesn’t humankind is an idiot) is work from home at distance. Learning and study can also be done remotely, Australia in rural areas is very successful with it for very long time now. They used to do it over amateur radio stations powered by pedaling generators.

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