Computer trends for 2014

Here is my collection of trends and predictions for year 2014:

It seems that PC market is not recovering in 2014. IDC is forecasting that the technology channel will buy in around 34 million fewer PCs this year than last. It seem that things aren’t going to improve any time soon (down, down, down until 2017?). There will be no let-up on any front, with desktops and portables predicted to decline in both the mature and emerging markets. Perhaps the chief concern for future PC demand is a lack of reasons to replace an older system: PC usage has not moved significantly beyond consumption and productivity tasks to differentiate PCs from other devices. As a result, PC lifespan continue to increase. Death of the Desktop article says that sadly for the traditional desktop, this is only a matter of time before its purpose expires and that it would be inevitable it will happen within this decade. (I expect that it will not completely disappear).

When the PC business is slowly decreasing, smartphone and table business will increase quickly. Some time in the next six months, the number of smartphones on earth will pass the number of PCs. This shouldn’t really surprise anyone: the mobile business is much bigger than the computer industry. There are now perhaps 3.5-4 billion mobile phones, replaced every two years, versus 1.7-1.8 billion PCs replaced every 5 years. Smartphones broke down that wall between those industries few years ago – suddenly tech companies could sell to an industry with $1.2 trillion annual revenue. Now you can sell more phones in a quarter than the PC industry sells in a year.

After some years we will end up with somewhere over 3bn smartphones in use on earth, almost double the number of PCs. There are perhaps 900m consumer PCs on earth, and maybe 800m corporate PCs. The consumer PCs are mostly shared and the corporate PCs locked down, and neither are really mobile. Those 3 billion smartphones will all be personal, and all mobile. Mobile browsing is set to overtake traditional desktop browsing in 2015. The smartphone revolution is changing how consumers use the Internet. This will influence web design.

crystalball

The only PC sector that seems to have some growth is server side. Microservers & Cloud Computing to Drive Server Growth article says that increased demand for cloud computing and high-density microserver systems has brought the server market back from a state of decline. We’re seeing fairly significant change in the server market. According to the 2014 IC Market Drivers report, server unit shipment growth will increase in the next several years, thanks to purchases of new, cheaper microservers. The total server IC market is projected to rise by 3% in 2014 to $14.4 billion: multicore MPU segment for microservers and NAND flash memories for solid state drives are expected to see better numbers.

Spinning rust and tape are DEAD. The future’s flash, cache and cloud article tells that the flash is the tier for primary data; the stuff christened tier 0. Data that needs to be written out to a slower response store goes across a local network link to a cloud storage gateway and that holds the tier 1 nearline data in its cache. Never mind software-defined HYPE, 2014 will be the year of storage FRANKENPLIANCES article tells that more hype around Software-Defined-Everything will keep the marketeers and the marchitecture specialists well employed for the next twelve months but don’t expect anything radical. The only innovation is going to be around pricing and consumption models as vendors try to maintain margins. FCoE will continue to be a side-show and FC, like tape, will soldier on happily. NAS will continue to eat away at the block storage market and perhaps 2014 will be the year that object storage finally takes off.

IT managers are increasingly replacing servers with SaaS article says that cloud providers take on a bigger share of the servers as overall market starts declining. An in-house system is no longer the default for many companies. IT managers want to cut the number of servers they manage, or at least slow the growth, and they may be succeeding. IDC expects that anywhere from 25% to 30% of all the servers shipped next year will be delivered to cloud services providers. In three years, 2017, nearly 45% of all the servers leaving manufacturers will be bought by cloud providers. The shift will slow the purchase of server sales to enterprise IT. Big cloud providers are more and more using their own designs instead of servers from big manufacturers. Data center consolidations are eliminating servers as well. For sure, IT managers are going to be managing physical servers for years to come. But, the number will be declining.

I hope that the IT business will start to grow this year as predicted. Information technology spends to increase next financial year according to N Chandrasekaran, chief executive and managing director of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India’s largest information technology (IT) services company. IDC predicts that IT consumption will increase next year to 5 per cent worldwide to $ 2.14 trillion. It is expected that the biggest opportunity will lie in the digital space: social, mobility, cloud and analytics. The gradual recovery of the economy in Europe will restore faith in business. Companies are re-imaging their business, keeping in mind changing digital trends.

