Predictions for 2014 (II)

Ok, here’s my list of predictions for 2014 …

  • 2014 will be the year of the private cloud
  • MySQL will lose the top spot as most popular OS database (to MongoDB)
  • Before the end of the year, you will be able to spin up a virtual machine on your desktop linux machine, configure it to do what you want, then deploy it live (without rebooting it) to a public cloud provider with a live IP address
  • The market will discover that Apple was a four trick pony and it’s share price will suffer a hammering
  • RIM will be broken up and sold
  • VOIP / cloudified phone numbers will start to take over from traditional numbers
  • Javascript will see a x3 performance boost (avg)
  • The XBox One will be the “Vista” of Microsoft’s hardware outing (XBox will be split off from M$)
  • Microsoft will announce the end of the “Windows Desktop” product line
  • Microsoft will announce the Linux port of Microsoft Office

And I’m not even going to mention Oracle … :wink:

Useful links, just to show I’m not completely bonkers;

Nice list, and I’ll go along with all of those … the javascript and mongoDB predictions are a bit beyond me, but the rest seem not only reasonable, but well reasoned, and highly likely :slight_smile:

Javascript thing is relatively straightforward; essentially they have a subset of the language that they’ve been able to optimise (because it’s very limited) which they call asm.js. This runs inside a browser, just like the full version of Javascript. What you then do is to compile your pre-existing application (probably Javascript) into the subset (using a compiler) , where it will run faster.

If you think about it, optimising a complex language like Javascript is likely to be a complex affair.
If you strip out 90% of the complexity, optimising becomes somewhat easier …
(I guess the concept of RISC chips wouldn’t be all that dissimilar in terms of an analogy)

One interesting thing here; as asm.js is a compiler target, you can in theory write a compiler for any language, then compile “to” asm.js, hence you can write your browser applications in any language (say ‘C’ for example) and not “just” Javascript … :slight_smile:

IMHO SQL (in principle) has simply been outdated - it’s great, but it no longer meets the requirements of “most” users …

I like the sound of the asm.js (kinda reduced instruction set javascript) doo-dad … off to read a little more :slight_smile:

Your “Microsoft will announce the end of the “Windows Desktop” product line” prediction … now whilst I see this as inevitable, I think making the announcement in 2014 may be a bit optimistic … they’ll want to squeeze what little they can out of Win8 before making that announcement, though conversely Win8’s failure might speed it up

But all the signs are there, and Microsoft have never been brilliant at keeping secrets for long … so maybe you’re right … if it’s the plan, they’d certainly want to control the announcement before it got “leaked”

One thing’s for sure … Linux/FOSS had a great 2013 with MASSIVE gains in development/support/input from hardware and software companies (including Microsoft) … it’s only going to continue to accelerate in 2014 :slight_smile:

I think making the announcement in 2014 may be a bit optimistic ..

Well, Elop is in the frame still (afaik) and even if he’s not, he was considered even after his views were known …

Well … Elop FTW then :slight_smile:

I think he’s right.

How about “Canonical will try to restrict free access to its files for all derivatives and will be all but destroyed by the resultant backlash”?

Windows 9 to bring back the ‘start’ button, can’t wait! Haha.

Though this does throw off the prediction of Microsoft announcing the end of the Windows desktop. Lol

“Announce” … not necessarily kill it off this year … Win9 would already be in development.

here’s another Windows9 related article making predictions:

I suppose making their OS free would be an option. But they talk about making money from the “ecosystem” of apps, support and online media but this would be one hell of a struggle to catch up with Apple, Google and Android (on the apps and media side of things).

Maybe they’ll make their source code free too? Lol

Well, that’s the billion dollar question, if Windows was free, would you use it in preference to Linux?

Would you put up with all that mind numbingly slow anti-virus software, all the exploits, all the “you’ll have to wait three years for the next release”, all the “it’s a known problem and it’s on our fix list for next year” etc etc … irrespective of any uncertainly that might surround the source, licensing agreements etc etc … because you just KNOW that you’ll get to a point on your project and find you need the Enterprise component of the uh-ja-whatsit application which is going to set you back $25,000 a year in subscriptions.

