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Software Development Predictions For 2009

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the hand-writing-on-the-wall dept.

Software 134

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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134 comments

On the contrary (5, Insightful)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 5 years ago | (#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 (5, Insightful)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 5 years ago | (#26328051)

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

in our case the rotten trees got bailed out

looking good (1)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 5 years ago | (#26330823)

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.

investment banker on slashdot!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26334075)

go now before we draw our sabers...

Re:On the contrary (4, Insightful)

supersnail (106701) | more than 5 years ago | (#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 (4, Insightful)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 5 years ago | (#26328299)

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.

Re:On the contrary (-1, Troll)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 5 years ago | (#26328611)

Did you read your own posting? And then compare it what the parent wrote?

Your entire sentence is conjecture, whereas the parent is talking about how the external world sees IT. And that is as a big expense.

So when IT comes around and says, "hey here is how I can save money." Well I can understand when they say, "sure..... you... can..."

The days of IT being something special are gone...

Re:On the contrary (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26328901)

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.

Re:On the contrary (4, Interesting)

Dutch Gun (899105) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:On the contrary (1)

supersnail (106701) | more than 5 years ago | (#26328655)

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 not just a case of unemployment shooting up to 10%, many of those in jobs will be earning less money -- low bonuses, low sales commisions, people lost a job but found another at a lower salary etc.

Those people who did manage to earn as much or more than last year are reluctant to spend it and are preparing for the time when thier luck runs out.

Another poster commented on how "business could save millions if they revisited thier old systems". Sorry but the running costs of an existing system will rarely be more than the software devlopment costs of "improvements". This is call "Business Process Re-engineering" in Bullshit and thier have been too many high profile failures in this area for this to be taken seriously by Business management.

If developers had delivered more on time/on budget/fullfills requirments software during the good years these arguments might have some credibility -- but for the most part corporate america would rahter stick with the abd smell thay have gotten used to rather spend money on solething that could be worse.

Re:On the contrary (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 5 years ago | (#26329089)

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 everyone to upgrade), but also possibly because Linux is really making inroads in some areas.

2009 could be the year things really changed for the IT software marketplace.

Re:On the contrary (1, Insightful)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#26329069)

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:On the contrary (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 5 years ago | (#26330261)

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:On the contrary (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26331041)

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 doubt that all the assumptions made fall in favor of coming out with a low number. When you consider all the people who have fallen out of the system entirely and given up looking for (reported) work, the ones who technically have "full-time" jobs but can't get enough hours to support themselves, etc., the real unemployment rate is somewhere between 12 and 15 percent. A lot lower than 1 in 15 people.

I'm sorry to take this out on the parent but it really bugs me when people sitting in their safe little employment foxholes never lift their heads to look around and consequently think that everyone else must be ok too. I work in a blue collar city in a prosperous northeastern state. I see good people every day who are only a few rungs above the walking dead and the ladder is getting more crowded every day. These bullshit exercises in trying to explain how everything really isn't that bad just piss me off. Especially since they always come from someone who hasn't missed a meal in 20 years.

Re:On the contrary (3, Informative)

DuckDodgers (541817) | more than 5 years ago | (#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%.

science and the Great Depression (1)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 5 years ago | (#26330857)

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.

Re:On the contrary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26331869)

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

Its not a company/brand or product, but Alcoholics Anonymous was founded during the depression. (Yes, alcohol was still illegal in the US at the time).

Re:On the contrary (1)

tknd (979052) | more than 5 years ago | (#26333721)

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.

Re:On the contrary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26334231)

i've simply had it with the moderation on this site. ..or are we working on a 5/10 scale now? thanks

the new markets are coming.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26334515)

wait and watch.

Re:On the contrary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26328241)

It really bothers me that the the person that wrote the initial post maintains that companies will sit on existing tech that they have had for years. What needs to be thought here is same-same to see how a trend continues. The thing is that it seems to me that need trends need to ice the market, because these companies keep hotting it.

Internet Inflection Point (2, Interesting)

broward (416376) | more than 5 years ago | (#26328751)

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.

Re:Internet Inflection Point (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26328851)

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!

Re:Internet Inflection Point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26332147)

Say for argument diesel gets %50 better mpg. Around here, Gas is $1.70 and Diesel is $3.16. Still does not compute with purchasing a new vehicle (currently though)

Re:Internet Inflection Point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26332729)

Why don't you move?

Re:Internet Inflection Point (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#26333275)

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 your pocket. Of course fixing it helps put a little green in MY pocket too, so it is a win/win!

