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Notes on tech

Notes on technology, business, enterpreneurship, economy, markets along with interesting general tidbits.

Interesting trends to watch

5/14/2005 10:56:00 AM, posted by anand

I am listing a bunch of trends that might stir up your mind to come up with exciting ideas. They might be unrelated amongst themselves. I'm just listing what I am observing. Some of them have interesting technical/technological repercussions, some of them might have a more direct impact.
  • The microprocessor speed race is over. CPU performance growth has hit a wall. Today we are in the 3 GHz range in mainstream computers and are staying there. Manufacturers are adding more cores to the CPU, but CPU speed is not going to grow the way we have seen in the last 10 years.
  • Half terabyte of storage costs less than $500 today. You can add more photo's, video's, movies and your MP3's to your local storage than ever before. Heck, even GMail offers over 2 GB of email storage space per account.
  • Network connectivity is more reliable, faster, cheaper and becoming ubiquitous with various connectivity options like WiFi, EDGE, WiMax, DSL, Cable etc. Each major hotel/motel in the US offers broadband access through a wireline connection atleast.
  • Content creation and publishing has become easier thanks to easy to use blogging tools. There has been a tremendous growth in the volume (and arguably quality) of content because of blogging. Every single day, hundreds of thousands of bloggers add more posts to their blogs in reverse chronological order.
  • RSS is the new way to publish and subscribe to content. Unlike HTML which is unstructured to an extent, RSS is a machine readable format with a predefined syntax and form. People use aggregators or RSS readers to subscribe to dozens of blogs which they read daily.
  • Globalization makes it cheaper to get the work done and that too with good quality. This drives down cost for any enterprise. This has happened in manufacturing for decades, it has been increasingly happening in software/IT since the past 4-5 years.
  • Open source software lowers the barriers of entry for any startup. You just have to pay for the hardware costs, which are dwindling anyway. Free Open Source Software (FOSS) provides you with the operating system, source code control, database, content management, app server, web server and pretty much anything else that you might need on the software side.
  • Hard disk size is shrinking and can now store more than ever before. An iPod can store tens of Gigabytes of data. Samsung released a phone with 4 Gigabytes of storage.
  • Mobile phones are becoming more and more sophisticated and complicated to use. These days they have built-in PDA capabilities, MP3 players, cameras, bluetooth, huge storage and high speed connectivity options.
  • Companies like EBay, Google, Yahoo, Amazon are making their data accessible to developers through webservice API's. Developers can mix and match stuff from various sources and come up with totally new applications.
  • 90's is back. Search is hot. Browser wars are happening. Old problems are interesting again. Thin client computing is making a comeback (or atleast attempting to).
  • Digital lifestyle is very expensive. There are multiple ways to contact a person: phone, IM, email.
  • All the incumbents are being challenged. VOIP challenges the business model of telephone service providers like Verizon, SBC etc. Linux challenges the Microsoft Windows OS. Dell challenges Sun and HP. Firefox challenges IE. Client side application remix challenges server side data. India challenges US in IT/Software. China challenges everyone in manufacturing, hardware or otherwise. Globalization challenges local jobs. Digital lifestyle challenges our attention span.
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