Research firm Gartner Inc. (IT) turned soothsayer on Wednesday by predicting that Windows Vista will be the last big release of Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Windows operating system.

The era of monolithic deployments of software releases is nearing an end and Microsoft will participate in the trend toward more flexible updates, Gartner forecast in a list of forecasts about 2007.

Gartner also expects that the blogging trend will peak in the first half of 2007.

Given the average life span of a blogger and the growth rate of blogs, the research firm predicted the peak number of bloggers will be around 100 million at some point in the first half of 2007.

Gartner said it believes that by 2010, 60 percent of worldwide mobile phone users will be "trackable" via an emerging "follow-me Internet" technology as growing demands for national safety and civil protection relax some privacy limitations.

Marketing incentives will also push users to forgo privacy concerns, it said.

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