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Software Development Predictions For 2009 134

Posted by kdawson
from the hand-writing-on-the-wall dept.
snydeq writes "Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister lays out his development predictions for 2009. These include further struggles from Microsoft in retooling its image, a more open source mindset for Java, twilight for Sun, the Web as platform of choice, and a dearth of innovation due to dwindling economic prospects. 'When customers aren't buying, tool vendors don't innovate — so don't expect many groundbreaking new technologies to debut this year,' McAllister writes, adding that smart companies will realize that 'process automation is one of the best ways to reduce costs in any business,' making 2009 the ideal time to 'revisit old software schemes that got shelved back when staffing budgets were flush.'"
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Software Development Predictions For 2009

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  • On the contrary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by A beautiful mind (821714) on Monday January 05, 2009 @06:30AM (#26327921)
    Historical trend shows that when the economy is in a recession/crisis/bad shape, that's when people turn towards the radically new. Sort of like a forest fire, it opens up opportunities for startups and new things.
    • Re:On the contrary (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ionix5891 (1228718) on Monday January 05, 2009 @06:52AM (#26328051)

      thats assuming the rotten trees get burned and leave space for fresh younglings

      in our case the rotten trees got bailed out

      • thats assuming the rotten trees get burned and leave space for fresh younglings

        Microsoft has layoffs and Sun is in trouble; seems like a good start to me.

    • Re:On the contrary (Score:5, Insightful)

      by supersnail (106701) on Monday January 05, 2009 @06:58AM (#26328083)

      Sorry but I cant think of a single company/brand/product that had its origins in the Great Depression.

      Up till 2002 the software industry was counter-cyclic with the rest of the economy. When times got tough companies spent more on computers and associated software to save costs or gain competetive edge.

      But the low hanging fruit is gone and IT departments are just another big budget item that needs cutting. Particularly in the current cluster f***ed economy -- can you think of any software that would get you easier, indeed any, credit from the bank, or, software that would help you sell your latest high tech gizmo to someone who just lost thier job and is having thier mortgage foreclosed?

      Spending on sex, gambling and drugs goes up in hard times, but, the first two are a done deal as far a software is concerned and the third is in a market so free that the competition will kill you.

               

      • Re:On the contrary (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Sobrique (543255) on Monday January 05, 2009 @07:35AM (#26328299) Homepage
        Not at all - low hanging fruit may be gone, but 'sloppy' implementations of IT systems are widespread and rife. I do IT for an 'outsource support' provider - many of our customers are in a position where revisiting their IT systems and working practices around them will provide massive dividends.

        Whether they will or not, is another matter - I suspect it's much more likely that they're going to keep their heads down, and work to 'lowest common denominator' IT services.

        • many of our customers are in a position where revisiting their IT systems and working practices around them will provide massive dividends.

          It won't provide any dividends now. It might in the future. It will cost money now.

          You may not have got the memo, but most businesses are short of money right now.

          • by Fred_A (10934)

            many of our customers are in a position where revisiting their IT systems and working practices around them will provide massive dividends.

            It won't provide any dividends now. It might in the future. It will cost money now.

            You may not have got the memo, but most businesses are short of money right now.

            So obviously there's a great opportunity in providing free workers to those poor companies !
            I'll start kidnapping IT techs as soon as I'm done with the business plan !

      • Re:On the contrary (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Dutch Gun (899105) on Monday January 05, 2009 @08:04AM (#26328475)

        Sorry but I cant think of a single company/brand/product that had its origins in the Great Depression.

        Hewlett-Packard is one.

        Spending on sex, gambling and drugs goes up in hard times, but, the first two are a done deal as far a software is concerned and the third is in a market so free that the competition will kill you.

        Apparently, people also still tend to buy video games, lucky for me. Naturally, no industry is *completely* free of belt-tightening, but among my circle of friends and colleagues, the market appears to be reasonably stable.

        You also have to keep in mind that *most* people, even in this economy, are employed and still doing well. The US unemployment rate is at,what, around 6.7 percent or so, or about one in every fifteen people? Around 4 percent of the country is ALWAYS employed, generally due to some chronic issue (can't or won't work for some reason) or just due to normal between-job transitions. It sounds about right - I've been unemployed for about 5 percent of my career. It doesn't take much - a six month stretch in an otherwise employed 10 year career.