  • Unlike the OS community, M$ have a massive operation that needs to be paid for, they simply can’t keep developing Windows, then go and give it away. As much money as they look like they have, W$ is incredibly expensive to develop and maintain, and even when they’re charging $100+ a copy, it’s not exactly what you might call a “cash cow”.

It’s dead. Unfortunately Gates / Balmer haven’t been prepared to give it up, their Ego’s are too big.
Now they’re having problems recruiting a CEO, because Gates and Balmer are still on the board, and the smart guys can see they’re going to try to block what needs to be done to keep M$ afloat. This issue will have to be resolved … next prediction - watch out for M$ board changes!

I think that’s a little wishful thinking…Microsoft may not be enjoying the hey-day from 10 years ago (or even 5 years ago), but in the past they have survived shifts in desktop usage paradigms. Think the shift from DOS to Windows, and then from Windows 3.11 to Windows 95 (argubly the paradigm then didn’t change until Win8). I don’t think you can write them off - I think they’ll buy up a few choice companies, and rip off their technology and implement it in the next Windows, as they have in the past.

I think it more of a long-term strategy question for Microsoft - what is computing going to be like in 10 years? Much the same as now, or will we have forgone laptops entirely in exchange for tablets? Will we use desktops at all, or does Ubuntu have the right idea with a single device used as phone, tablet & desktop? Will PC gaming exist, or does the Steam Machine predict the future of PC gaming (i.e. hooked up to the TV) Because, those scenarios are true, there is no room for Windows in it’s current form. They should be bolstering their tablet OS, and extending it with portable peripherals, and promoting & modifying their Xbox OS for installation on PC hardware (rather than doing it Apple-style, as present). Windows Server will still exist - would benefit from a web console configuration interface, as several Linux server distros have. Quite a lot of server tasks don’t require a full RDP, or even an SSH session, if all you want to do is execute one command. A lot easier to browse the intranet to a web page, then make a few clicks - just like configuring a router.

Linux has the flexibility to cover all these bases at once thanks to FOSS, but a monolith like Microsoft takes time, and they need to make the right decisions at the right time to survive. I bet Microsoft can do this, as they’ve made these sorts of changes in the past. They’re not THAT out of touch with future computing. I worry about Apple & Google implementing features that people don’t really use (anyone use Siri/Google Now all the time? Google Glass?), this must be taking away resources when they could be looking at what people will actually use

Nicely put…

They probably can survive, it’s just making the right decisions on how to move forward, but then again that’s how it is in all business I suppose. Apple or Google could do some major release of some new expensive hardware/software which takes just as much of a battering that windows has done; google glass, etc… It’s all a bit of a gamble really.

Nope … already too late :wink:

And the collapse of a software giant (if history has taught us anything) is rarely a slow process … the world moves on, and if they miss a single boat, the collapse is usually sudden and catastrophic.

Microsoft are on borrowed time as an OS developer … the world has moved on, and they missed the boat … the rest is just the wind down, and how best to manage other revenue streams so you don’t go under completely.

You give Microsoft far too much credit … it was always just a case of right place, right time … they didn’t “innovate” their way to the top, so how do you expect them to “innovate” their way out of this ?

I don't think you can write them off ..

Tish, someone else telling me what I can’t do … :-X

Are you familiar with the expression, “the bigger they come” ??

Perhaps I could quote you a few examples …

Once upon a time there was a company called Netscape, they were the first browser maker, they had the browser AND server AND proxy market sewn up, and their IPO make Mark A a billionaire. They went down like the Titanic with a lead hull. More recently we have “the” mobile phone of business from a company called RIM. They seem to have had a fairly dramatic decline for such a large and solid business. Apple that wonderfully successful company actually went down in 1997 and is only here today because it was saved by M$ (!) [wonder if Bill regrets that one?!]