In fact (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 5 years ago | (#26328965)

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 see new low costs "ideas" become available and suddenly take over.

Re:On the contrary (1)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 5 years ago | (#26329083)

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 (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26327999)

is very difficult, especially of the future.

Re:Prediction (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 5 years ago | (#26328139)

Then do something less difficult instead.

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

Re:Prediction (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 5 years ago | (#26328197)

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:Prediction (2, Insightful)

freddy_dreddy (1321567) | more than 5 years ago | (#26328507)

By controlling the past, one means controlling education in history - omitting certain historic events and highlighting others.

Re:Prediction (1)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 5 years ago | (#26328893)

Yea, I got that after posting. I should refrain from replying to people before my coffee ;)

Re:Prediction (1)

goose-incarnated (1145029) | more than 5 years ago | (#26329351)

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 :-)

Re:Prediction (1)

freddy_dreddy (1321567) | more than 5 years ago | (#26329779)

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.

Re:Prediction (0)

coaxial (28297) | more than 5 years ago | (#26329699)

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

The Roman Catholic church.
The European Common Market was created by the Treaty of Rome
Audrey Hepburn stared in "Roman Holiday".
ESPN gave Jim Rome his own show, "Rome is Burning".
Roman Polanski is a famous director and fugitive.

Do I have to spell it out for you?

Re:Prediction (1)

codeButcher (223668) | more than 5 years ago | (#26329945)

Do I have to spell it out for you?

... and you'll probably use the Roman alphabet for that spelling too.

(At least we don't use their numbering system any more....)

Re:Prediction (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26328181)

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 number but for some reason we've been unable to secure one of the winning tickets for a reasonable price.

Re:Prediction (1)

mrthoughtful (466814) | more than 5 years ago | (#26328753)

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.

Re:Prediction (1)

mrthoughtful (466814) | more than 5 years ago | (#26328759)

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

Re:Prediction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26330351)

Sure, if Claude Shannon hadn't already done it 50 years ago.

Wow! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26328001)

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?

Re:Wow! (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 5 years ago | (#26328031)

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'

To be released (1)

Gustavo the Aardvark (1414775) | more than 5 years ago | (#26328029)

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

Re:To be released (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26328095)

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 (5, Insightful)

mrthoughtful (466814) | more than 5 years ago | (#26328049)

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:2009 (0, Redundant)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#26328085)

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

Re:2009 (1)

mrthoughtful (466814) | more than 5 years ago | (#26328207)

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.

Re:2009 (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 5 years ago | (#26329017)

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 (5, Insightful)

Eivind (15695) | more than 5 years ago | (#26328329)

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.

Re:2009 (1)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 5 years ago | (#26328547)

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.

Re:2009 (1)

Dave Tucker Online (1310703) | more than 5 years ago | (#26329959)

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.

Re:2009 (5, Funny)

wisty (1335733) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:2009 (0)

Seth Kriticos (1227934) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332759)

Basically I agree to you except for the GUI thing. Did you see a well configured Compiz on potent hardware lately?

(14.a) As shiny and powerful it may be, you will still have a hard time to find sane documentation for GUI's in Linux.

That would be an argument. Also:

(20) Vendor lock-in and lack of thinking will keep Win OS where it is.
(21) Linux keeps being difficult to figure out for technically not inclined people, and thy won't even get the idea to try.
(22) Games will keep the majority of the rest with the OS.

Re:2009 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26334035)

Having a flashy or powerful GUI does not address the actual concerns with the GUI interfaces available for Linux. GNUStep is about the most consistent, but shockingly ugly.

Re:2009 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26332855)

(16) New web frameworks are written in Python (x3), Ruby (x2) and Cobol. Database work is still difficult.

I'm writing one in Perl!

Re:2009 (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26328699)

Java sucks!

Re:2009 (1)

Peron (1140757) | more than 5 years ago | (#26328897)

(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.

Re:2009 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26331881)

Less change happens then you expect in a year, but more change then you expect happens in ten years.

fap (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26328075)

*masturbates*

Money != innovation (2)

Kotten (1416929) | more than 5 years ago | (#26328103)

'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.

Re:Money != innovation (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#26328251)

"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.

Innovation is bad times (3, Interesting)

N1AK (864906) | more than 5 years ago | (#26328169)

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.

informative mareMarKe (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26328171)

4.1BSD produ3t,

An interesting Chinese proverb... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26328281)

... follows that

Good luck seldom comes in pairs but bad things never walk alone.

