By: Robin Bloor, Chief Research Officer, Bloor Research
Published: 21st July 2005
Copyright Bloor Research © 2005
In January I published a set of technology predictions for 2005. 6 months on, I am reviewing those predictions.
This is the third part. Ostensibly there is only one more prediction to review, but I decided to add another two...
My original article stated:
"Apple's PC market share is helped to a certain degree by the security woes that Microsoft is suffering — but there is clear consumer enthusiasm for the iMac too. We expect to see this strengthen in the coming year. However, we do not expect Apple to make any significant in-roads to the corporate PC market. The legacy PC technology provides too much of an obstacle for it at the moment."
The consumer enthusiasm for the Mac has grown more strongly than I suggested or expected. Market growth for Apple PCs now seems to be around 70% or so. This is primarily growth in the home market (as expected), boosted by the fact that a significant number of iPod users are buying Macs.
The Apple switch to Intel deserves comment. Comment has suggested that this is due to Apple disappointment with the G5 (particularly IBM's inability to deliver a G5 for Apple's laptops). It may be a factor, but I doubt it.
What I believe is this:
Steve Jobs looked at the PC market (Dell, HP, Sony, Lenovo, Acer, etc) and thought:
"None of these companies innovates in any significant way. Apple does (and not just in software). We can beat them. If Apple runs on Intel, you can load Windows (in a partition) and you can load Linux (in a partition), but it will still be an Apple booting OS X. Nobody else will be able to do that. We can have a much bigger market. More developers too."
And also there are two chip manufacturers that can compete for Apple's business.
So I offer a new (and very early) prediction. Apple is going to change the dynamics of the PC market — its dramatic growth rate will persist once it moves to Intel. Watch it happen.
I'm adding two new trend predictions here as a consequence of what I've observed in the past six months.
The first concerns streaming—or ESP as it is being called. Earlier this year a new start-up, StreamBase, came to market with a new type of software product (now in version 2.0), which focuses on the real-time processing of data streams. Very soon afterwards, Progress Software acquired Apama—a streaming development environment—to complement its ObjectStore database. This created a second product that was also targeted directly at the processing of streams.
In my view these two developments created a new product category: ESP Development Products.
I expect both of these products to enjoy success and I also expect other vendors to enter the market. Indeed, I expect the real-time processing of data streams to become an expanding area of software activity for many years. In my view it is a new category of IT activity—a little like data warehouse was when it first came on the scene. In other words it is a whole technology area, around which a variety of capabilities will be created.
At this moment it is an infant market and there are only a few industry sectors that have obvious areas of application (financial services, telecoms, defence, security and one or two others). In time, however, virtually all organizations will have areas of application (RFID will ensure that).
Right now, TimesTen—which was recently acquired by Oracle—has started to position itself as a player in this market. I'm not so sure it qualifies, but I haven't looked at it in a while so maybe it has changed. It used to be an in-memory accelerator. ESP products are more than that. They have to be fast development environments and they have to be built to manage data streams.
Here, I'd like to update an observation from January 2003 when I wrote "Web Services is currently like sex with aliens: some people say it happens, but nobody can furnish any proof."
Well 2 years makes a big difference. The reason for Web Services skepticism at the time was that the technology was in its early hype phase and the problems of security had not been addressed. Nor had the problems of management. So Web Services applications tended to be confined to Intranet applications. This has changed. Now I'm seeing a fair amount of Web Services applications deployed and am running into more and more companies that are embracing SOA. The embrace of SOA is almost total among the vendors — not just development tool vendors, but vendors of almost all kinds of software.
This is important. A kind of software development consensus is emerging.
The point to note, or trend prediction if you like, is that SOA is now dominant and that from here on (at least for the next few years) software development will focus on the issues of SOA (although we'll have to allow for the fact that there is still a good deal of misunderstanding in the community at large as to what SOA actually is).
Focus points will include the problems that have not been solved (the problems of security, operational management and life cycle management of SOA are still to be solved and will become increasingly visible issues) and debates on what is and is not the best approach to development.
