Select Page
2014 Review and 2015 Technology Predictions

2014 Review and 2015 Technology Predictions

I’m not typically one to do predictions or year end reviews, but in an attempt to try new things I have decided to compile my list for 2014 and 2015. Some things are fairly obvious and as a Windows user I’m a bit biased – but it’s all justified :)

Enjoy and hope you had a great year and a great new year!

Microsoft

  • Surface
    • Surface Pro 3 is probably the best piece of hardware and software that I have ever owned.
    • I use my SP3 as my primary computing device, it works as a desktop, laptop and tablet. I use it for intense daily needs like running Photoshop, Visual Studio, Outlook, OneNote and numerous other applications.
    • I also use it for casual use like watching movies, listening to music, browsing the web, Skyping, drawing and much more.
    • Sales of Surface Pro 3 will continue to increase in 2015 unlike the iPad
    • We’ll see the launch of Surface Pro 4 which will kickoff a massive upgrade cycle especially for businesses, but also the average consumer.
    • We’ll see Apple try to compete by launching a similar product, with a pen of it’s own.
    • I predict we will reach a point where 90% of the population will need only two primary devices a Surface Pro 3 type device and a Phone.
    • We’ll have docking stations and external monitors at home and at the office, we’ll simply dock our tablets and work and then un-dock to consume and be mobile. (I’m already doing this)
    • Very few people will need a full-blown desktop, very few will want to carry or want to pay for a desktop, a tablet, laptop and a phone.
  • Windows
    • Windows 8.1 has been a really powerful OS for my needs, I know a lot of people don’t like it – but I find it to be very stable, fast, efficient and works very well for mouse, touch and pen. Windows 8.1 has gotten a bad rap, once you use it for a couple weeks it all feels natural and logical – in my opinion.
    • Windows 8 will start to gain additional market share, despite it’s slow start, it will pick up momentum in the first 6 months 2015.
    • We’ll get our first look at Windows 10 for the “consumer” in January
    • Windows 10 will launch late summer and people are going to be ecstatic about it – anything to get them away from Windows 8.
    • Windows 10 will have massive growth through the end of 2015 and all through 2016.
    • Windows 10 will be the one OS that will truly work across ALL devices.
    • Code once, work everywhere will be a huge selling point for businesses, developers and consumers. You’d be insane not to build on top of it.
  • Windows Phone
    • Windows Phone has had a rough couple years in growth, but it is growing and is in a solid 3rd place.
    • With the failure / slow start of other devices like Amazon Phone, Tizen, Blackberry we can see just how hard it really is to grow in the phone world. The fact that Windows Phone has been able to get to 3rd place in a few short years is actually pretty impressive.
    • With the release of Windows 10, we’ll start to finally see some big growth in apps for Windows Phone.
    • Windows Phone is becoming a large enough platform that companies not porting their services to it will start catching a lot more grief from their customers.
    • We’ll finally see the launch of a “Surface Phone”, it will be a cutting edge, flagship Windows phone – unfortunately I think we’ll only get one of these a year (think iPhone, Surface Pro)
    • They will however continue to drive the cost down on lower end Windows phones to see continued growth in developing countries.
    • We’ll see a lot more OEMs building for Windows Phone as well.
  • OneDrive
    • I use OneDrive for all of my storage needs, my dependence on it will continue to grow – but only if they work out some of the kinks.
    • I love being able to access ANY of my files from my Surface, my phone, my old desktop and anywhere from the web – this has drastically changed my file management processes and increased my productivity.
    • Storage costs are going to go through the floor in 2015, they are already low, however we are not quite at the bottom.
    • The changes we have seen in Windows 10 for OneDrive are causing a lot of concern for users (including me), the way OneDrive works seems to be changing quite drastically and removing some of the useful features that power users have come to love. (Ghosted Files)
    • I am confident though that once Windows 10 actually launches the issues we are seeing in OneDrive will be a thing of the past and we’ll see it as a no-brainer move.
  • Software / Services
    • OneDrive technically could have been placed in this section, but I use it so much I wanted to keep it separate.
    • Microsoft has at least 16 Billion+ services under it’s umbrella. (Windows, Windows Server, Azure, Office, Xbox, SQL Server, System Center, SharePoint, Visual Studio, Dynamics, Online ads, Phone, Office 365, CAL, Enterprise Services, Enterprise communication software) –
    • We’ll see that the Surface line will be added to that list in 2015 as well.
    • I don’t know of any other company with such a diverse and successful ecosystem – Microsoft has set itself up to withstand technology trends as they continue to build for the long-term.
    • Azure is going to explode in 2015
    • Cortana will be integrated to as many devices / ecosystems as possible (Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox, Android and iOS if they can figure out a way)
    • Bing will continue to gain market share and will also be integrated more broadly into devices
    • Microsoft has the most services on the most ecosystems, in the end Microsoft doesn’t really care about the device, they care about the user. Devices and even ecosystems come and go every year, the one thing that never leaves is the user. The more people Microsoft can get to use their services the more power they will have.
  • Wearables
    • We saw the launch of the Microsoft band in 2014, I think we’ll see an updated, more powerful version in 2015. After or around the Windows 10 launch.
    • I don’t think they will launch an actual “Smart Watch”, I think they will stick to the more fitness oriented device.
    • I DO think they should launch a true “Smart Watch”, not because I want one but I think they need to do so to stay competitive with Apple and Google in that space. If they are not in the game I think it will damage their image.
    • I personally have little interest in an actual smart watch, I have yet to see something that really shows it’s usefulness.

