The rise of PCs, graphical user interfaces, the Internet, and Web 2.0 technologies have obviously had major impacts on the IT industry, but according to Microsoft (NSDQ:MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer, the computing revolution that's about to take place will tie up all the loose ends from previous ones.

In a keynote speech Monday evening at the CeBIT trade show, Ballmer identified five trends that Microsoft sees as key drivers of future computing efficiency. For starters, hardware advances are not only putting more processing power in the hands of more users, they're also enabling more functionality to be added to smaller devices, said Ballmer.