        The economy slows down not necessarily when people are in dire straits, but when they reign in their spending for fear their job may be next on the cutting block. Expenses may go up a bit, the belts get a bit tighter, which propagates to others. But even in good times, businesses try not to spend money frivolously anyhow. Besides, there are always going to be businesses and people that are surviving, even thriving during these times.

        But the low hanging fruit is gone and IT departments are just another big budget item that needs cutting. Particularly in the current cluster f***ed economy -- can you think of any software that would get you easier, indeed any, credit from the bank, or, software that would help you sell your latest high tech gizmo to someone who just lost thier job and is having thier mortgage foreclosed?

        What makes software and IT so special that it can be cut before everything else? Businesses of all types and sizes are more reliant on computers than ever before, and those needs don't disappear during a slow economy. Sure, you won't see an orgy of tech spending like during dot-com booms, but no company in their right minds would just axe their IT department any more than they'd eliminate their accounting department.

        Spending on sex, gambling and drugs goes up in hard times, but, the first two are a done deal as far a software is concerned and the third is in a market so free that the competition will kill you.

        Apparently, people also still tend to buy video games, lucky for me. Naturally, no industry is *completely* free of belt-tightening, but among my circle of friends and colleagues, the market appears to be reasonably stable. And our companies all purchase other software on a regular basis. The economy still works in lean times, just a little more slowly and a little less comfortably.

        • by Dutch Gun (899105)

          Call the Department of Redundancy Department... copy and paste error. Whoops.

        • In hard times companies dont axe thier IT departments they just kill new projects and purchasing. Given the abysmally slow software development cycle for most business projects this actually makes sense -- "I save $100,000 dollars now on something that might work in 2011.".

          Its pretty much the same in the consumer market - if you might lose your job next month that cluncky old Dell suddenly looks "good enough" and no new hardware - no new software.

          Your probably right about the games industry though!

          And it no

          • by gbjbaanb (229885)

            In these hard times companies are also scrapping upgrades and new systems as well. I can;t quite believe it, but MS is (apparently) going to lay off 10% [independent.co.uk] or so of its global workforce. Perhaps they finally realised how many of those microsofties do useful work, or they've decided to get rid of all the Raymond Chens now they only use .NET.

            Obviously if revenue is "disappointing", it can only mean companies are not buying more MS stuff, probably because what they have works (though MS is desperate to get everyo

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by owlnation (858981)
          The Great Depression was also the source of real rise of Hollywood. The current recession is hopefully a godsend to those of us who are filmmakers. Movies are a safer investment than property right now.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by russotto (537200)

            Movies are a safer investment than property right now.

            Yeah, but what isn't?

            • by maxume (22995)

              Sandwiches.

              Also, General Motors.

              • Sandwiches -- circa 1750 lord Sandwich popularised the concept of a slice of meat between two slices of bread so he could eat while playing cards without getting the cards greasy.

                General Motors -- was an amalgamation of existing companies, significantly it still trades through the original brand names Chevrolet, Chrysler Cadillac etc.

        • What makes software and IT so special that it can be cut before everything else? Businesses of all types and sizes are more reliant on computers than ever before, and those needs don't disappear during a slow economy.

          Logically, of course, this makes sense. But IT departments at most companies are seen as pure expense since they don't deliver any direct profit. Yes, they make the company more efficient and therefore help reduce cost, but it's all seen as long term and hard to quantify. Since it's looked at as pure expense it's usually the first department to get budget cuts. It's usually much harder to cut HR, accounting, sales, etc. than to cut long term software projects and systems upgrades.

        • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          The US unemployment rate is at,what, around 6.7 percent or so, or about one in every fifteen people?

          How can any cognitively sound person seriously believe government statistics anymore, especially the unemployment rate? It never ceases to amaze me how when confronted with "Who you gonna believe, the government or your lying eyes?" so many people doubt their own eyes.

          In fairness, the unemployment rate is notoriously difficult to calculate. But even a cursory look at how it is calculated can leave no doub

          • by Dutch Gun (899105)

            How can any cognitively sound person seriously believe government statistics anymore, especially the unemployment rate? It never ceases to amaze me how when confronted with "Who you gonna believe, the government or your lying eyes?" so many people doubt their own eyes.

