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.


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).


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.


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Introducing Steam Gauge: Ars reveals Steam’s most popular games
    We sampled public data to estimate sales and gameplay info for every Steam game.
  2. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Why file sync and share apps like Box and Dropbox weren’t conceived for the enterprise

    Last week I gave an interview with Computing, in which I argued that Box and other file sync and share applications weren’t designed for enterprise use. The story drew a lot of commentary

    The initial design point for these solutions was to satisfy the needs of individuals who wanted to easily store and share files across multiple devices with family and friends. They began by creating an open system that could be used to share and distribute content as widely as possible.

    It was only later that these companies decided to focus on the enterprise software marketplace and set their sights on replacing SharePoint and other ECM deployments in large companies.

    They are trying to pivot and re-invent their technology, business model and support services to meet the demanding requirements of corporate IT and central compliance functions

    Sharing is good…but sharing outside the company is DIFFERENT.

    Companies need control over the flow of information and content.

    They need employees to structure their use of information and to pay close attention to its lifecycle.

    protecting that content while sharing it with the right people at the right time is a strategic imperative to aid customers in getting “work done.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Microsoft reissues Windows 8.1 Update for enterprise customers
    Install it now, because August is the new cutoff for future fixes
  4. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Open source code has fewer errors than proprietary code
    Latest survey reveals paradigm shift

    THE QUALITY of open source code has overtaken that of proprietary code for the first time, according to a survey.

    Coverity revealed that of the 750 million lines of code it scanned during 2013, the errors in proprietary code exceeded those of open source code for the first time, on all code base sizes.

    The open source defect density measure was .59 defects per 1,000 lines of C/C++ code, compared with .72 for proprietary code.

    Other findings include the fact that Java developers were less likely to fix faults with their code, with 13 percent of identified errors, compared with C/C++ programmers

    The Coverity Scan service was initially a product of the US Department of Homeland Security before it was taken over by Coverity.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:
    To deal with the hardware problem IBM has sold its x86 server business to Lenovo and is trying to grow sales of its POWER chips through an ARM-style foundation, but Schroeter acknowledged on the call that a “secular issue” – biz-speak for a fundamental change in how the tech market works – means that POWER chips are in a tough (read: neither ARM or x86) place.


  6. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Google Launches Chrome Remote Desktop On Android, Allowing Mobile Access To Your PC

    Google this morning launched a mobile client application called “Chrome Remote Desktop app for Android” (whew!) which allows for remote access to your Mac or PC from your Android device, whether smartphone or tablet. The new app is an extension of Google’s previously launched Chrome Remote Desktop screen-sharing service, which allows you to share your desktop’s screen with other Chrome browser or Chromebook users.

    As with its big-screen counterpart, to use the Android application you first have to install a helper application on your desktop or laptop computer. That app is here in the Chrome Web Store and works on Windows (XP and above), Mac (OS X 10.6 and above) and Linux computers.

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Microsoft slashes Windows XP custom support prices just days before axing public patches
    Reduces after-retirement support costs for large enterprises as much as 95%

    Just days before Microsoft retired Windows XP from public support, the company drastically reduced the price of custom support agreements that give large companies and government agencies another year of XP patches, experts reported today.

    “I believe that Microsoft changed prices because it decided that not enough customers were enrolling in the program, and it was apprehensive of the ramifications of any Windows XP vulnerabilities,” said Daryl Ullman, co-founder and managing director of the Emerset Consulting Group, a firm that specializes in helping companies negotiate software licensing deals.

    At Ullman’s recommendation, one Emerset client had spurned a $2 million deal two weeks ago to provide 10,000 XP PCs with custom support. But Microsoft came back days later with an price of just $250,000. Ullman advised his client to jump at what he called “an insurance policy,” and the firm signed on the dotted line.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:
    No, we’re not in an IT ‘stockapoclyse’ – boom (and bust) is exactly what tech world needs
    Love Google? Thank the first dot-com bubble

    Is this the stockapoclyse, as tech shares crater into the ground and no more money gets invested into the sector? Or is that 20 per cent fall in the largest internet-based companies – Netflix, Flicker and Twitter – that $275bn drop in collective value over the last month, just an overdue correction to recent price run ups?

    Well, this is the stock market so the correct answer is: who knows? Google, Microsoft Oracle have also seen their stocks drop recently, while Cisco is up.

    Why does it have to be this way?

    Perhaps our final question is, well, if this stock market stuff leaves us open to overvaluations, booms and busts, why the hell do we put up with this method of financing? Can’t we design something better?

    Out in the unfashionable end of finance economics there’s a potential answer to this one. Which is that major new technologies actually require a financing bubble to get off the ground.

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Toshiba has introduced a new MicroSD memory cards, it boasts the world’s fastest. 32 and 64 GB versions of the cards are the first MicroSD cards that support the new UHS-II bus.

