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. Linux for Beginner says:

    It’s really a nice and helpful piece of info.
    I’m happy that you just shared this helpful info with us.

    Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google Brings ‘My Maps’ Custom Map Creation To Google Drive

    Google’s My Maps tool for building custom drives, trips and routes on its Maps product is now integrated into Google Drive, which means you can build custom maps just as easily as you can new documents, slideshows and spreadsheets.

    Putting the My Maps tools right inside Google Drive says something about Google’s cloud-based productivity plans – this helps distance its offering from others including Office 365, giving it a broader feature set for users looking to do just more than get business done.

    My Maps is a tool that in many ways is just as relevant to modern computer users as is a document editor or slideshow creator, so it’s great to see Google recognize that and package it alongside those tools.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Microsoft begins integrating Bing search into Office

    Summary:Microsoft’s ‘Bingification’ of applications officially has begun with its integration of Bing search into Word Online.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The New York Times open-sources its Hive crowdsourcing platform

    A couple of months ago, the New York Times rolled out an interesting project called Madison, in which the newspaper asked readers to help the paper identify old print ads by going to a website and answering questions — and even in some cases transcribing the actual text in the ads. Now, the company is open-sourcing the platform it built for that project, known as Hive, so that others can use it for their own experiments in crowdsourcing.

    Hive: Open-Source Crowdsourcing Framework

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    DARPA Offers Free Watson-Like Artificial Intelligence
    DeepDive Offers DIY Artificial Intelligence

    If you wonder what the government has done for you lately, take a look at DeepDive. DeepDive is a free version of IBM’s Watson developed in the same Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program as IBM’s Watson, but is being made available free and open-source.

    Although never been pitted against IBM’s Watson, DeepDive has gone up against a more fleshy foe: the human being. Result: DeepDive beat or at least equaled humans in the time it took to complete an arduous cataloging task. These were no ordinary humans, but expert human catalogers tackling the same task as DeepDive — to read technical journal articles and catalog them by understanding their content.

    “We tested DeepDive against humans performing the same tasks and DeepDive came out ahead or at least equaled the efforts of the humans,” professor Shanan Peters, who supervised the testing, told EE Times.

    DeepDive is free and open-source, which was the idea of its primary programmer, Christopher Re.


    DeepDive is a new type of system that enables developers to analyze data on a deeper level than ever before. DeepDive is a trained system: it uses machine learning techniques to leverage on domain-specific knowledge and incorporates user feedback to improve the quality of its analysis.

    DeepDive is targeted to help user extract relations between entities from data and make inference about facts involving the entities. DeepDive can process structured, unstructured, clean, or noisy data and outputs the results into a database.

    Users should be familiar with SQL and Python in order to build applications on top of DeepDive or to integrate DeepDive with other tools. A developer who would like to modify and improve DeepDive must have some basic background knowledge listed in the documentation

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Smart Panel Ponders AI’s Future
    Artificial intelligence may be 5-10 years out

    At a conference hosted by Silicon Valley Forum last week, industry experts projected the future of AI, machine learning, and deep learning.

    “This notion that evolution ends with humans is silly,” keynoter Steve Jurvetson, partner and managing director of DFJ, told attendees. “I think what humans really mean is we don’t want to compete with something smarter than us in our lifetime. I think you can shift our selfish sense of supremacy to a symbolic trajectory of progress.”

    Some speakers said progress in AI would give systems the ability to talk to each other quickly and simply, while others believe the ability to reason and make inferences will be the true differentiator in intelligence

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Long Death of Project Hosting Sites

    Even Microsoft and Google are posting major code projects on GitHub.

    Last month, Microsoft and Google bypassed their own code hosts to post major code projects on GitHub. The once-favored hosts have begun a long, familiar decline.

    Project hosting sites move in and out of popularity in much the same way that programming languages do. They become suddenly popular, the place to host for cool new projects; then they mature into wide but less-enthused use; and finally, they begin a long decline in which they increasingly are associated with legacy projects.

