So what does the New Year have in store? Well I don't know! There are however some reasonable certainties such as the economic down-turn but one's things for sure unpredictable events will happen. My predictions are going to be nothing more than my personal musings on the state of affairs and not on insider information, so be warned, don't necessarily put money on horses I'm backing. So in no particular order here's what's on my mind ...
- Microsoft will make huge efforts to bolster Vista
Lets be honest, I'm not feeling the buzz about Vista as there was with previous versions of the Windows OS, maybe I'm effected by way to much FUD but my own personal experiences with Vista have left me disappointed specially as I have a nice shinny copy of Ultimate and I feel at this moment intime that I've been very poorly served for my extra investment.
Now I know Microsoft, they do listen so I'm sure in the background they have plans afoot and if I was them I wouldn't hedge all my bets on SP1. I recently installed the RC1 and from my timings on boot-time, shut-down and DX9 games, i.e. the stuff that's important to me, there still isn't much difference so my main reason for installing RC1, better performance, aren't there yet. So what do I expect? Well near XP. I want my change in OS to be mainly an upgrade not a whole bunch of compromises for just a handful of gains.
So what would I advise Microsoft to do? Well let a few more of those UI ideas that I saw in Longhorn out the door! I would like to see a Dock, take for example Stardock ObjectDock Plus what a really nifty and productive addition to the UI, I love it, the main reason I love it is the tabs allowing my to group and categories my programs allowing some organisation to my desktop and not forcing my through the Start/Windows button bottleneck and then through menu hell or placing yet another icon on my desktop or in the quick launch section on my taskbar which again has not structure and so soon becomes cluttered.
- European Union will win the most medals at the Olympic games ...
... but unless you go and count them yourself you will never know.
The sad fact is that the European Union is a wonderful thing but it has an image problem in the UK. We see the EU as a barrier and not as an enabler. The simple fact is the EU is a huge enabler and is crystal clear on it's failings and taking drastic action to sort it out. The catalyst if the new treaty, this will help streamline the interaction between nations hence why it is so important. Important enough to get the backing of the people. Unfortunately many of my people don't have an opinion other than if it effects immediately around them, so the voices they hear from the media are pretty much all negative, hence why political party's such as UKIP do have traction and is a fundamental issue that has divided the UK main opposition party many times in the past. Perhaps this is the reason why Gordon Brown doesn't want to leave such an important decision to the great unwashed masses and you can't blame him. However this shows the failing on how poorly successive parties in the past have failed to educate the population on the purpose of the EU and therefore it's overriding benefits.
A lot is at stake, the potential of the EU is amazing! We can be the worlds biggest economic super-power dwarfing the States, China and India if only we put our minds to it. So why don't we? The single biggest reason is that we do not have a culture of celebrating success. We need to combat this immediately. Yes we should have a parade for bronze or silver medal winners! Yes, we could always put more money into education and health but they are bottomless pits but changing how we think about ourselves will be far and away more powerful. Our children want to be celebrated how many surveys show that as a result what we aren't very good at showing is that this is a benefit of some kind of conscious thought from someone rather than blind luck and by applying some decent structure educated thought so much more can be imagined and achieved.
- Lenovo, Intel, Dell and HP will wake up to the marvelous thing they control.
Yes the PC, it's an amazing beast but it's a laptop now. Desktops are on the downward slope. PC however have morphed into specific devices such as thin-clients and media-centre's leaving all that famous expandability and choice, the killer reason for having a PC behind.
But I don't want to be locked in! I want to have choice and I want it easy and accessible and I don't want to pay the earth for that! I have that now, so why should my expectation change?
This is where I can see the humble USB port will plays it's part. USB 3.0 has a 5Gbps bandwidth that means that many devices such as graphics cards and additional processors can hang off it with ease, no need to break out the screw-driver. We see this happening with memory so why not? My good friend Dave Caddick has been predicting this for as long as I've known him.
Speaking of hardware we are going to see even more amazing games appear this year enabled by more advances in technology. DDR3 and the next evolution of graphics cards and processors are almost making an even wider gap between PC's and Consoles. I predict the Wii may be the best seller now, will look old and dated by next Christmas. As for the Xbox 360 and PS3 well news of the successors will be in the public domain.
- Time for clearer job titles.
What the heck is an Architect these days? It's a coverall title for a multitude of different roles, to clarify this position we've been adding prefixes to Architect for years such as Developer, Solution, Technical, Infrastructure, Business and Enterprise and yet even under these headings you will find a myriad of other roles going on all centring around preparation and direction. What the prefixes try to do is put the role in a context and specialism because there isn't enough hours in the days to do it all and we are human beings which means we can't be good at everything. A strong role comes from having well defined roles and responsibilities. Weakening a role by placing to much on it makes it slow and ineffective. Better process or practice does not make this situation any better.
I believe that we need to give job roles names that better suit the context, specialist and responsibility. If there isn't a word in the English language yet, make one! We in IT are rather good at that. Don't diminish the meaning of another by borrowing it.
So today I've called a Technical Enterprise Architect. Tomorrow I want to be called a Strategic Technical Preparer.
I will follow up my thoughts on this in a future post.
Anyway, enough of my brain-dumps. I really hope you have a very happy New Year!