            Exactly what am I supposed to see when I look around? Am I supposed to somehow turn news stories into percentages of unemployed people? Conduct my own poll? What formula did you use to arrive at your numbers? Ask your friends and family, and then extrapolate that to the whole of the United States?

            I'll concede a significant point, though: I should have stated these figures are typically calculated based on unemployment claims. The actual figure is undoubtedly higher, but the important point is not so mu

        • Re:On the contrary (Score:4, Informative)

          by DuckDodgers (541817) <keeper_of_the_wolf AT yahoo DOT com> on Monday January 05, 2009 @01:05PM (#26331487)
          The 6.7% unemployment figure does not factor people who have stopped looking for new work because they had no luck for over a year. And unfortunately, the market only makes that worse. "This applicant hasn't worked in 8 months. He must not be any good, let's just throw out his resume without even conducting a phone interview." The problem becomes self-perpetuating.

          The 6.7% figure also doesn't factor people who went from software analyst, machinist, or corporate accountant to janitor, grocery store cashier, or burger flipper. For that matter, it doesn't count people who went from full time at one company to part time at another.

          Depending upon the news source you trust, the real unemployment figure in the US is closer to 15%.
        • by glitch23 (557124)

          Naturally, no industry is *completely* free of belt-tightening, but among my circle of friends and colleagues, the market appears to be reasonably stable.

          Medical, education and government sectors are still going strong and are usually immune to recessions. In the current one though, due to reasons I'm still puzzling over, many state governments are low on cash right now and are asking employees to stay home w/o pay for unknown periods of time. The federal government though hasn't told anyone to stay home w/o pay as far as I know. I'm a contractor for the federal government and haven't heard a peep regarding my job being in jeopardy.

          You also have to keep in mind that *most* people, even in this economy, are employed and still doing well. The US unemployment rate is at,what, around 6.7 percent or so, or about one in every fifteen people? Around 4 percent of the country is ALWAYS employed, generally due to some chronic issue (can't or won't work for some reason) or just due to normal between-job transitions. It sounds about right - I've been unemployed for about 5 percent of my career. It doesn't take much - a six month stretch in an otherwise employed 10 year career.

          People who don't want to w

          • the current one though, due to reasons I'm still puzzling over, many state governments are low on cash right now and are asking employees to stay home w/o pay for unknown periods of time. The federal government though hasn't told anyone to stay home w/o pay as far as I know.

            The credit crisis means that it is harder and more expensive than normal for states to borrow money (for a number of reasons, their debt is seen as risky while federal debt is seen as essentially risk-free); the housing bust has blown a

        • Around 4 percent of the country is ALWAYS employed, generally due to some chronic issue (can't or won't work for some reason) or just due to normal between-job transitions.

          A person who can't or won't work for some reason, rather than one who is actively searching for work, is not counted in the headline unemployment rate at all; they are not considered part of the work force.

      • Sorry but I cant think of a single company/brand/product that had its origins in the Great Depression.

        But the Great Depression was scientifically very productive.

        In fact, a poor economy and lots of government spending means that the smartest minds can focus on basic issues, rather than trying to figure out how to beat people in business or tweak a product a little.

      • by tknd (979052)

        There's still opportunity for entertainment. That's probably why sex, gambling, and drugs goes up. The cheapest form of entertainment these days is either TV, movies, or video games. I'd say the entertainment industry will stay strong as people will have nothing better to do while looking for new jobs or waiting for interviews.

      • by Arterion (941661)

        ...can you think of any software that would get you easier, indeed any, credit from the bank, or, software that would help you sell your latest high tech gizmo to someone who just lost thier job and is having thier mortgage foreclosed?

        When you say, "hey, we can replace 100 people with software" it suddenly becomes more frugal to spend money on a couple developers than on 100 people. Often, business processes and business software (usually very tightly coupled) are much more inefficient than they could be. Hell, I work at a company of 20 folks, and I know for a fact I could rewrite our internal software so that 18 or 19 people could accomplish the same amount of work.

        When you have massively parallel tasks -- say 500 people all doing th

        • Computing, Data Processing, IT whatever you call it has been deployed extensivly by corporate America since 1965.