Perhaps this ancient wisdom applies to software in the sense that with the rotten economy, there will be more downtrodden markets and more suffering to accompany, as they say, misery.

Software is just like anything else. Especially like other commodities, it's important to recognize that certain monotheistic influences have infiltrated the highest levels of niggerdom. Specifically, those wanting to alert astute readers that they have witnessed a great undermining of their faith in Slashdot vis-a-vis trolling.

Innovation for market creation (2, Insightful)

stiller (451878) | more than 5 years ago | (#26328381)

'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.

Exactly (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 5 years ago | (#26329409)

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?

Re:Innovation for market creation (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26329653)

'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. (2, Interesting)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26328503)

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.

When times are tough you're forced to make do (1)

AnalPerfume (1356177) | more than 5 years ago | (#26328523)

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 your head in the sand, ignore all the signs and keep pumping out gas guzzlers that nobody wants.....then take your private jet into Washington for a government hand out. When fuel was cheap Ford had no reason to innovate, they could continue with the same old, same old. When it becomes an issue, Ford are caught with their pants down and are miles behind the competition and a mountain to climb.....which costs money.....money tied up in cars on forecourts that nobody wants to buy.

When you can't afford to buy new stuff that the advertisers claim you need, you have to make do with what you have, get more out of it. In many cases you find that new feature of that new product, whodathunkit? You don't need it anyway. Your secretary does not need a quad-core super computer to type up some letters and do some email, despite what Microsoft would like you to believe. The longer money is tight, this plays increasingly into OSS hands. Microsoft won't be going away anytime soon but it will make life much more difficult for them.

Look back a couple of generations (depending on your age) at those people living in the first half of the 20th Century. Between 2 world wars and a depression. Absolutely NO disposable income at all. NO money for anything not absolutely essential to living. Women especially were great at making the household budget stretch further than it had any rights to. They didn't do this buy doing the same things as before, they innovated, and passed ideas to each other. These are the people who mostly would save up to buy things in cash, they'd save in banks and see credit as a last resort.

Innovation will continue despite the credit crunch, but investment in it as a means to make money will be much harder to come by. People who see it as an earner will be more conservative. People who want to create something better for their own (or society in general) use will continue to do so although they may be more limited in their contributions due to not having as much spare time etc.

"The End of the Financial World As We Know It" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26328597)

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/04/opinion/04lewiseinhornb.html

we never 'knew' it anyway. there's nothing mentioned about software, or the real value of anything. just more&more felonious greed/fear/ego based behaviours. better days ahead.

Re: "The End of the Financial World As We Know It" (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | more than 5 years ago | (#26328917)

Quoth the NYT article:

Another good solution to the too-big-to-fail problem is to break up any institution that becomes too big to fail.

Methinks this might be relevant to institutions in other, non-financial realms.

Re: "The End of the Financial World As We Know It" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26329201)

as in softwar, (lack of) communications, food etc... in the near future, we'll be hearing of robber barons in the water 'trade'.

he who controls the trade routes.....

We get to make predictions? Okay (1)

SockPuppet_9_5 (645235) | more than 5 years ago | (#26329193)

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 bowl over anyone. Jostling for position as to the #1 seller of phones isn't important because most of the software advances has to do with the phone/web interface, and the extra charges for web access is reaching its peak in many markets.

New rootkits for Windows, and separately, one for a select few versions of Linux.
Linux users will promptly declare that there's no such thing as a true rootkit for Linux and blame lax password procedures for their problems as well as lack of dates on Friday night.

sorry, just saw the first page (1)

Beer-o-clock (1309041) | more than 5 years ago | (#26329261)

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

Re:sorry, just saw the first page (1)

davecb (6526) | more than 5 years ago | (#26331671)

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

WWot fAp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26329453)

exemplified by file was opened You to join thE this mistake or are the important Hubbard and Mike

new ideas will flourish (2, Interesting)

TRRosen (720617) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:new ideas will flourish (1)

Skadet (528657) | more than 5 years ago | (#26332665)

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".

In 2009... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26331931)

(1) Microsoft will become bankrupt
(2) We wouldn't want them to go away, so they will get a bailout
(3) Microsoft will continue to make inferior products, buggy software, and insecure stuff
(4) People won't realize that there is anything else
(5) Companies might move away from MS Office
(6) IT people will get fired
(7) The world will continue on the same track it has always gone on.

I hate how at the end to the year, we have to endure all of these "Best Thing of 2008", "Worst thing of 2008", "Best Thing of 2009", "Worst Thing of 2009"

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