The death of Windows XP will be on the new many times on the spring. There will be companies try to cash in with death of Windows XP: Microsoft’s plan for Windows XP support to end next spring, has received IT services providers as well as competitors to invest in their own services marketing. HP is peddling their customers Connected Backup 8.8 service to prevent data loss during migration. VMware is selling cloud desktop service. Google is wooing users to switch to ChromeOS system by making Chrome’s user interface familiar to wider audiences. The most effective way XP exploiting is the European defense giant EADS subsidiary of Arkoon, which promises support for XP users who do not want to or can not upgrade their systems.

There will be talk on what will be coming from Microsoft next year. Microsoft is reportedly planning to launch a series of updates in 2015 that could see major revisions for the Windows, Xbox, and Windows RT platforms. Microsoft’s wave of spring 2015 updates to its various Windows-based platforms has a codename: Threshold. If all goes according to early plans, Threshold will include updates to all three OS platforms (Xbox One, Windows and Windows Phone).

crystalball

Amateur programmers are becoming increasingly more prevalent in the IT landscape. A new IDC study has found that of the 18.5 million software developers in the world, about 7.5 million (roughly 40 percent) are “hobbyist developers,” which is what IDC calls people who write code even though it is not their primary occupation. The boom in hobbyist programmers should cheer computer literacy advocates.IDC estimates there are almost 29 million ICT-skilled workers in the world as we enter 2014, including 11 million professional developers.

The Challenge of Cross-language Interoperability will be more and more talked. Interfacing between languages will be increasingly important. You can no longer expect a nontrivial application to be written in a single language. With software becoming ever more complex and hardware less homogeneous, the likelihood of a single language being the correct tool for an entire program is lower than ever. The trend toward increased complexity in software shows no sign of abating, and modern hardware creates new challenges. Now, mobile phones are starting to appear with eight cores with the same ISA (instruction set architecture) but different speeds, some other streaming processors optimized for different workloads (DSPs, GPUs), and other specialized cores.

Just another new USB connector type will be pushed to market. Lightning strikes USB bosses: Next-gen ‘type C’ jacks will be reversible article tells that USB is to get a new, smaller connector that, like Apple’s proprietary Lightning jack, will be reversible. Designed to support both USB 3.1 and USB 2.0, the new connector, dubbed “Type C”, will be the same size as an existing micro USB 2.0 plug.

2,118 Comments

  1. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Cortex-A9 processors integrate data-mining features
    http://www.edn.com/electronics-products/other/4438012/Cortex-A9-processors-integrate-data-mining-features?_mc=NL_EDN_EDT_EDN_today_20141217&cid=NL_EDN_EDT_EDN_today_20141217&elq=2b0e1b42fd9443e38c9b046332b78c1d&elqCampaignId=20755

    Toshiba has an ARM Cortex-A9 based application processor series with enhanced sound and image data-mining and security functions, which it intends for use in embedded, handheld devices and industrial equipment.

    Three application processors are the latest additions to the ApP Lite ARM Cortex-A9-based TZ2000 series. These are high performance application processors, which support enhanced sound and image data-mining, communications and security functions.

    The TZ2100 group devices have 1 MByte of built-in SRAM that supports processing of start-up code and data during program execution without any need for external DRAM.

    Reply
  2. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Untangling .NET Core: Open source for Windows, Mac, Linux
    More changes, but it’ll be different this time, honest
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/12/18/untangling_net_core_microsoft_answers_questions_on_net_futures/

    Exclusive Interview It is all change in the Microsoft .NET World, as the company takes the technology open source and cross-platform. But how will old and new fit together? El Reg speaks to Director of Program Management Jay Schmelzer.

    In early December Microsoft’s Immo Landwerth wrote a lengthy post explaining that Microsoft’s core development stack is being forked.

    The existing .NET Framework, a runtime and set of libraries for languages including C# and Visual Basic, will continue on Windows for desktop development and optionally for ASP.NET, the web application stack.