    Because the highest visibility hosts today, GitHub and its predecessor in the top position, SourceForge, are both offshoots of companies that sell code-hosting solutions, it’s easy to forget that most hosts did not and do not have material commercial benefits to derive from hosting open-source.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Use MRAM to Optimize System Energy Consumption

    An investigation into whether the fast-write and power-up-to-write times for MRAM can significantly reduce total system energy consumption compared to either EEPROM or Flash.

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    New “Shingled” Hard Drives Hold Terabytes For Pennies A Gig

    While the last time most of us thought of shingles was when we were itchy in eighth grade, Seagate has been thinking of them as a way to store data. Called Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) Drives, Seagate’s new drives can store eight terabytes of data for about 3 cents a gigabyte.

    The catch? These are great back-up drives but they’re not very fast. At 5,900 RPM and an average read/write speed 150MB/sec you’re looking at something that’s far slower than an average SSD drive (1,800MB/sec) and even the average 7,200 RPM hard drive.

    Shingled drives cram more tracks onto a single platter and reduce the minuscule space between tracks. This means you can fit over a terabyte on one spinning HDD platter.

    Therefore these drives work best with a faster SSD drive on the front end and then these slower drives for less important storage.

    Seagate will ship the drives in January for $260 for an 8 terabyte version.

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Bellard Creates New Image Format To Replace JPEG

    Fabrice Bellard (creator of FFMPEG, QEMU, JSLinux…) proposes a new image format that could replace JPEG : BPG. For the same quality, files are about half the size of their JPEG equivalents.

    He released libbpg (with source) as well as a JS decompressor, and set up a demo

    BPG Image format

    BPG (Better Portable Graphics) is a new image format. Its purpose is to replace the JPEG image format when quality or file size is an issue.

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Roll up, roll up for Oracle database flash tune-up – Violin
    Faster DBs to be won

    Violin Memory has developed software to tell you how tune Oracle databases to run faster on its arrays, and is making it available through a lead-generation exercise where you (pretty much) qualify yourself.

    Its Oracle Performance Analysis Service (O-PAS) is free to end-users and resellers and generates reports which identify “performance bottlenecks in end users’ Oracle environments, and determines the suitability of flash-based storage … to … increase IOPS, reduce latency, and lower overall costs”.

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Dad Makes His Kid Play Through All Video Game History In Chronological Order

    Andy Baio, aka @waxpancake, indy video game enthusiast and founder of the XOXO conference and other cool stuff, conducted a weird/cool experiment on his four-year-old. Andy taught him about gaming by making him play and master all of the old video games and gaming systems in the exact order they were actually released. In other words, this 21st century kid learned gaming the same way the generation that grew up in the 1970s and 1980s experienced them, but in compressed time.

    Playing With My Son
    An experiment in forced nostalgia and questionable parenting

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Why Open Source Matters For Sensitive Email

    Over on, Olivier Thierry makes three cases for using open source to power your email solution

    Open source for sensitive email

    We often discuss the many benefits of open source software. The single most important factor, the one that all benefits emerge from, is open. This is actually at the heart of what the software is, a community-driven software package with full transparency into the code base. Governments care about open source because it provides three powerful benefits: monetary savings, improved quality, and better security and privacy. This last benefit is often less-than-obvious, but equally important.

    Security and privacy are emergent benefits from the open nature of open source. Following are some areas that lead to this improvement in security and privacy.

    With the ability to move quickly, easily integrate, and review the code’s security firsthand, it is really no surprise that many governments are turning to open source software for their IT projects and initiatives. Despite this acceptance of open source, adoption of open source email systems is lacking.

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Xbox One sells 1.2M units in U.S. in November, topping PS4 and Wii U in early holiday battle

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    PS4 will go on sale in China in January after 14-year ban on foreign consoles

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    VMware exiting 2014 with a bang and a security whimper
    AirWatch p0wned, but vRealize and CloudVolumes realized and DevOps embraced

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Alienware Alpha Review: A shockingly good tiny PC and console complement

    Alienware’s Alpha isn’t the console killer people hoped it would be but its merits still make it a worthy gaming computer and perhaps the best deal going in small PCs today.