          After 42 years of continuous development and employment all the easy stuff has been done! There are no "deploy this system and become 50% more efficient" opertunities any more.

          Worse niave IT people have consitantly overstated the benefits of IT and underestimated the costs so if you propose a 5% saveing through a new software any sensible business manager would think "I'll get 1% if Im lucky and

      • Sorry but I cant think of a single company/brand/product that had its origins in the Great Depression.

        Hoover ;P

    • The Internet has entered a long-term inflection point.

      http://www.realmeme.com/roller/page/realmeme?entry=internet_inflection_point_microsoft [realmeme.com]

      Network traffic for many major sites began shrinking or slowing in growth 1-2 years ago.
      The negative growth in e-commerce sales was not an anomaly.

      • But a lot of that is web 2.0 traffic, you can't compare the two. It's like how diesel gets you more miles per gallon. Or something.

        Oh, and please buy a new computer, everybody. Pleeeeaaaaaase!

        • by hairyfeet (841228)
          Heck no! Let 'em bring their old machines to "handy hairy and his house of PC repair" where I'll make it purr like an overfed kitten. You notice how when the economy is going good everyone says "Why repair when you can just get a new one?" but boy doesn't that tune change when money gets tight and credit gets scarce. Besides, as much as Intel, AMD, and MSFT hate to admit it, anything over a 2.2GHz P4 with a gig of RAM is frankly overkill for most home users. Better to fix it and keep that extra green in you
      • The negative growth in e-commerce sales was not an anomaly.

        Seriously... what the hell does that even mean?!

      • by greenguy (162630)

        The Internet has entered a long-term inflection point.

        So, it's now Internét?

    • Back in 92-93 Bush recession, was when Windows and networking really caught on to take on the high costs of the mainframe. Killed IBM for 5 long years. Prior to that, Windows was languashing around and not catching on. It was mostly dumb terminals. As this Bush's recession or even depression happens, I think that we will see companies push to lower their costs a great deal. Moving jobs to other countries is starting to backfire on these companies, while for others, it is not a possibility. Instead, we will
    • Sort of like a forest fire, it opens up opportunities for startups and new things.

      They don't start growing until the ashes have cooled down, and I don't think the fire's out yet.

  • Prediction (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 05, 2009 @06:44AM (#26327999)
    is very difficult, especially of the future.
    • Then do something less difficult instead.

      Who controls the present controls the future. Who controls the past controls the present.

      • Who controls the present controls the future. Who controls the past controls the present.

        That's not true at all... or do the Romans still control everything and I just don't know it?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          By controlling the past, one means controlling education in history - omitting certain historic events and highlighting others.
          • Yea, I got that after posting. I should refrain from replying to people before my coffee ;)
            • Yup, I always reply to my coffee first. If it makes sense to a cup of coffee, chances are it may make sense to the marginally more sentient modder who reads my post :-)
              • all this talk of coffee makes me crave for a cup. Unfortunately I've already had my first dose of nicotine, so I'll poop funny again.
            • don't - it gives people like me something to add
          • Actually, the person who writes the minutes of the meeting controls pretty much everything, past present and future. Remember that next time you're in a meeting, and people look around longing for someone to step up and volunteer...
    • by Thanshin (1188877)

      And still, postdiction of the future is quite harder, as it requires to move the point of reference ahead in time to a point beyond the future. And no matter how far ahead you push that bloody point, it seems to stubornly stay in the future rather than beyond it.

      We've since experimented with some very succesful methods of predicting the past; most of which involve burying our predictions in a hole and then taking them out the next week.

      Dr. Franhoffer was able to predict last week's lottery first prize numbe

    • Actually, prediction is not necessarily difficult. Just interesting prediction is difficult.

      Take a normal 6-sided dice. I can precisely predict what you will throw. You will throw a number that is between 1 and 6.

      See? It's just not very interesting.

      • ..and possibly, the MORE interesting it is, the MORE difficult it is. (hmm there may be a Phd buried in that)

  • Wow! (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    These include further struggles from Microsoft in retooling its image, a more open source mindset for Java, twilight for Sun, the Web as platform of choice, [...]

    Wow, bold predictions indeed! Here's one of my own: there'll be trouble in the middle east.

    Do you think it might come true?