Apple

  • iPad
    • The iPad has seen tremendous growth since it launched, however I think it has reached it’s peak and will continue to slide in market share until it levels off in 2016.
    • With the success of the Surface Pro 3 and Android devices I have a hard time seeing the iPad having any more major growth opportunities.
    • iPad is certainly a great consumption device, it’s great for a few simple tasks, but when it comes to true productivity, efficiency and versatility it still falls short in my book
  • iPhone
    • The iPhone will continue to be a huge money maker for Apple, with the iPhone 6+ they are satisfying the needs of Apple fans who have been craving a large screen. It’s an easy, quick sell.
    • They just had a killer holiday season, so it’s pretty much all down hill from here in sales until next holiday. Android will continue to cleanup in between that time.
    • With the rise in high quality, low cost Android and Windows Phones hitting the markets, I expect iPhone users to start realizing there are other great devices out there that cost a lot less than an iPhone.
    • The iPhone luster will finally start wearing thin in the next 2 years.
  • Apple Watch
    • The Apple Watch is the next big thing people are expecting from Apple in 2015.
    • Will it be a massive success? Yes, it’s created by Apple and they have legions of people eager to buy anything at the blink of an eye. (So do Microsoft and Google users, but it’s not nearly as intense).
    • Journalists will finally say that Smart Watches are truly useful once the Apple Watch is released – despite the fact that it won’t add a whole lot of value to the general consumer.
    • It’s from Apple, so obviously it’s perfect and solves all our needs. /s
  • Software / Services
    • Apple really only has 3 or 4 Billion+ services, iPad, iPhone, App Store and laptop/desktops. While it’s impressive that the can make so much money from only a few services, I think in the long run they will struggle to grow. If just one of their services tanks, that ends up being a huge loss for them – they need to diversify more, especially into software.
    • Apple is by far the most closed ecosystem out there, this will hurt them in the next few years. People want to use software on a wide range of devices and ecosystems – Apple does not fill this need.
    • Microsoft and Google apps are very popular on Apple devices, what happens to Apple once those users realize they can use those same services on cheaper, more customized hardware?
    • Apple is partnering with IBM which will help them on the software front, however it will likely push developers a way from the platform who would rather not compete with Apple and IBM in the app store.