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Microsoft To Open Source Cloud Framework Behind Halo 4 Services

    Microsoft plans to open-source the framework that helps developers of cloud services like those behind Halo 4. Project Orleans is a framework built by the eXtreme Computing Group at Microsoft Research using .NET, designed so developers who aren’t distributed systems experts can build cloud services that scale to cope with high demand and still keep high performance.

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Top 5 open source project management tools in 2014


    BONUS TOOL: Agilefant

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Five open source alternatives to popular web apps

    Who doesn’t like whipping out their smartphone and snapping photo of themselves or something they’re doing, then sharing the photo? While Instagram is still all the rage for doing that, you can keep control your own photos using ownStaGram.

    wallabag puts the power of Instapaper and Pocket into your hands, and under your control. It’s a self-hosted read-it-later application that does most everything its commercial rivals do—from removing navigation and advertising to saving your articles as an EPUB file.

    FreshRSS is a self-hosted reader, which is easy to use, fast, and attractive.

    When it comes to storing and synchronizing your files online, Dropbox, Box, iCloud, and OneDrive are arguably the most popular on the web. ownCloud does most everything that the proprietary names do and it keeps control of your information in your hands.

    How many bookmarks have you collected over the years? I’m willing to bet more than you can remember off the top of your head. Why shouldn’t those bookmarks be under your control?

    That’s the promise of Shaarli, a self-hosted bookmark manager that’s designed as a replacement for web apps like Delicious and Pinboard.

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Using the Oculus Rift as a Multi-Monitor Replacement

    [Jason] has been playing around with the Oculus Rift lately and came up with a pretty cool software demonstration. It’s probably been done before in some way shape or form, but we love the idea anyway and he’s actually released the program so you can play with it too!

    It’s basically a 3D Windows Manager, aptly called 3DWM — though he’s thinking of changing the name to something a bit cooler, maybe the WorkSphere or something.

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ‘Shadow IT’ gradually sapping power and budget from CIOs
    Clouds and – gasp! – users buying their own kit mean ‘Darwinian moment’ for techies

    The CIO’s power over IT budgets is being slowly eroded, with spend now increasingly dispersed throughout organisations, according to a survey of 1,000 IT “decision-makers”.

    The research from BT said CIOs now face a “Darwinian moment”, with 76 per cent reporting unauthorized “shadow IT” within their businesses – an element that now accounts for one-quarter of IT budgets.

    The impact of cloud services (92 per cent) and departments buying their own IT (89 per cent) is eroding their traditional power base, said the respondents.

    Some 58 per cent say they are concerned that the CIO’s role could become redundant.

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    How to get ahead in IT: Swap the geek speak for the spreadsheet
    A techie’s guide to understanding the bosses’ biz

    Increasingly, we’re told, IT types who “understand” their organisation’s business can help their business and get ahead. But what does “understanding” the business actually mean? Why does it matter and how does an ambitious IT professional get the mix of skills needed to attain that understanding and also hit the fast track?

    The IT recruitment market is flying, having picked up to a post-recession high. As IT recruiters battle to fill vacancies, competition for the best people has led to a frenzied market, with the right candidates being offered jobs at interview stage and the most sought-after skills commanding salaries up 10 per cent on this time last year.

    Despite the buoyancy of the market, companies still complain of skills shortages as the quest for a new breed of business-focused IT pros steps up a pace. And while the temptation may be for technical roles to wow prospective bosses with jargon and lists of technical certifications, many roles today encourage you to park the geek-speak.

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Searching to destroy … Bing? Facebook JILTS Microsoft
    Relationship status: SINGLE. Boom!

    Facebook has killed a search deal it had in place with Microsoft’s Bing.

    The move is unsurprising. In fact, your correspondent noted in early 2013 that the Mark Zuckerberg-run company was clearly shifting away from its dependence on the software giant when he unveiled Facebook’s Graph Search product.

    At the time, we asked Zuck about his relationship status with Microsoft. The Register got an “it’s complicated” response.

