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Technology continues to advance with great speed, and this will be no different in 2012, according to Be Broadband.

The service provider said 2011 brought us a wide range of tablet PCs and the influx of high powered ultrabooks, as consumers became more comfortable with hand-held devices.

In 2012, Be Broadband expects to see the launch of new media tablets, which are better placed to compete with the market-leading Apple iPad.

The firm expects to see tablets that are "more considered, providing a real alternative to the dominating device – starting with the Kindle Fire becoming available in the UK".

Another prediction for the coming 12 months is the death of the netbook.

"Why buy a nine or ten-inch netbook with all the power of a worn out bumble bee when you can buy a 12-inch super-fast ultrabook that is as powerful as many top of the range laptops?" Be Broadband stated.

"Dell have killed their netbook range already, we think many more will follow."

New gaming devices could also be on the agenda, the broadband provider stated - although how a console would compete with cloud-based services OnLive and Steam remains to be seen.

Be Broadband is expecting to see the 'battle of the mobile operating system', with Android and iOS leading the way, but Windows Phone and Web OS in hot pursuit.

And hostilities are set to resume between PCs and Macs, as Apple releases Mac OS X Lion - a hybrid between OS X and iOS.

"Next year Microsoft will release Windows 8 - an OS that is compatible with both desktop and mobile devices," Be Broadband noted.

"With both offering similar concepts, it will be interesting to see where the market share goes."

Meanwhile, the broadband provider expects consumers to rent digital content rather than buy it outright this year.

"Spotify, LoveFilm, Steam - digital content is no longer owned, we rent it," Be Broadband stated.

"In 2012 this will only grow, especially with major services becoming available on mainstream platforms - such as Spotify for Facebook and LoveFilm on Xbox 360 and PS3. Maybe 2013 will be the year we take up owning content again."

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