What will the biggest technology changes be for the next three years? By 2012, consultancy and research firm Gartner predicts a groundswell for open source, Apple products, new mobile technologies and green IT. It's a vision of the future that Microsoft won't love.

While cautioning that some trends will take longer to materialize than others, Gartner warns businesses not to ignore the potential of issues such as open source and cloud computing to change life for IT groups and the businesses they serve.

"These areas of focus imply a significant groundswell of change that may in turn change the entire industry," said Daryl Plummer, managing vice president and Gartner Fellow, in the company's press release.

Of Gartner's 100 predictions, Apple tops the list, followed by growth of gadgets and increase in open source popularity.

Apple Grows More Powerful

Apple will have doubled its computer market share by 2011, Gartner predicts. Contributing factors: Apple's software integration; frequent innovations; interoperability across multiple devices-and the failure of the rest of the industry to make similar innovations.

Pocketable Internet Takes Off

By 2012, 50 per cent of traveling workers will ditch notebooks for new products such as inexpensive new classes of Internet-centric pocketable devices, Gartner predicts. Users will demand the ability to create a preferred work environment across multiple locations.

Open Source Grows More Popular

Open-source technology will be a component of 80 per cent of all commercial software by 2012, Gartner predicts. Why? Lower total cost of ownership and increased ROI for both users and vendors. Gartner says that to stay competitive, most large software vendors will at minimum need to create embedded open source strategies.

Further predictions include a boom in green IT and green credentials, a rise in the importance of a product's carbon footprint as a specification, strengthening of the consumer IT market, and a sharp increase in the sales of 3D printers.