    With the arrival of Graph Search on Facebook, Bing’s integration abruptly stopped at the web search level.

    In other words, Microsoft’s search engine only kicked in when Facebook’s own querying system failed to deliver the relevant results.

    And now, as noted by Reuters, Facebook has altogether dumped Microsoft, following the launch of its rejigged search product earlier this week.

  25. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Fedora Linux comes now in three versions: Workstation, Server and Cloud

  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Kristian Vättö / AnandTech:
    Western Digital’s enterprise arm HGST to acquire flash array provider Skyera in all cash deal

  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    FLASH! Aaa-aaah. 3D NAND will save every one of us
    19TB flash cards? Not as far off as you might think

    We have 3D NAND flash chip supplier timing, courtesy of financial analyst whiz Aaron Rakers. The four foundry operators will all be pumping out mass production volumes of the high-capacity stuff in 18 months’ time

    3D NAND is a fresh way of getting out of the NAND scaling trap. The traditional way, of increasing NAND chip capacity through decreasing the cell size, runs into a dead-end of cell state unreliability and short working life.

    Samsung announced mass production of its 24-layer 3D V-NAND dies in August last year, and its 32-layer, TLC (Triple layer cell) 850 EVO V-NAND SSD yesterday.

    Rakers notes:

    Samsung’s 850 PRO / EVO SSDs have performance and endurance but not cost superiority
    Intel says its (and Micron’s) 3D NAND will be industry’s first disruptive 3D from a cost perspective in 2H2015
    SanDisk will have 3D NAND in 2H2015 that will be less expensive than its current flash technology

    We think that SSD capacities could likely double and/or the cost/GB of 3D NAND will be less that than current 2D or planar NAND.

  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Don’t you forget about VCE… Cisco gets cosy with Pure Storage
    Partnering up with XtremIO rival

    Not content with partnering with IBM and its storage to sell its UCS servers, Cisco is now doing a Flexpod-style dance with EMC’s arch flash array enemy Pure Storage.

    These recent shocks to the VCE alliance between EMC and Cisco must surely have contributed to Cisco’s tactical withdrawal and EMC’s taking of VCE in-house. Joe Tucci and John Chambers might well get on together but finding out Cisco is allying with Pure Storage and thus directly supporting the XtremIO array’s main competitor looks like a great big step too far.

    Pure and Cisco have dreamed up FlashStack converged infrastructure (CI). This is a combination of combine Pure’s 400 Series arrays, Cisco UCS Blade Servers, Nexus switches, VMware vSphere 5 and Horizon 6, defined by reference architectures, with deployment and sizing guidelines for two scenarios; virtual servers and virtual desktop infrastructure.

  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    EMC: People are going to be FLASHING their RACKS next year
    And I for one am very excited at that prospect

    EMC’s chief evangelist Chad Sakac got up at an investor conference and said DSSD systems should arrive in limited availability next year.

    Startup firm DSSD was developing rack-scale all-flash array technology when EMC bought it in May. We’e thinking an EVO: RACK type converged system is coming.

  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    IBM: Get yer cloud services! Analytics, mobile, ten a penny
    Mouthpiece gives us pile of guff about Cloud Marketplace – so we cut through it

    With all bets placed behind software and services, IBM needs to quickly re-tune its route to customers to get the right suppliers on board and the revenue dial moving in the right direction again.

    The grand lady of tech is challenged on multiple fronts; the System x volume hardware business is transferring to Lenovo along with some of the incumbent Business Partners of size; the existing software channel is largely made up of specialist boutiques; and monolithic outsourcing contracts are harder for the services teams to come by.

    Big Blue has already said it wants to sell all products as a service, and with this in mind it rolled out the Cloud Marketplace in the States in September. It’s presumably holding back on a global launch to ascertain how the concept develops and analyse adoption rates.

    In essence, the virtual market stall allows Big Blue to sell its “capabilities-as-a-service” to end users or trade customers. It also includes services and wares from channel types and third party vendors.

    There are hundreds of services ranging from data stores, to security, infrastructure, IoT, DevOps, analytics, risk and compliance, gaming, business and operations support to mobile.

    There are currently 100 Business Partners plugging their web-based services via the portal, which is not that impressive when considering IBM has 120,000 BP’s worldwide.

    For legacy tech providers there’s a heap of potential pitfalls that are unavoidable, from re-engineering sales commissions to a different billing structure – not to mention updating the skills of sales folk.

    IBM is not alone is facing these business challenges; nearly all of the mega-brands are trying to be software and services sellers. HP is breaking up in a bid to be more adaptable to market changes; Symantec decided it can’t get the storage and security arms motoring together; and EMC is still mulling a split.

  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Microsoft’s Answer To PowerPoint-Killer Prezi Is Here

    Sway, Microsoft’s answer to the PowerPoint-killer Prezi, is now open and available for anyone to try. It was previously an invite-only thing.

    Prezi is a web presentation app especially popular with the young folk. About 50 million people use Prezi, the site says.

    Microsoft hopes to stop that in its tracks with its web app. Sway also works on mobile devices, including the iPad and iPhone.

    Sway lets you drag and drop photos, videos, files from your computer, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, or cloud storage. It works via a web browser or an app for your phone, and the presentation is stored on the web.

  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ben Thompson / stratechery:
    Wearables, Bitcoin or messaging may underpin the next consumer computing epoch, after the PC, internet, and mobile

    The State of Consumer Technology at the End of 2014

    While the modern computing era in many respects began with the IBM System/360 mainframe and further expanded with the minicomputer, normal consumers didn’t start encountering computers until the personal computer. And, while mainframes are technically still around (while minicomputers are decidedly not), what is unique about the PC is that it is very much still a part of modern life.

    In fact, one of the defining characteristics of the three major epochs of consumer computing – PC, Internet, and mobile – is that they have been largely complementary: we didn’t so much replace one form of computing for another insomuch as we added forms on top of each other.

    Every epoch has had four distinct arenas of competition that emerge in order:

    The core technology
    The operating system (i.e. the means by which the core technology is harnessed)
    The killer use case for:

    Certainly computers can be used for more than work/productivity or communication, but those two use cases are universal and lead to the biggest winners and most important companies.

    Epoch One: The PC
    The PC epoch began on August 12, 1981. That is the day the IBM Personal Computer was released with an Intel 8088 processor running Microsoft DOS 1.0.

    Epoch Two: The Internet
    The Internet epoch began 14 years after the PC epoch, nearly to the day, with the Netscape IPO on August 9, 1995. The core pieces of the Internet had been around for years, and the World Wide Web was developed by Tim Berners-Lee and formally announced in August 1991 (clearly August is an auspicious month), but it was the “Netscape Moment” that woke everyone up to the possibilities of the Internet.

    Epoch Three: Mobile
    I would like to choose Google’s acquisition of Android as the beginning of the mobile epoch, just because it happened in August (2005, in this case), but the date that matters is January 9, 2007, when Steve Jobs announced Apple’s iPhone. The core technology was the smartphone; while Nokia, Palm and Blackberry had been building precursors, it was the iPhone with its multitouch screen, unfettered Internet access, and (eventual) App Store that defined the category.

    The Mobile Work/Productivity Space
    If the PC epoch was about being omnipotent – computers can do everything, better! – and the Internet epoch about being omniscient – with Google, you can know everything – mobile is about being omnipresent. By virtue of being, well, mobile, smartphones extend computing to every aspect of our daily lives. That is why the killer applications and dominant companies in the mobile work/productivity space will be defined by how they bridge the online and offline worlds.

  33. Tomi Engdahl says:

    MongoDB snaps up WiredTiger as new storage engine option

    NoSQL fan favorite MongoDB has purchased WiredTiger and its storage engine technology, and as part of the deal snags itself some database stars in Keith Bostic and Dr. Michael Cahill.