    UHS-II SD cards standardized serial interface, a single cable that supports data transmission at 156 megabytes per second. Dual-line connection to transfer data between 312 megabytes per second.

    Data speed will be a big jump from the current UHS-I cards year. Write speed increases by 8-fold and read speed of 2.7-fold.

    4K2K video recorded to the card easily


  10. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Big names lose in tablets

    More and more people around the world have purchased the tablet computer from a small, unknown brand manufacturer. Apple, Samsung and other big brands gradually lose their positions.

    Last year, the major tablet manufacturers were delivered 168.5 million display panel. It was 54 per cent of the market. Small, usually Asians, especially Chinese manufacturers trip 145,700,000 evidence.


  11. Tomi Engdahl says:
    ‘Trace’ brings tracing paper to your iPad

    There are scores of drawing apps for the iPad,

    Trace might be the only one built expressly for designers.

    With their marquee app, Morpholio, they aimed to reinvent the critique, making it possible for “architects, designers, photographers, artists, or members of any creative culture to beautifully present, creatively share, and instantly discuss their work in one seamless platform.” Trace tackles the part that comes a few steps before all that: getting an idea down and rapidly iterating on it.

    The core functionality lies in its tracing paper-style layers, which let creatives draw on top of imported images, build on a number of included templates, or just add to doodles of their own. You can use it to flesh out a wireframe sketch, refine a hasty drawing, or mark up a project with notes or comments.

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:
    The Apache Software Foundation Announces 100 Million Downloads of Apache™ OpenOffice™

    Leading Open Source office application and personal productivity suite for Windows, Mac, and Linux reaches a major adoption milestone

    “Apache OpenOffice reaching 100 million downloads is a remarkable achievement in the project’s 29-year history and testament to the power of successful Open Source communities,” said Shane Curcuru, Apache OpenOffice mentor and ASF Vice President of Brand Management.

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:
    The Sorry State Of IT Education

    Our profession is rife with people capable of performing procedures they’ve been taught, but incapable of thinking through a problem. Here’s what we need to do.

    As our traditional corporate silos continue to collapse, IT professionals will need to take on more cross-discipline responsibilities to advance their careers. Unfortunately, our education systems are failing to prepare IT pros for those responsibilities, and it will fall on employers to pick up the slack.

    First, we must put the expectation of “professional” back into the job descriptions of those people we call IT pros. “Professional” should mean the same thing for IT as it means for any other credentialed profession

    So why do we tolerate IT pros who don’t understand the basics of how a computer or network works?

    Almost every profession requires its members to engage in continuing education. Not IT. Furthermore, it’s one of the few professions that isn’t licensed by the government.

    I instructed my staff to spend 10% of their work time on professional development outside of the skills necessary to do their jobs.

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Ubuntu 14.04 LTS: Great changes, but sssh don’t mention the…
    Why HELLO Amazon! You weren’t here last time

    Canonical has released Ubuntu 14.04 Long-Term Support (LTS) release, meaning the Linux shop will be supporting this distro until 2019.

    Ubuntu 14.04 is faster, more stable and overall much better than 12.04 and brings far too many updates to cover in full detail here.

    A few of the highlights include better support for high-resolution displays, TRIM for solid state drives is now turned on for Intel and Samsung SSDs, Nvidia Optimus support has been improved, and all of the default applications have been updated to their latest stable versions. For the major apps that means Firefox 28, LibreOffice 4.2.3 and Nautilus 3.10. Ubuntu 14.04 is using Linux kernel 3.13.

    The good news is that it appears Unity’s privacy offending Amazon search scope will become opt-in (as the EFF, FSF and others have argued it should be).

    If you’re just one person installing Ubuntu on your Desktop machine then it’s pretty easy to turn off the privacy-violating bits.

    But Enterprise customers will most likely have to think twice about this upgrade, which is shame because for LTS users this is a problem that won’t be solved until the next LTS rolls around in 2016.

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:
    404-No-More Project Seeks To Rid the Web of ’404 Not Found’ Pages

    “A new project proposes to do away with dead 404 errors by implementing a new HTML attribute that will help access prior versions of hyperlinked content”

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:
    This project aims to make ’404 not found’ pages a thing of the past

    The Internet is always changing. Sites are rising and falling, content is deleted, and bad URLs can lead to ’404 Not Found’ errors that are as helpful as a brick wall.

    A new project proposes an do away with dead 404 errors by implementing new HTML code that will help access prior versions of hyperlinked content. With any luck, that means that you’ll never have to run into a dead link again.

    If implemented, websites such as Wikipedia and other reference documents would be vastly improved.

    While it may sound trivial, link rot can actually have real ramifications.