Expect to hear a good deal talked about business friendly development environments. (The term BPM will become less meaningful as time goes on).
Expect also to see too little attention placed on the problems of legacy maintenance, which are not yet solved by any products in the SOA space.
Posted: 21st July 2005 | By Rich Hapner :
From what I've seen, the term SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) was first used in 1995 and today has digressed into a perversion of itself. Just look at all the companies (90% Windows Platform based) who use the SOA term loosely to encompass "everything" business, from technology to management processes. I can't count the number of people I've seen who have blended the two terms Web services and Service Oriented Architecture together. How ridiculous and naive to think non-IT focused businesses such as Proctor & Gamble, Coke-Cola, Hyundai Motors, etc. will eventually not figure out this is a marketecture ploy by IT companies wanting to get into their pants (figuratively speaking). There are at least 70 companies out there with sales literature offering revolutionary "SOA Services" (Service Oriented Architecture Services?). How stupid this all is when you think about it. What's even more stupid are all the journalists out there who got confused with Web services (and some still are). Many still use the term Web services in its strictest sense [ex. a travel Web site is a Web service].... not anything to do at all with WSDL, SOAP, UDDI, etc. They should be calling them "XML Web services" like Capient, Microsoft, IBM, Sun, Amazon, and others consistently have to avoid confusion. Unless its a technical capability that follows industry guidelines such as those published by the WS-I organization, then we are not talking about the world of XML Web services. Almost all data can be exposed as a XML Web service [internally or externally], using the before mentioned XML Web service protocol stack to reduce complexity, lower IT costs, and attract more profitable relationships. If someone has not been doing their research and is hyperspaced to a different IT dimension by some rouge company and/or is off the beaten path and working with a different standards model, then they are possibly not reaching their full potential. -Rich
Posted: 21st July 2005 | By Daniel Steward :
As far as Apple's macs go; the interesting thing will be if Apple decides to license the Mac OS to other box builders like HP or Dell. I'm inclined to think that initially there will be little that Apple can do to prevent someone from buying a copy of OS Xi and running it on a Dell or HP (ect.) The catch is that I also don't think that Apple will continue using "off the shelf" Pentium chips from Intel for more than a year or two. I think that the reason that Apple is moving to Intel is that Intel has some spectacular chips in the pipe that M$ won't be able to support but Apple will. Apple isn't stuck with having to support legacy x86 code in any way while M$ is and so Intel & Apple can shed all the x86 compatability crap and really go places with new chip sets.
Apple customers will be able to install Windows on early Intel Macs but it won't last and Windows users will find themselves looking with envy at the machines that Mac users have.
Posted: 23rd July 2005 | By applewiz :
The PC market at the manufacturers end is driven by one thing, price. That's it. If Apple wants to compete against the 50% white box category he will have to provide the same/upgradeable hardware at the same price which he cannot do. Apple will remain a white elephant for these reasons as Apple will never make a clone, but white box builders WILL, and Apple will become a software business that sells iPods FINALLY-or at best a niche. Even if Apple sells some more computer it won't be THAT significant, and it won't matter to me as my decision is already made as to what I will do.
Posted: 24th July 2005 | By themotie :
Daniel (and others): Apple will licence the OS to other box builders NOT! Not if they can help it anyway. Why is it so difficult to understand that Apple is a HARDWARE company? The live by selling MACS, not OSX. If anybody with an intel box could run OSX Apple would be ruined. Does Steve Jobs know this? Duh ...
Posted: 26th July 2005 | By MactelToBe :
themotie and others:
it does not matter. Either Apple opens Mac OS X to other PC-box hardware out there (at least to Dell and HP) or there will not be any significant marker share boost.
Even more: open Mac OS X (including Aqua) and give it for free (as Linux). That would make Mac OS X the new standard. Windows and Linux will be history in a few months or years.
Otherwise, eventually Linux will take over as an open and free OS, once it is more user friendly in about five years.
Apple: did you see the writing on the wall? --You are still on time, but time but must act now, not tomorrow!
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