    Bostic was co-founder of Sleepycat Software and creator and primary developer of Berkeley DB, an open-source embedded database. Oracle bought Sleepycat in 2006. Bostic worked with Cahill to architect Berkeley DB. Terms of this acquisition were not disclosed.

    WiredTiger is a storage engine that will be offered as an option in the upcoming MongoDB 2.8 release, expected in January. It will be the first time that MongoDB has offered more than one storage engine option, said Kelly Stirman, director of product marketing for New York–based MongoDB.

  34. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Six Clicks: The six fastest computers in the world

    Summary: In November 2014, the top six supercomputers all run Linux, but that’s about the only thing they have in common.

  35. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Build a $7,000 ‘sky’s the limit’ PC

    Summary: Let’s say you found $7,000 in loose change inside your old couch. What kind of PC could you build with all that money?

  36. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Cloud Printing from a Chromebook: We try it out on 8 inkjet all-in-ones
    Scanning? We’ve heard of it, says Google

    If you’re thinking of getting a new printer and already have Macs or Window PCs then selecting a model that will work isn’t exactly a challenge. But – what if you add a Chromebook to the mix? Increasingly popular and likely to be under the tree for many this Christmas, have you stopped to think about how you will print from one? Trust me, you will need to print at some stage and most will look to Google’s Cloud Print service to handle this for them.

    Although you can connect just about any printer to Google Cloud Print, conventional printers need to be connected to a Mac or PC with Internet access to get cloudy. A Cloud Ready printer doesn’t need a conduit computer and handles print requests itself. So if you’re shopping for truly multiplatform printer, here’s a round-up of eight Cloud Ready machines from the top four makers, in two different price ranges – up to £150 and between £150 to £300 – to make your choices easier.

  37. Tomi Engdahl says:

    In IT, Beware of Fad Versus Functional

    Cloud, big data, and agile were three of the technology terms that were brandished the most by IT leaders in 2014. Yet, there could be a real danger in buying into the hype without understanding the implications of the technologies, writes Pearson CTO Sven Gerjets. In this essay, Gerjets warns that many IT executives drop the ball when it comes to “defining how a new technology approach will add value” to their organization.

    In IT, beware of fad versus functional

  38. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ODF Support In Google Drive

    Google’s Chris DiBona told a London conference last week that ODF support was coming next year, but today the Google Drive team unexpectedly launched support for all three of the main variants — including long-absent Presentation files.

    Google’s surprise: ODF support launches ahead of schedule

    In a post on Google+, the team announced immediate support of ODT (ODF text documents), ODS (spreadsheets) and ODP (presentations), which can now all be imported into Google Docs.

    Google faces significant pressure securing government business in many countries around the world, especially the U.K. — including in the health and education sectors — now that ODF is a requirement in so many procurement policies. Until now, the support for ODF in Google’s products has been weak and uneven, with no support at all for presentations.

    Google, like Microsoft, does not make it easy to use ODF as part of a workflow. Change tracking information, annotations, and other metadata gets lost in the import process and doesn’t get exported, so for both companies, ODF is seen as a migration format rather than as a working format.

    That will have to change, because there’s no doubt official interest in ODF around the world is growing. Google wants to sell Drive and Chromebooks into government-controlled markets, and ODF is becoming a gating factor.

  39. Tomi Engdahl says: SLASHES ICT frameworks by more than HALF
    Where the hell’s our support, shout disgruntled SMEs

    The government is cutting the number of its ICT frameworks from 26 down to just 10 – a move that has been criticised for leaving SMEs in the dark.

  40. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Data center rack server market forecasted to $40.25B by 2019

    MarketsandMarkets forecasts the data center rack server market to grow from $22.01 billion in 2014 to $40.25 billion by 2019, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.17%. North America (NA) is expected to be the largest region for the market’s growth in terms of revenues generated, but Asia-Pacific (APAC) is also expected to emerge as a high-growth market. According to the analyst, in the market’s current scenario, the data center rack server has significantly impacted the global data center market and is expected to experience exponential growth in the coming years. The future adoption of data center rack server is expected to be in heterogeneous environments and hybrid clouds, with more focus on software-defined storage.