    “If every hyperlink was annotated with a publication date, you could automatically view an archived version of the content as the author intended for you to see it,”

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:
    12 ethical dilemmas gnawing at developers today

    As software takes over more of our lives, the ethical ramifications of decisions made by programmers only become greater

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Nice but (no) DIMM: SanDisk surfs cash tsunami on biz SSDs
    Flash-on-DDR3-sticks to emerge later this year

    SanDisk is on a revenue roll, with the first 2013 quarter showing a 62 per cent profit rise on an annual compare, driven by rising enterprise SSD sales.

    He said SanDisk had improved the mix in its portfolio, meaning more higher-margin products were sold, and that “SSD sales drove our outstanding results as we continued to gain share across the client and enterprise markets.”

    The earnings call revealed that SAS SSDs were the primary contributor to the enterprise SSD growth.

    “We anticipate that enterprise SSDs will be our fastest growing product category in 2014″

    He went on: “All PC OEMs actually use SanDisk SSDs and among the enterprise, six of the top seven storage and server OEMs use SanDisk product as well.”

    “ULLtraDIMM is really not a plug-and-play product. It requires certain modifications to the BIOS to address this, and we are investing time and effort in helping achieve that.”

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Newegg Opens Business to the UK and Australia
    by Ian Cutress on April 16, 2014 10:38 AM EST

    As a consumer, more competition can be a good thing.

    In the US, Newegg is a big name when it comes to computer components and pre-built PCs, but also sells hand blenders, sporting goods and toys.

    Last week the official announcement was made: Newegg is now selling to the UK and Australia.

    Distance selling is stage one of Newegg’s expansion, with further stages to come.

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Violin, Microsoft slip Windows, SQL Server, apps, flash into box
    Keep your enemies close, keep your databases closer

    Violin Memory has turned its 6000-series flash array into a converged server-storage engine for SQL Server which is capable of putting data directly into an app server’s memory – thanks to a little help from Microsoft.

    It uses RDMA and SMB Direct to load SQL-sourced data directly into the memory of the app servers, cutting end-to-end data access time.

    Instead of app servers connecting to a SQL database server which connects to a networked array, meaning two network hops and latency, the SQL software is executed inside the array, cutting out one network hop and roughly halving latency.

    The SQL software runs in-memory

    The Violin Windows Flash Array (WFA) is the only all-flash array to do this, according to Violin

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Report: Virtual appliances gaining in data center

    A new report from Infonetics Research finds virtual application delivery controller (ADC) revenue growing fast as cloud services, hybrid cloud technology, and the shift to cloud-architected data centers create demand for virtual appliances.

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Tablets have come a long way in the past few years, and it has become possible to find a capable device for under $200. But what about the tablets pushing toward the high end of the spectrum?

    What kind of tablet does $5,000 get you?

    Can your tablet withstand a 2-meter drop or be submerged in water for 30 minutes and keep functioning? The new $5,000 tablets from Xplore Technologies can.

    The tablets run Windows and come with Intel’s latest Core i5 or i7 Haswell processors.

    The company’s tablets were used for chemical and radiation detection during the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, and are commercially used by AT&T and other companies in the field. The durability keeps maintenance costs down, and the company provides a three-year warranty.

    The Windows 8.1 option isn’t popular with customers, many of whom downgrade.
    “Most buy Windows 8.1, but they ask us to ship it with a Windows 7 BIOS,”

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:
    There are three mainstream high-end enterprise arrays; EMC’s VMAX, HDS’ VSP, and IBM’s DS8000. VMAX was introduced in 2009, and updated in May, 2012 with the 4PB VMAX 40K. That was then 60 per cent more than HDS’s biggest VSP array and 74 per cent more than IBM’s DS8000.

    VSP G1000

    HDS says this is “the most reliable hardware on the planet,” and the “highest performance and most available unified storage system in the industry,” which are pretty strong claims. It has a 100 per cent data availability guarantee. Non-disruptive microcode upgrades are completed without affecting application quality of service.


  24. Tomi Engdahl says:
    Enterprise storage will die just like tape did, say chaps with graphs
    Wikibon prognosticates, says we’re all doomed

    The Wikibon biz tech consultancy thinks that the era of networked filers and SANs is going to end with server SANs replacing them. SANs and filers will have largely died away by 2027, it reckons.

    This is a devastating and dramatic view of the enterprise storage market which is dominated by network storage arrays, both filers and SANs, and by individual servers with their own DAS. In effect, enterprise storage as we know it is forecast to go the way of tape, with the decline starting to become evident from now.

    The hyperscale users are Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft (Azure), Yahoo and the like, who have developed their own infrastructure to suit their business needs.

    So up pops Server SAN technology; a way of aggregating DAS is a set of connected servers and presenting it to the servers as a SAN, which is physically closer to the servers and is simpler and cheaper to acquire, operate and manage.

    Beneficiaries of server SANs will include storage component suppliers:

    Seagate/Samsung and Western Digital/HGST and Toshiba with disk drives
    Intel, Micron, Samsung, SanDisk and Toshiba with flash

    Where does this leave the mainstream networked storage suppliers


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *