What's New for 2006

Illustration: Randy Lyhus
The approaching new year looks to be full of change for the way you work and play with technology. Among the exciting developments heralded for 2006: Advanced Web apps and tools will further blur the line between the desktop and the Internet. The next generation of DVD will arrive at long last, ushering in high-definition recording. Wide-screen LCD monitors will continue to become less expensive and more attractive, while new technologies will begin to boost display quality dramatically. And Microsoft will finally ship its long-awaited Windows Vista operating system.

But the road to these anticipated developments won't be without its share of jolting bumps and potholes. A standards battle is raging between next-generation DVD camps. Vista will require a pretty beefed-up system to run properly. And most of the new monitor models will be priced (at least initially) beyond the means of all but the most well-heeled users. Treat this article as your one-stop guide to some of the hottest new technologies, so you can decide whether they'll be right for your tech needs in 2006.

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