    As defined by the analyst, a data center rack server device is defined by a controller which gets deployed on independent hardware platforms and hypervisors, and eliminates the dependency on traditional hardware platforms, notes the analyst. This helps organizations to control data access and storage, thus reduces associated costs, and improves efficiency and scalability. Data center rack servers are also a major component in the data center market.

    Data center automation market forecast to $7.5 billion

    The rising need for virtualized data centers and incessantly increasing data traffic poses as a threat to enterprises and infrastructure providers alike, contends the analyst. This is considered as a strong driver for the global data center automation market. Increased cost overheads and complexities in the networking environment have given way to the adoption of data center automation, thereby aiding companies in cutting down their operational and capital expenditure (CAPEX).

    “Typically, the infrastructure cost of data centers rises while scaling up from existing architectures. This often leads to several complexities and interoperability issues between different components, thereby increasing demand for a seamless software defined environment,” states the report’s summary. It continues, “The SDDC comprises software defined storage (SDS), software defined networking (SDN) and software defined server/compute, wherein all the three components of networking are empowered by specialized controllers, which abstract the controlling plane from the underlying physical equipment. This controller virtualizes the network, server and storage capabilities of a data center, thereby giving a better visibility into data traffic routing and server utilization. This, in turn results in a controller driven environment, which accentuates data center performance while ensuring significantly low operating expenses (OPEX).”

  41. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Microsoft, Google, Adobe Leave Russia Due to Putin’s New Laws

    Tech companies Microsoft, Google, and Adobe are all giving up on their Russian operations amid a new law requested by President Vladimir Putin and which requires companies to store collected user data on local servers which would obviously become accessible to authorities.

    The retreat was started by Microsoft last month, when the company decided to move its Skype development team from Moscow to Prague. Adobe, on the other hand, ceased its Russian operations entirely, explaining that it doesn’t actually need a local headquarters because everything can be performed through the power of cloud.

    Now Google is doing the same thing, ITWire writes, so the Mountain View-based search giant is giving up on its Russian R&D center and relocating all engineers based in the country.

    And these aren’t the only companies that might be forced to leave Russia, as both Facebook and Twitter are expected to follow the same trend, but neither has made any decision on this. As the aforementioned source notes, these two social networks would need millions of dollars every year to set up servers in Russia that would be used to store data in the country.

  42. Tomi Engdahl says:

    What Will Microsoft’s “Embrace” of Open Source Actually Achieve?

    Back in the day, Microsoft viewed open source and Linux as a threat and did its best to retaliate with FUD and patent threats. And then a funny thing happened: Whether in the name of pragmatism or simply marketing, Microsoft began a very public transition from a company of open-source haters (at least in top management) to one that’s embraced some aspects of open-source computing. Last month, the company blogged that .NET Core will become open-source, adding to its previously open-sourced ASP.NET MVC, Web API, and Web Pages (Razor). There’s no doubt that, at least in some respects, Microsoft wants to make a big show of being more open and supportive of interoperability.

    Is Microsoft Truly Embracing Open Source?

  43. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Oracle Profit, Sales Top Estimates Amid Shift to Cloud

    Oracle Corp. (ORCL)’s profit and sales surpassed analysts’ estimates in its fiscal second quarter as the company moves toward delivering more software and computing power via the Web.

    New software license sales, a closely watched indicator of future revenue, fell 3.6 percent to $2.05 billion, Oracle said.

    “I think folks will look past that if they see meaningful traction on the cloud initiatives,” said Bill Kreher, an analyst at Edward Jones & Co. who has a buy rating on the stock.

    Combined sales in Oracle’s cloud software, platform and infrastructure businesses was $516 million, up from $475 million in the fiscal first quarter.

    “The billion dollar question to me is can they make the transition from being a large database licensing, revenue-generating company where they’re collecting maintenance fees?” Morgan said. “Or is this subscription-based Salesforce, Workday model going to erode margins?”