    • by polar red (215081)

      there'll be trouble in the middle east.

      that's more than 500 deaths in a week. (if you consider population, that would mean 100000 US citizens, so yeah, reaction will come) I foresee another 50 years of 'disagreements'

  • Duke Nukem Forever is expected to be released this year, and... oh, wait. You said 2009 ? Sorry, I thought it was 2090.
    • by Thanshin (1188877)

      You seem to forget this not only is the year of Duke Nukem Forever on Linux but also the year of death of pc gaming.

      Which should leave you wondering: how bad will Linux DNF be to single handedly kill pc gaming?

  • 2009 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mrthoughtful (466814) on Monday January 05, 2009 @06:52AM (#26328049) Journal

    Hm. How about this:
    (1) The majorty of humanity will carry on buying OEM MS operating systems
    (2) Apple will produce something sleek, shiny, and expensive
    (3) Linux users will think that 2009 will be when Linux will move (at last) into the mainstream userbase. They will be wrong.
    (4) The majority of humanity will carry on using Internet Explorer, which will continue to annoy every web developer who doesn't have a MS qualification.
    (5) Sun will trudge on.
    (6) Cloud computing will still be used by academics and hackers.
    (7) Java will continue to have it's mixture of fans and foes. But not much else.
    (8) Same goes for BEA, etc.
    (9) Innovation will happen in ways that you least expect.
    (10) Oh - that year went by so fast.
    (11) But now I am out of a job because the banks took my money and made a profit, then made a loss and took my money again.

    • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

      by Nursie (632944)

      Linux went mainstream years ago, just not on the Desktop. A hell of a lot of companies use Linux for serving pretty much everything.

      • Oops - you are right. I missed out the word Desktop, even though I was thinking of it when I wrote that

        Should read

        (3) Linux users will think that 2009 will be when Linux will move (at last) into the mainstream desktop userbase. They will be wrong.

        • Funny thing is that in 1999, companies were claiming that Linux would NEVER go mainstream anything. I recall one of the assessment that said that Linux in 2005 would amount 2-3% of internet servers and would be less than 1% of the server room by 2004.
    • Re:2009 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Eivind (15695) <eivindorama@gmail.com> on Monday January 05, 2009 @07:39AM (#26328329) Homepage

      Probably most of these will be true, it's hardly surprising that mostly the world continues as it has.

      The IE-thing though, I see sligthly differently. It's true that most people use IE. But it is also true that IE has seen a steady decline the last 2 years. Like you, I think the trends will continue much as they are, but that still means a continous downwards trend.

      For the websites we run at work (I work for a web-development company that carries the websites of around 1500 norwegian companies, including a dozen of the larger ones) 2 years ago we saw 80% IE on average (more on grandma-type websites, less on technical ones), one year ago it was at about 73%, and now in december it was at 65%.

      I don't care much about IE, but I do care about healthy competition. My ideal world would have no single browser above 50%. That's the best guarantee that people will not develop exclusively for ONE browser.

      • One strong-hold of IE has and probably always will be the corporate desktop, simply because it can be configured on the AD from factory install. That means basically that admins can lock it down (No ActiveX, no Javascript on Internet sites, etc) without needing any extra config or installations.

        FireFox I know can be managed this way too, but as a general rule, 3rd-party browsers have never had too much support for enterprise manageability from the get-go.

        • by Meski (774546)

          One strong-hold of IE has and probably always will be the corporate desktop, simply because it can be configured on the AD from factory install. That means basically that admins can lock it down (No ActiveX,

          I *wish* our corporate powers that be would make it "No activeX" - it'd stop other areas of the corp from foisting internal ActiveX apps on us.

      • I don't think IE will go away until such point as alternate browsers come preloaded on new machines. It seems a majority of users only use the software that was installed when they bought it.
        • by Eivind (15695)

          I don't think they'll "go away" either, but honestly I don't care.

          When one browser has 80-90% market-share, it becomes the benchmark. If something works on it, but not in the others, the others will be seen as having a fault, even if it's the others who are conforming to specs.

