Archive for December, 2011

2012 Mobile & OSS Predictions

Posted: December 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

Many a pundit puts together predictions for the next year but they aren’t engineers.

  • Voice will drive new user interface innovation in 2012. Android will do something to try and catch up with Siri but  include ads in some fashion. Apple will open up the Siri API so that 3rd party developers can take advantage of it.
  • Mobile app authors will continue to make more money on iOS than Android.
  • Windows 8 on anything but intel will flop. PC sales will continue to slow as tablets will take the place of PCs for some.
  • RIM is doomed. I expect tar, feathers and pitch. It won’t end well.
  • Nokia will continue to free fall.
  • We will see significantly increased display resolutions in the tablet space. The iPad will gain a retina display and Siri. There will be some sort of android based tablet that will follow up with that kind of resolution as well. Likewise in the workstation/laptop space with thunderbolt going onto all intel motherboards come mid year, thunderbolt will take off and display resolutions will fly by 1080p.
  • Android based tablets will continue to fail.
  • Amazon will evolve the fire and follow on products to the fire. Like Apple they will pitch their offering as an integrated solution with apps, books, movies and music. It’s not about the processor anymore. Their sales will be good.
  • Apple will release an updated Apple TV but not a TV. It’ll include the ability to run apps, paired with the networks (channels are apps, apps are channels) and it will include Siri voice control. GoogleTV will continue to go no where.
  • This will not be the year of the Linux Desktop.
  • WebOS development will gain a following in open source circles once the source is released. It will be ported to arm development boards. The device manufacturers will gain interest. However none will ship a phone based on it this year.
  • Use of the GPL/LGPL will continue to wane. Use of BSD/MIT/Apache licenses will continue to rise.
  • Server Linux on ARM will for the time being be experimental. However it sill start to gain a following as ARM server hardware will continue to evolve.

Appox a year ago Bob Sutor made some open source predictions for 2011. I answered the same questions, given it’s the end of the year. Time for some claim chowder.

  • Will ChromeOS from Google be an interesting player, will it merge with Android, and will it replace Windows on hundreds of millions of desktops? No / Yes / No
Results: No / No / No.
  • Will Android devices surpass those from Apple? Probably, but it’s a bad question. The better question is will Android surpass Apple’s quality and usability to make it a better product. No.
Results: Yes (for the phone market) No (for tablets)  And my own question about Android engineering a better experience than iOS in 2011. No.
Siri seems to be the the major piece of UI innovation in 2011.
  • Will one tablet maker emerge that will clobber the iPad in market share? No
Didn’t happen. At least Amazon is sort of making things interesting even tho their Kindle Fire has major problems.
  • Will some flavor of Windows be more significant than Android on tablets? No, nor will windows on a tablet surpass iOS
Windows made no forward progress on anywhere but PCs.
  • Will we see more open source apps on the most popular smartphone platforms? No. This is another poorly worded question. Who wants to use emacs on a smartphone? Developers want to make money. That’s the whole point and that’s why iOS and to a limited extent Android apps are successful. What’s the motivation, whats the ITCH for open source apps on smartphones? There isn’t any save for the hobby of bringing the familiar into the platform. Linux is about making a great operating system, not about making great apps.
You’d be hard pressed to identify a popular opens source app on any mobile platform.
  • Will Linux gain further market share as people continue to flee from Solaris and install new servers for new applications? Sure, but in the end it’s just a trade of Unix for Unix. Yawn.
I haven’t seen market share numbers for 2011 wrt AIX, Solaris, Linux in the server market place.
  • Will there be more lawsuits around the use of open source in smartphones? Yes, but it’s not the open source developers that are driving the conversation here nor do they hold the poker chips. It’s the big name companies, Linux is just a pawn and that’s problematic.
One of the major headlines of 2011 was all the IP related lawsuits in the mobile market.
  • Will Windows Phone 7 beat out Android phones or iPhones? Doubtful
Didn’t happen.
  • Will LibreOffice pass OpenOffice in downloads? The better question is, Will LibreOffice be a major source of innovation in the word processor, desktop office suite space in 2011? No.
Haven’t seen download numbers. LibreOffice and OpenOffice aren’t apps that the average person on the street want to use. Numbers, Pages on tablets however on any iOS device are more than usable, it’s no longer a notable development when someone creates something using these apps on a tablet. The very popular Scrivener is under development for iOS. THAT is both news and something people are excited for! Do people ask for LibreOffice/OpenOffice on tablets etc?  Nope, no one cares.
  • Will open source virtualization via KVM start to gain market share against VMWare and Microsoft HyperV? Yes.
Unsure. I haven’t seen numbers. I suspect this didn’t happen.
  • Will the “open cloud” become more significant and more widely implemented? No. The cloud has been defined by the amazons, googles and such. It’s not a question of open. It’s a question of what those leaders in the market will do. There is no open cloud.
The year wasn’t about the open cloud. The year was about solutions where the cloud was an implementation detail. Dropbox, iCloud for example. It was about SmugMug who when one cloud service (which they used) when down and they were not affected since SmugMug intelligently failedover to another part of the same cloud service.
  • Will Windows Internet Explorer continue to lose market share to Firefox, Chrome, and Safari? Yes.
Yup. Now under 50%.
  • Will Diaspora replace FaceBook? No.
Didn’t happen.
  • Will any open source system replace WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla in the top three of open source content management systems? No.
Didn’t happen.
  • Will 2011 be the Year of the Linux Desktop? The better question is Will Linux gain market share in the Desktop market? The answer continues to be No. I disagree completely with Bob Sutor that the question is indeed VERY relevant. Because Linux continues to gain no ground here, if not indeed lose ground it’s a very significant ding to Linux. Desktop Linux was driving what little usability there is in the open source ecosystem. I predict Desktop Linux use will fall in 2011 and that Android will drive open source usability in so much that the Meegos, kwin, gnome-mobiles will follow but not drive open source innovation. I believe there is a slight chance that a new mobile operating system which will be a blend of Linaro, Meego and other bits could happen and find success.
No growth in desktop linux. Meego died. No blend of Linaro etc into a new mobile operating system.
  • Will Linaro become a major factor in arm Linux in 2011. Yes. Further I believe that Android will start to utilize parts of Linaro and I believe the Meego project that runs on arm hardware will evolve if not fracture completely away from Meego to use Linaro. (If not Meego will be a complete flop and die by EOY since Linaro cares about ARM, Intel does not)
As mentioned Meego died. Android picking up pieces of Linaro… stay tuned :-).
Not too many hours to go until 2012. Time for 2012 predictions but in another post.