    Reply
  3. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Transforming Security Into an Enabler: The Validated Best of Breed Certification Paradigm
    http://www.securityweek.com/transforming-security-enabler-validated-best-breed-certification-paradigm

    Current Certification and Accreditation Regimes Have Become a Hindrance to the Rapid Fielding of Effective Software Solutions

    According to the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, between 2001 and 2011 the Department of Defense (DoD) spent some $46 billion on a dozen or more programs that never achieved operational capability.

    Security drives many of these software issues. Security requirements for information assurance, risk management, and certification and accreditation constrain Government organizations with respect to software allowed on Government networks. On one level, this is nothing more than managing the supply chain to prudently mitigate security risks to systems and networks. Unfortunately, these security measures often become procedural impediments and disablers, preventing Government programs from implementing optimal solutions.

    The intent of these requirements is uniformly good, but problems arise as they are distilled into a myriad of risk management policies and directives. This results in a security environment where many excellent, and often cost effective, software components are unavailable for Government use. In many cases these components are proven commercial products (both proprietary and open source) that simply lack the right certification or accreditation pedigree. A brief look at one of the most important security certification standards, the “Common Criteria for Information Technology Security Evaluation” (Common Criteria), helps to illustrate the point.

    Instead of providing useful security, assurance programs often stifle innovation, retard the economy and entrench monopolies. Clearly, these are unintended outcomes. A proactive certification regime’s goals should be to create a broad catalogue of approved software and, at the same time, ensure security through a rapid and cost effective vetting process. Achieving these would go a long way toward addressing the acquisitions dilemmas that continue to plague the Government.

    Reply
  4. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Emil Protalinski / VentureBeat:
    WordPress 4.1 arrives with new default theme, distraction-free writing mode, Vine embeds, and more

    WordPress 4.1 arrives with new default theme, distraction-free writing mode, Vine embeds, and more
    http://venturebeat.com/2014/12/18/wordpress-4-1-arrives-with-new-default-theme-distraction-free-writing-mode-vine-embeds-and-more/

    WordPress.org today launched WordPress 4.1, which adds a slew of new features to help you “focus on your writing” with the blog management tool. You can download the new release now from WordPress.org/Download (6.4MB).

    Reply
  5. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Emil Protalinski / VentureBeat:
    Windows App Studio gets TouchDevelop programming language and web app templates, drops Windows Phone 8.0
    http://venturebeat.com/2014/12/17/windows-app-studio-gets-touchdevelop-programming-language-and-web-app-templates-drops-windows-phone-8-0/

    Microsoft today updated Windows App Studio, its free web-based tool designed to let anyone create an app, with support for TouchDevelop, a touch-friendly programming language that includes a physics engine and a user-interface framework for composing forms. The company also added universal Web App Template (WAT) creation — but dropped support for Windows Phone 8.0.

    TouchDevelop allows developers to write code directly on any device while using sensors and media via high-level APIs.

    Next up, universal WAT creation means you can build apps that will run on phones, PCs, and tablets. Microsoft hopes website owners will package mobile-optimized versions of their sites into a universal app and publish it on its app stores.

    As for Windows Phone support, creating, editing, and updating apps with Windows App Studio is now limited to universal Windows apps for devices running Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1.

    Windows App Studio is still in beta, and Microsoft didn’t say when it expects to release the first stable version. By the company’s count, the tool now has over 2.3 million users, with a potential 250,000 registered TouchDevelop users that may join following today’s release.

    Reply
  6. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Windows Browser Ballot comes to an end as EC obligation expires
    It was designed to stimulate competition in the browser market.
    http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2014/12/windows-browser-ballot-comes-to-an-end-as-ec-obligation-expires/

    Microsoft will cease showing EU-based Windows users a selection screen offering a choice of different browsers to install, known as the browser ballot.

    In December 2009, and after lengthy negotiations, the European Commission and Microsoft finally agreed on the form and nature of the Windows browser ballot.

    The software company and industry regulator agreed that the ballot would be offered for five years. According to a Knowledge Base article that Microsoft published today, that five-year obligation has now ended and new Windows users will no longer be shown the screen.

    While there were early signs that the browser ballot screen was influencing browser usage in the EU, with Mozilla attributing some European Firefox growth to the selection page, long-term trends strongly suggest that it was next to useless.