Sun Microsystems were huge, they made their own chips, their own servers, produced and maintained Java, bought and supported MySQL and OpenOffice … they seemed to have mucho $$$'s in the bank when they went tits up! Not to mention of course SCO Unix, who had the PC Unix market sewn up, then within the space of 18 months or so, nobody wanted to know any more. (I could also mention Nokia who got so cheap they’re now M$, Sony who’re in real trouble, Yahoo who seem to be on an endless downward spiral, AOL pretty much went down in 2009 after having the US dialup market to themselves, and were split / rebranded, whereas in 2006 apparently, if you believe Wikipedia, 50% of all CD’s manufactured worldwide had AOL logo’s on them. That’s a pretty steep drop!)

Anyway, point is that M$ needs to have a very large income just to maintain.

Once that starts to drop, it’s a slippery slope. The problem they have is Android, there’s now more Android out there than all versions of Windows desktop put together, and given their “only” argument in terms of retaining the average user is familiarity, as soon as someone sticks an Android(ish) PC out there I really don’t see Windows 8 being an attractive alternative for someone who already has an Android Phone and possibly an Android tablet. (not least after you factor in the cost difference)

I have an Android box hooked up to my TV with bluetooth keyboard/mouse … it’s no good to a tekkie (although OpenVPN/ssh workfine) , but for your average home user, it wouldn’t take all that much tweaking for it to be a no-brainer Windows replacement.

Android PC’s are already starting to appear

And if they take off you can expect both Google and the millions of software devs that have already ditched Windows for Android to steadily make them more capable.

Face it, Windows is dead … the software devs have moved elsewhere, and the OEM’s would prefer Android for many reasons, price, ability to customise, and the fact that M$ has become a direct competitor (with an unfair advantage) by entering the hardware arena, to name a few.

Also see:

Nice post MP - can’t agree with all those examples though. I used to use Netscape Navigator (and Composer!), I presumed they open-sourced it as Firefox? Can’t really remember ::slight_smile:

RIM is a good example though, a company that was ruling the building-world roost 10 years ago, but rested on its laurels and didn’t evolve with the times, and now look at it. You couldn’t give me RIM shares (if you did, I’d sell them immediately!). But Microsoft are 100/1000/??? times bigger than RIM, and that allows them more time to fix their model. Time is money, in that money can buy you time.

Mark - I guess you’re having a bad Windows day :stuck_out_tongue: I see what you’re saying, but I fear the day that Android takes over the desktop. I don’t like the OS that much…it’s the best phone/tablet OS, but there’s a reason you don’t get iOS on Mac desktops, and it’s the same reason I don’t want Android on my desktop. That said, as I said earlier - there is a paradigm shift going on, and maybe in 5 years time, I’ll feel differently. Maybe I’ll be happy using Android as my primary OS on a tablet, but as of right now I can’t see it. I like the ability to get under the hood, and really customise & investigate the workings of Linux, and you can’t do it the same on any other OS. To be fair though, 99% of the world DON’T want that, and that’s the market. In which case, Linux is going next to nowhere in terms of market share (not counting the kernel in Android!) :frowning:

Edit: Actually, thinking about it, the very argument I use to promote Linux, is the argument that would be used to promote Android. It’s the business case scenario, where you define requirements, then look for solutions that fit, rather than the other way around. In which case: Web browsing - check, documents - check, spreadsheets - check, gaming - err…check…, file cloud syncing - check, music playing - check, movie playing - …check…, anything else? As, Android technically covers all those bases :o Just the peripheral issue to solve, and that’s an easy one. Wow, the future can be scary sometimes :-\

The point is it doesn’t matter what YOU (or I) want, Android coming to the desktop will help (along with other options such as not having a desktop at all, iOS, Mac and Linux) take ENOUGH market share to make Windows development unprofitable, untenable, and a massive drain on other revenue streams.

Remember, Microsoft is a BUSINESS … when something becomes unprofitable and a drain on profitable revenue streams, they’ll drop it or die as a company … that’s a fundamental business principle.

The desktop won’t completely die, but its market won’t be large enough to support Windows development costs and all the other overheads, support, distribution, lawyers, advertising, OEM smoochers, lobbyists, dirty tricks brigade, etc.

