This past year saw a flurry of activities on the UI side from some of the biggest names in the tech industry. Now, innovation and research is a part of technology but what matters to consumers is how much of the innovation actually makes it to products.
Technology review has a great up write-up on the technology trends that shaped the hardware side of 2007. Names like Apple, Microsoft led the fray with UI innovations as in the iPhone and the platform PC. Its great to see that some of the big names are investing heavily in improved interfaces for computing.
The article also focuses on the coming of multi-core processors and especially the design of software to take the advantages of multi-core systems. The year saw initiatives from Google, IBM and Yahoo in promoting the fundamentals of distributed computing paradigms in the academia. Its a fact that applications, especially one garnered towards the web have to take advantage of the scalability and reliability aspects of distributed computing.
Technologies that the article does not talk about are Virtualization and the rise of VMware. Its a technology that allows more utilization of server hardware by separation of the software from the hardware allowing for multiple servers to run on the same hardware. Big player in the OS space such as Microsoft, Sun announced their entry into this arena and in the end more competition will only mean greater value for the enterprises.
On the UI side a great deal more has to be done to make the Web truly ubiquitous on the mobile. Google, with its Android SDK that will hopefully debut on devices in second half of 2008, will be looking to milk the best from the developer community to bring in the best apps for mobiles yet. But I believe that greater innovation on the UI side is a must to really take web applications on the mobile mainstream. That and of course the bandwidth improvement.
Advertising will continue to be the main source of revenue online and the coming year will perhaps see the shift from the desktop from to the mobile. Of key importance will be how advertisers get on with their job unobtrusively on the mobiles. With limited viewing space, it will be another front for great innovation. A company called Zumobi had introduced the tiled approach to bring in Ads and a different UI experience as well.
Overall, 2008 has a lot to anticipate at the tech front.