Soundbyte 126: It rocked!
At the beginning of a new year, it’s good to briefly reflect on the past year, and I can only agree with Hans’ sentiment last week and tell you: It rocked! For me personally, this is summarized best with the following concert:
So, turn up the volume, pour yourself a glass of wine, sit back and enjoy!
Happy New Year!
First of all, I wish everybody who is reading this a happy new year. I hope to meet all my colleagues at our new offices at the Orpheus Theatre in Apeldoorn later this week. For the rest of you: all the best and may you live in interesting times!
Last year for Luminis Technologies has been a year of growing and building a lot of great software and quite frankly we’ve been so busy that we hardly had any time to look back!
The Amdatu project has matured a lot. Thales joined as a partner, a book was published and many components were added. The current focus is on making it easier to use (look out for the Amdatu Bootstrap project here) and strengthening the cloud platform through the INAETICS research project. We’ve also continued to extend the underlying projects, such as Apache ACE, Apache Felix, Apache Celix and Bndtools.
PulseOn saw a major release at the beginning of the new school year. Building on Amdatu, this personalized learning environment is not only taking off in The Netherlands, but we have various people from abroad expressing an interest. Right now, the development is done by multiple teams and it’s nice to see that our agile, distributed model has paid off.
The team at Technologies has also grown last year, and next year won’t be any different. We are working feverishly behind the scenes on both a new project and signing up more great people to join the team and I’m confident that we can announce more about that soon.
Last year we also started an experiment. We were growing out of our offices in De Steeg and whilst discussing our requirements for a new office, we decided together to start working without an office.
We did this not only because of the savings in time (show hands everybody who enjoys standing in a traffic jam every day) but also because we believe in the distributed development model and once you start using this model, your working location becomes irrelevant. With this model in place it also becomes easier for us to add people to the team that don’t live close by.
Of course we do still meet up regularly, and for some activities people still get together in a project, but the default way of working is from home, where you can work without the distractions that a lot of offices bring. We evaluated this last month and decided that the experiment was a success, so we’ll continue to work this way in 2014!
Predictions for 2014
For the last couple of years, I’ve made some predictions for the upcoming year in the soundbyte (for 2012, still in Dutch, and for 2013) so this is a good time to evaluate those and come up with some new ones for this year.
On the desktop, Windows 8 did not struggle as much as I predicted. In fact it just passed the 10% mark which is not too bad for a relatively new OS.
In the mobile marketplace, the picture is entirely different though. Here, Windows Phone went up to 3.6% and as that same article states: 2013 was, alas, the year that Android became the Windows of the mobile world. Android surpassed the 80 percent market share in Q3, which was a big story. I also predicted Apple’s decline in market share, which did happen, although they are still a bit above the 10% if you look at the smartphone market.
With that out of the way, let’s look forward to 2014, where I predict:
- Privacy and security were already mentioned last week, and they will be one of the major themes for 2014. Last year showed us that our “secure” protocols are not that secure. This means we probably have to review how we deal with security from the ground up and with the amount of infiltration that has been going on in the current internet, maybe it is time to look at this as an opportunity to start “internet 2.0”.
- The battle for the TV screen will intensify. However, I see no large breakthroughs or big winners. It is traditionally one of the hardest markets, partitioned and monopolized by big players that have no interest in innovating. However, with this many companies interested in this market, something will eventually happen here and we will probably see the first signs next year. Netflix, Playstation, Apple TV, Google TV, XBox, take your pick!
- Wearables will continue to come to market. We’ve seen prototypes of Google Glass and various “smart watches” (notably the Pebble but there have been others as well). A lot of people are still waiting for Apple’s offer in this market, and I predict they will do well there because of their focus on design and watches being mainly fashion statements.