          When a browser has 40% market-share, everyone is able to comprehend that developing stuff in a manner that works only on this single browser would be a major blunder. And if something fails to work in it, but works with the other 60%

    • Re:2009 (Score:5, Funny)

      by wisty (1335733) on Monday January 05, 2009 @08:15AM (#26328533)

      (12) Lispers will remain quietly smug. Except Paul Graham, who will be vocally smug.
      (13) Pythoneers will remain vocally smug, except Guido who is busy doing real work.
      (14) Open source software development remain 5 years ahead of Microsofts, except for the GUI, which lags by a decade.
      (15) Someone will write a new distributed version control system.
      (16) New web frameworks are written in Python (x3), Ruby (x2) and Cobol. Database work is still difficult.
      (17) .net is upgraded to another version. Nobody had figured out what the previous version did.
      (18) Scrum get's a new acronym, to the disgust of its advocates.
      (19) Outside of a select few programmers and /.ers, nobody in the real world cares.

      • by wisty (1335733)

        ... and I just lost my apostrophe license.

      • (20) The Obama administration will bail-out Google. (21) Alternative energy will finally work its way into this country's energy grid. (22) More and more people will begin riding bicycles to work. (23) People will lose weight, and improve their diets. (24) Apple will launch another shiny new toy, but only the very rich will want to buy it. (25) It will be 2010 before we pull out of this recession, because the Bush administration f$@#-ed us over so bad.
    • by Peron (1140757)

      (4) The majority of humanity will carry on using Internet Explorer, which will continue to annoy every web developer who doesn't have a MS qualification.

      The majority of humanity (78.1%) [internetworldstats.com], aren't on the internet, and thus does not use a web browser at all. I guess this will also be true when 2009 ends.

    • by Atrox666 (957601)

      I wish I had mod points.
      That hits the nail on the head.

    • The majority of humanity will carry on using Internet Explorer, which will continue to annoy every web developer who doesn't have a MS qualification.

      I have an MS certification, and it annoys me, you insensitive clod!

    • Hey VonNeuman, are you saying the best predictor of the future is the present? :-)

  • 'When customers aren't buying, tool vendors don't innovate ...'

    Innovation comes from creativity and possibility(time) to implement it. I do not believe you can buy innovation or that the creative minds stop innovate just because it is an economic downturn.

    Besides, during the downturns it is usually higher pressure to create new (innovative) products, at least on my workplace.

    • by Nursie (632944)

      "Innovation comes from creativity and possibility(time) to implement it. I do not believe you can buy innovation or that the creative minds stop innovate just because it is an economic downturn."

      Add money to the first bit. Innovative minds might not stop due to a downturn, but they may stop being paid, and not all innovative/creative folks are the types to do it in their spare time. A lot are (vis. FOSS), but by no means all.

    • by Haeleth (414428)

      'When customers aren't buying, tool vendors don't innovate ...'

      Innovation comes from creativity and possibility(time) to implement it. I do not believe you can buy innovation or that the creative minds stop innovate just because it is an economic downturn.

      I think you're talking at cross-purposes here.

      You're using "innovation" in the sense of "coming up with novel and creative ideas". TFA seems to be using it in the Microsoft sense of "selling you another version with yet more bloat".

  • by N1AK (864906) on Monday January 05, 2009 @07:15AM (#26328169) Homepage
    Although the article may be correct that historically innovation died away during financially poor times I do wonder whether this will continue to be the case.

    Everything in life has a cost, why look into the minor ones when your rolling in so much cash it doesn't matter? What may happen is that although less money is spent on new research and developement, some of the better products already developed become more widely deployed as people realise they need to do things better.

    From a personal perspective I have spent a lot more time looking at my finances in the last 12 months, exactly because as I earn more than I spend I (incorrectly) didn't bother in the past. I'm argueable better off now than last year exactly because of the financial crisis.

    For an economy the failure of some ineffective businesses allows others to fill the niche, it encourages people to question suppliers while looking for economies.

    None of this makes the recession a good thing, and I'd argue that a lot of our goverment's (in the UK) actions will cause more problems than they solve, but I hope the innovators of the world don't believe that now isn't as good a time as any to find improvements.
  • Of course everyone knows that it will be the year of the linux. so, everybody is busy programming linux, no?
  • by stiller (451878) on Monday January 05, 2009 @07:46AM (#26328381) Homepage Journal

    'When customers aren't buying, tool vendors don't innovate"

    Innovation does not only service existing markets, it creates new ones, too. Think about Nintendo (Wii) and Apple (iPhone) for instance, who consistently create new markets that weren't there before. In a stagnating market, innovation is more important than ever.