Google

  • Android
    • Android will go down in the history books as a case study on how to succeed. Just a few years ago it was a blip on the radar, now it leads in Tablet sales, Phone sales and it’s Chrome books are rising up the charts.
    • Android will have another solid year of growth in 2015, but it’s going to slow down, by a lot.
    • Samsung is their top OEM and currently Samsung is in a bit of a free-fall with no end in sight. Unless they or some other OEM can figure out a drastic change, Android will hit a wall.
    • Android fragmentation has been significantly reduced, which will make developers happy
  • Material Design
    • While I haven’t directly used their new design language, I do like what I see from a design / interactivity perspective.
    • They took the Modern Design Language from Microsoft and made it a bit more approachable, playful and dynamic.
    • I’d actually like to see Microsoft adopt some of the elements of Material design into their own to liven it up a bit more and to make it feel a bit more organic.
    • Material design has had a very positive reaction from the tech community in general, yet Microsoft’s Modern Design Language has not – I find this to be a bit of a slap in the face and unfair towards Microsoft.
  • Search
    • Search has been Google’s bread and butter for years, it will continue to lead in market share in 2015 but the future is looking rough.
    • Firefox didn’t renew their agreement with Google, Apple is using Bing more and more throughout it’s apps.
    • A lot of people go directly to Amazon to search / buy things, rather than through Google.
    • People are searching more and more through Facebook, Twitter, etc.
    • It will be an interesting few years for Google Search.
  • Self-Driving Cars
    • Self-Driving cars, yes please!
    • Google is leading the pack on self-driving cars, I’d love to see other big companies like Apple, Microsoft and even Amazon get into the space.
    • We’ll see significant progress in this field in 2015 and 2016, we’ll also see a lot of consumer concern over it.
    • One major accident or loss of life in a self-driving car and the media is going to go crazy. Which is really sad because the benefits out-weigh the negatives by a lot.
    • Will it be weird not having to drive yourself, yes. However, it will literally change the world. From pollution, to parking, to traffic, to gas consumption and even architecture of homes and buildings.
    • This will be a huge market one day and that day is not very far away.
  • Google Glass
    • Google Glass, the once loved accessory of Robert Scoble. (What happened to him anyway? Kind of disappeared, like Google Glass).
    • Unless Google can pull something out of a hat in 2015, I think Glass is about dead.
    • There are certainly a few industries where it makes a ton of sense to use (Medical Field), I just can’t see it being a huge consumer product.
    • It’s too big, too clunky, too invasive and too expensive to be accepted by the average consumer.
Open Letter to iOS Designers

Open Letter to iOS Designers

Dear iOS Designers,
You are incredible, you are the best-in-class of designers I have ever seen. My jaw hits the floor every time I look at one of your photo-realistic icons, your attention to detail and your ambition to push the limits of your abilities. I page through Dribbble and see all these beautiful apps you design, some of which are simply concept designs while others end up becoming fully functional, downloadable apps from the App Store and then I realize I’ll never get to use most of these gorgeous apps.

Just look at some of these beautiful designs:

Jeremiah Shaw
infographic-dribbble


Julien Renvoye
screen_shot_2013-01-10_at_9_54_14_pm


Creativedash
soccerball-icon

I would Love to use many of your apps, but I can’t because I am committed to the Windows ecosystem – I have been since before iOS even existed. You are committed to iOS and Apple, others are committed to Android and Google – and that’s awesome – use what works for you – but don’t forget what works for other people (remember there are lots and lots and lots of people on Windows).

Let me ask you this: Why do you design? You Design because you LOVE it!

Ignore the fact that you design for iOS simply because that is your ecosystem of choice and Microsoft is “Evil”, instead start thinking about designing for Windows 8 and Windows Phone as well – design for Windows because you love to design, because you love to experiment and because you love to try new and exciting thingsdo it because it’s FUN.

I know, I know, Microsoft has for decades put designers on the back-burner and never provided us with a platform to truly show-off our design skills, it’s a no brainer that they lost you to iOS and Apple. I was stupid, close-minded and ignorant to the rise of iOS on iPhone and iPad – I flat-out missed it. Don’t make the same mistakes I did.

Forget all of your past history with Microsoft, open your mind and expand your reach into a new and growing incredibly fast ecosystem – I am asking you, begging you, longing for you to come join me and start exploring the idea of designing for Windows 8 and Windows Phone. Even if your ideas never become actual, functioning apps in the Windows Store – at least you gave it some serious thought as to how your apps could actually look – you might be surprised how much you like it!

Windows for designers is changing and changing in a way that you should not continue to ignore.

Modern applications are a designers dream come true and here are just a few reasons why:

  • Beautiful, Elegant Typography
  • White Space is Encouraged
  • Clean, Clutter free Experiences
  • Chromeless Applications
  • Simple, Playful Animations
  • Fast and Fluid Experience
  • Grids – got to love Grids
  • Consistent experience across, desktop, laptop, tablet and phone

It’s time for all of us across all our ecosystems to put down our pitchforks and explore each other’s ecosystems and design because we love to design, design because we like to experiment, design to create new conversations.

Start designing for Windows 8, Windows Phone, Android, iOS and yes even Blackberry – I’d love to start seeing your Windows 8 and Windows Phone work show up on Dribbble and all the countless other sites for designers.

Add links to your work in the comments below and lets what you can create!

Sincerely,
Micah – a fellow designer