  44. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google To Close Freebase, Which Helped Feed Its Knowledge Graph
    Freebase announces they will close up shop after migrating their data and APIs to Wikidata. How will this impact the Google Knowledge Graph?

  45. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Multi-protocol, host-to-host communications enhanced by PCI Express-based fabrics–host-to-host-communications-enhanced-by-PCI-Express-based-fabrics?elq=8c5357ffd52646b2bd2c2bb709d82f67&elqCampaignId=20759

    Integrating intelligent direct-memory access (DMA) engines with PCI Express (PCIe) switches can enable embedded systems and other complex designs with low-latency, high-performance communication transport in small- to medium-sized clusters. Such a PCIe transport can be defined to allow tunneling of several protocols, forming the basis for a converged fabric. While tunneling a software protocol over any fabric can be an easy task, tunneling a hardware protocol such as Ethernet poses some new challenges, such as broadcast or multicast addressing, VLANs, and priority. This article will look at an implementation of multi-protocol tunneling over PCIe, including Ethernet and remote direct memory access (RDMA), and explain how this technique can be extended to application-specific, high-performance computing (HPC), storage and proprietary protocols.

    PCIe is the de-facto standard for connecting devices in today’s embedded, storage, communications, and server platforms. Leveraging the standards-based extensions to PCIe allows for a converged, scalable, rack-level fabric. While a PCIe-based fabric provides connectivity and sharing of devices across the fabric, it also exposes a built-in, intelligent, virtualized DMA engine to the connected computing nodes. Here, these DMA engines serve as a transport for multi-protocol, high-performance, host-to-host communications over PCIe.

  46. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Steam is region-locking PC games to thwart low currency value exploits

    Apple isn’t the only one making changes to how it deals with the Russian ruble. Valve is taking measures to protect PC game publishers on its Steam platform too, as spotted by NeoGAF’s ever-vigilant eyes. The online storefront is region-locking games in an effort to prevent users from exploiting low currency values. For example, you could buy a Russian game on Steam for a few bucks as opposed to, say, $40 to $60 when purchased through the US storefront. Now, that’s a little harder to do and it’s causing a bit of an uproar because PC games have typically not been subject to region locks the way console games, on the other hand, have. The move has an impact on areas outside of Putin’s backyard too, with reports that Brazil, Indonesia and their neighboring areas are affected too.

  47. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Tegile to shove flash into DIMMs, it would seem
    Flash. Surely there must be something it CAN’T do?

    Tegile’s marketing veep figures that “PCIe flash and NVDIMMs will make their way into shared storage devices, further driving latencies down.” Cue Tegile supporting flash DIMMs in 2015, then.

    NVDIMMs (or flash DIMMs) are DIMM memory sockets filled with NAND dies so that the flash is a read extension of the memory’s address space with lower latency accesses than PCIe flash. The technology uses Diablo Technologies Memory Channel Storage (MCS) which is OEM’d by SanDisk’s SMART Technologies unit in ULLtraDIMM form, and supplied to Lenovo, Supermicro and Huawei for use in servers.

    Diablo has talked about the possibility of its use by storage array controllers in the past – and now, here’s hybrid array startup Tegile talking about its appearance in storage arrays.

  48. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Fedora 21: Linux fans will LOVE it – after the install woes
    Purrs like a beauty once you get her running

    Review As has become par for the course with Fedora, the latest – Fedora 21 – has arrived months behind schedule. To its credit, it’s well worth the wait.

    This release marks the start of the project. The big change is that Fedora 21 is available in three flavors: cloud, server, and workstation.

    All three build on the same base, adding packages relevant to the use case. For this review I tested both the server and workstation, primarily the latter since that’s the flavor targeted at desktop users.

  49. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Joys and Hype of Hadoop

    “Investors have poured over $2 billion into businesses built on Hadoop,” writes the WSJ’s Elizabeth Dwoskin, “including Hortonworks Inc., which went public last week, its rivals Cloudera Inc. and MapR Technologies, and a growing list of tiny startups. Yet companies that have tried to use Hadoop have met with frustration.”


Leave a Comment

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