    • If there are no sales most companies don't sit on their hands and cry, well maybe the really big ones do - to the feds. Smaller ones just start rolling out some new ideas to see if they can drum up a new market. What's not innovative about that?

    • 'When customers aren't buying, tool vendors don't innovate"

      Innovation does not only service existing markets, it creates new ones, too. Think about Nintendo (Wii) and Apple (iPhone) for instance, who consistently create new markets that weren't there before. In a stagnating market, innovation is more important than ever.

      Agreed. To put it another way, problems require solutions. Solutions sometimes require innovation.

      We're facing problems now where the solutions we've been using aren't cutting it, and are perhaps even the cause of the problems. Therefore, I expect to see a LOT of innovation in the next few years.

  • I agree. (Score:2, Interesting)

    Tightening spending means businesses will be less willing to "experiment" with new ideas.

    ASIDE:

    On innovative idea that looks doomed is uncensored radio via satellite : Sirius-XM are on the verge of disappearing. A bad economy kills more good ideas than it creates. The arrival of the 1930s Depression eliminated most of the car companies, leaving behind an industry consolidated into just a few juggernauts. Expect the same thing to happen in 2009-2010 for our modern industries.

  • How about a new web server that can parse correct/compliant HTML for the myriad of different browsers on the market...
    • How about a HTMLTidy module to the existing servers?
      http://tidy.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

      • Very nice tool. The thing is, WC3 compliance does not guarantee that your HTML will be able to be viewed in most/all browsers. Its easy to pass the buck and say that browser developers should sort their shit out, but the reality is that they haven't.
        What I am proposing is a web-server plugin that will generate HTML that will be able to be parsed by the client browser according to the design, irrespective of what it is - basically a babelfish for a web server.
        The purpose of this plugin/web server would be
    • by Xenolith0 (808358)
      Something like this, perhaps? http://browsershots.org/ [browsershots.org]
      • Nice site. I didn't really express myself correctly. What I really meant to say was that a web server that could take source HTML and parse it to be compliant with the client browser on the fly would be a boon us poor developers who currently spend waaayyy too much time trying to make HTML work in different browsers. We could simply write once, and the Web Server would be intelligent enough to serve compliant HTML.
        Something like this could probably be implemented as a plugin for Apache, although I haven't
  • When you have more money than sense do you care that your car is going through fuel a jumbo jet would be proud of? When you suddenly have a lot less money that gas guzzler is now a source of your problems. You still need the transport, so you need to get much more bang for your buck.

    In that example you'd be unlikely to be able to do much to that car, but companies will have to innovate to put more economic cars on the courts to tempt you to buy.....well, unless you're Ford in the US, in that case you stick

  • Input devices and their software take a step forward. Specifically, improvement in voice recognition, and mouse gesturing/Wii controller applications. No killer ap implied here.

    Free software expansion continues, as Intuit finds competition for Quicken in the home and small business marketplace from low cost/free alternatives.

    Everyone waits for the hardware of cellphones to catch up to better software for phones, so a prediction here is for no huge leap for cellphone software. Windows Mobile 7 doesn't bow

  • and it had Sun - Twilight... seems rather apt - however much i wish sun every success for the future... :(

    • by davecb (6526) *

      I liked that too, but I actually expect Sun to keep on selling hardware. I was just on a benchmark for something like four mainframe-sized M9000s and a dozen or so M5000s, so some folks are happily buying their products.

      I'm a performance/capacity guy, so most of my business comes from big companies who buy Solaris, AIX and HP/UX boxes.

      --dave

  • by TRRosen (720617) on Monday January 05, 2009 @10:35AM (#26329485)

    Just not from big companies. He forgot about all the downsized programers that now have the time to work on there own Ideas and projects. Software startups don't need capital just programers with time on there hands.

    • by Skadet (528657)
      Ridiculous. Time isn't free -- those programmers need to eat/pay rent/feed their families/etc.

      And the word you're looking for is "their".

If A = B and B = C, then A = C, except where void or prohibited by law. -- Roy Santoro

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