    Reply
  7. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Forrester: CIO and CMO must work together or risk losing market share
    Collaboration will be key to increase customer focus next year
    http://www.computerworlduk.com/news/careers/3591419/forrester-cio-cmo-must-work-together-or-risk-losing-market-share/

    CIOs and CMOs must work more closely to increase focus on customers next year or risk losing market share, Forrester Research has warned.

    A survey of 308 marketing and technology management leaders showed that only half (51 percent) of CMO and CIOs collaborate on selection and deployment of technologies within their organisation. At the same time, 57 percent of technology leaders believe their CIO and CMO develop joint technology strategies, while 47 percent of marketing leaders agree.

    “Half of CMOs and CIOs deploy projects jointly – these are the companies that will establish competitive advantage. The other half will get left behind,” said Forrester’s chief research officer, Cliff Condon.

    However there are signs that these C-level executives are open to working more closely, with mutual trust between CIOs and CMOs cited by technology (68 percent) and marketing managers (62 percent).

    Reply
  8. Tomi Engdahl says:
    NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
    Now you can run your own intelligence agency
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/11/25/nsa_source_code_release/

    The NSA has decided to let the public have a peek at what it’s been up to, for a change, by promising to release some of its data analysis tools under an open-source license.

    On Tuesday, intelligence-gobbling agency said it hopes to make the code to NiFi – a project previously known internally as Niagarafiles – available as an Apache Incubator Project under an Apache License.

    Described as a tool for automating data flows across multiple networks, even where data formats and protocols differ, NiFi is based on the concept of flow-based programming.

    The idea behind open sourcing it, the NSA says, is for private industry to benefit from the US government’s research and vice versa.

    “Posting the code to open source forums allows the private sector and others to examine the agency’s research up close, and potentially benefit from it through additional enhancements and applications,” the agency said in a press release. “At the same time, the government can gain from related research advances.”

    Reply
  9. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Fujitsu’s customers come big data samba dancing
    Get down on the analytics dance floor
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/12/19/fujitsu_customers_come_strictly_big_data_dancing/

    Fujitsu is helping its customers get up (and down again) on the big data dance floor and do the analytics samba with an integrated bundle of HW and SW and services called PRIMEFLEX for Hadoop (PfH – our initials) to save customers from any DIY aggro.

    Fujitsu’s PRIMEFLEX – the company loves all-caps product names – is an integrated or converged Primergy server-based system brand, adding in networking, storage, and system/middleware software (including management and support) to produce an appliance-like offering.

    The software can come from Microsoft, SAP and VMware and Fujitsu aims to produce around 20 models focussed on different use cases. Think Fblocks, like Vblocks, and you won’t be far wrong.

    There’s a PRIMEFLEX for EVO: RAIL and an in-memory-data grid version; PRIMEFLEX for Terracotta BigMemory.

    PfH is the latest variant, and called an enterprise data hub. It contains:

    Primergy cluster using either CX (entry) or RX (rack systems) or CX multi-node servers
    Switchless torus network
    10GB/sec iner-connect
    Datameer Software 5 – self-service big data analytics software
    Cloudera Enterprise 5 – open source Hadoop software distribution

    There are different versions of PfH, with one optimised for storage-intensive tasks and another for processing-intensive work. They are packaged into complete systems with a single part number.

    We could think that a Datameer is the Dutch equivalent of a data lake. It being self-service means that query set-up is much faster than waiting for IT admins to set them up for you, according to Fujitsu.

    There is a set of available services; big data strategy consulting, analytics and Hadoop consulting, and integration services for entry-level and rack-level PfH configs. Fujitsu said it has set up a European-based Big Data centre of expertise which customers can tap into.

    Reply
  10. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Judge spanks SCO in ancient ownership of Unix lawsuit
    IBM win means Linux is saved! Again!
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/12/19/judge_spanks_sco_in_ancient_ownership_of_unix_lawsuit/

    IBM has had a win in its long court battle with SCO over just who owns Unix and, by extension, whether Linux is an unauthorised clone.