Money is already buying Microsoft time … but it won’t/can’t last.

Take off your blinkers … this is NOT a prediction, it’s already history … Just a few short years ago Windows was the OS placed on (and this is a pure guess) about 97%(ish ?) of all computers/devices that has a screen … now where are they ?

Windows is in a serious downward spiral, and the truth is it’s NOT the Windows 8 debacle that’s the root cause (though it didn’t help). The cause is a move away from the desktop and the rise of Android … and there’s NOTHING Microsoft can do to fix that, it doesn’t matter if Win9 is the best OS ever made if people no longer use the devices it’s meant for and it can’t grab the new markets attention.

I agree, I personally don’t think Android is (yet) a viable desktop OS replacement, but that’s NOT the point, the point is it’s taken enough market share to destroy Windows … then when it’s gone, what do you think will fill the much shrunk “traditional” desktop OS gap ?

Thinking about it, I don’t think the “traditional” desktop will exist in 5 years time. I think you’ll have “living room comptuting”, which will include gaming & photo/video editing (doesn’t have to be living room, just a big screen with wireless KB&M or whatever), and you will have a tablet + dock (convertible laptop, basically) for browsing, office software, and media.

So, if Microsoft ditched Windows per se, you’d have Xbox OS for the “living room computing” (on non-Xbox hardware, with the necessary applications), and Windows RT+++ (for the tablets/laptops). Or, you have Windows Tablet x86, and bully OEMs to produce low-spec Surface Pros, effectively. Be a brave CEO to do that, but it’ll need brave decisions for them to survive (…and a miracle, as I’m sure you’ll say ::slight_smile: :P))

Ok, I’m now going to do something really scary … I’m going to recommend SKY.
<fx: ducks and runs>

Now I have to use SKY because I can’t get a terrestrial signal in my bunker here 100ft below ground, so I have to rely on a satellite dish on the surface for my TV. However, this isn’t the SKY service I’m recommending, indeed I feel more than a little ripped off by SKY and their charges over the years and would never recommend their satellite services, simply based on their charges and the rate at which they seem to keep putting them up.

Anyone who’s not tried it, this is where you need to be;


I was paying £31 per month for the basic package + HD.
Now I’m paying £0 for freeview (BBC, 4OD etc) £4.99 for the Entertainment package, and when I want it £8.99 for movies.
(and it’s HD and you can pay/not pay on a month by month basis, i.e. no contract)

So this is £14 per month for what I had, PLUS movies … and given you can use two boxes simultaneously, then it’s effectively half this price if you figure you effectively have “multi-room” or the ability to share the cost with a friend.

What does this have to do with the price of fish?

What you use to watch movies is not what you will use when you want access to the Internet / Email etc …
The Sky now box is £9.99 incl, comes with a remote and the interface is pretty much like the website.
(i.e. it makes the satellite system look like a green screen terminal)
You’re really not going to mess with it and complain because it has no keyboard etc, when you want to do something else you’ll use a PC.

  • this M$ concept of owning the living room, it’s yet another short-sighted vision by a company that lost it’s way many (many) years ago … I’m an XBox fan and have owned three XBOX’s and around fice XBOX 360’s … (so don’t believe their user numbers, XBOX’s don’t last so long if you use them a lot!) … but nothing is going to persuade me to buy a ONE after what they tried to do with DRM.

Whatever you do (!) don’t go spending a few hundred quid on an XBOX One as a media center when you can get as good for a tenner.

  • what you will probably see more of is tablets and laptops being able to cast their display to a big-screen TV … but to be honest, if you’ve ever used your TV as a monitor, it’s “Ok”, but typically not something you’ll do if you can be bothered to go sit at a desk. The “desk” top is going to be with us for quite some time just yet, certainly until they rethink how interfaces work. (i.e. keyboard/touch/mouse etc …)

Incidentally have you seen the new adverts for the Surface Pro, with the guy on the train?
Do they seriously call that an ad?? It’s more like “this is a really good box, honest, look! , it’s got a word processor!” …

  • even their marketing department seems to have given up!