    The crucial bit of the ruling looks to be this paragraph:

    SCO is bound by, and may not here re-litigate, the rulings in the Novell Judgment that Novell (not SCO) owns the copyrights to the pre-1996 UNIX source code, and that Novell waived SCO’s contract claims against IBM for alleged breaches of the licensing agreements pursuant to which IBM licensed such source code.

    Interestingly, it looks like IBM is hurrying this one along: the ruling says Big Blue moved for partial summary judgement in the case.

    Reply
  11. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Expect Labs Raises $13 Million for ‘Anticipatory’ Computing
    http://blogs.wsj.com/venturecapital/2014/12/18/expect-labs-raises-13-million-for-anticipatory-computing/

    Expect Labs Inc. is poised to expand its speech recognition technology that predicts what you will say–and what you intend to search for–before you say it.

    The idea driving the San Francisco-based startup is to provide an alternative to keyboards and other interfaces to help people weave more technology into their daily lives with less friction. Such alternatives are becoming increasingly important given the focus on microphones in the next generation of connected devices.

    Founded in 2011 by a corps of engineers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and led by serial entrepreneur Tim Tuttle, Expect Labs recognizes natural speech in real time. The technology engine, which surfaces information from the public Web and private sources like Dropbox and Google Docs, then presents items people might find useful while they’re speaking based on their location, social connections, past behavior and other data points.

    The Expect Labs team launched a consumer app called MindMeld late last year to showcase what the anticipatory engine could do. The company’s focus isn’t on wooing consumers however–it is on wooing developers.

    The company, which charges developers per application programming interface, or API, call completed, is cash-flow positive, he said.

    “Speech recognition will be a solved problem within 12 months with language recognition [by technology] better than by humans,” Mr. Tuttle said. “In the next six months, I think the general public will become more aware of this. It will start with English” and expand to other languages.

    Reply
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    Reply
  13. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Ten Flash Drives That Will Turn Heads (and Store Your Data!)
    http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1325078&

    We all have a few discarded USB flash drives lying around with some long-forgotten data on them. I have one right next to me. it’s has a ridiculous 64 megabytes of memory!

    Today’s flash drives–many custom made–are not your father’s flash drives.

    Listed here are ten unusual USB flash drives obviously designed by geeks–ranging from Steampunk designs using scavenged electronic components to movie and comic book character hacks.

    Reply
  14. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Skype Translator Hands-On: Close But No Babel Fish
    http://gizmodo.com/skype-translator-hands-on-close-but-no-babel-fish-1671457117

    When Skype announced its real-time translation program back in May, most of us seized on the sci-fi-ness off it all—Star Trek’s universal translator, Babel fish, etc. But the technology is very real, and has been for years, just it separate pieces. Skype Translator is is the commercial culmination of those efforts, bringing all those things, like speech recognition, automated translation, and machine learning, into one program.

    This week Skype began rolling out the “first phase” of Translator, a beta version of the service’s live speech translating feature (between Spanish and English for now) and text translation for 40+ languages.

    The promise of breaking down the global language barrier is a lofty one—solving the human speech puzzle with all its nuance and imperfection would give our machines a skill that has forever been uniquely human. Skype Translator doesn’t quite reach it. Not yet, anyway.

    For Skype Translator to work properly, there is a little mental conditioning involved. For one, you must speak slowly. Skype Translator’s speech recognition is good, and plenty fast, but that accuracy decreases as you speed up in words per minute.

    Also, you’ll need to make exaggerated pauses when you’re done speaking. Skype Translator will translate pretty quickly.

    Skype Translator will start the conversation with audio translation turned on, meaning after every translated sentence, your male or female avatar, will hop in

    Once you’re able to rewire your brain to Translator speak, then this program is really quite amazing. The speech recognition is the foundation of all the translation work. It needs to be perfect. Microsoft says headphones with a dedicated microphone will yield the best results, and for the most part, that was true. But even talking unplugged and over loud music, Translator was still able to do its thing pretty accurately.

    Skype Translator Beta really feels like a language assistant that a true translator.

    This an overly simplistic representation of the advanced computer science going on here, but Skype Translator recognizes your voice, corrects for any stuttering or ticks, translates and then delivers to the listener—all in a split second.

    Reply

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