Rather than try and predict what will happen this year I thought I would instead write my wish list of technical developments I would love to see in 2011.
1. Apple TV to support BBC iPlayer, add BBC radio stations to the radio section and add an app store.
2. The Mac App store will be a great success and lead to copy cat App stores on Windows and Linux machines. I would like to think that Apple will support applications developed using Java in their App Store.
3. Languages like Java and Objective C are far to technical for the vast majority of business apps. For business apps we need to revisit the objectives of COBOL and have a simple development language which frees developers to focus on the business applications functionality and usability rather than memory management, resource allocation etc.
4. Similar to the above point I would like to see BigDecimal support in Java greatly improved and ideally supported as a native data type. Doing decimal business calculations in Java is painful and the language could learn much from COBOL and RPG in this area. I know Java was never designed for business applications, you don’t need simple decimal support in set top boxes but it’s about time this was added.
5. ITunes in the cloud. Why should I have to backup copies of the music I download from Apple when they know what they have sold me and still have the original?
6. Better cloud based backup solutions. I want something as well integrated as Time Machine storing my data off site.
7. Time Machine gets updated in Lion to properly support file versioning rather than just snapshots. I find myself using Dropbox a lot now as I know the data is backed up and I can easily get access to previous versions of my documents.
8. A new approach to search engines emerges. I expect to see a subscription based search engine sooner or later. The problem is that although the people at Google are without doubt some of the cleverest people on the planet they are out numbered by the sheer number of average people trying to spam their search index. I could imagine paying for a service which is curated by a team of humans.
9. IE6 finally dies. A good slice of the budget for any major web site project is being wasted making the site work on IE6, the money would be much better spent on features for newer browsers and content.
10. Solar energy becomes more affordable and becomes mandatory in new buildings. Actually I’d like to see this go further and make sure that manufactures are required to make their White goods solar energy friendly. This can be as simple as allowing for a hot water fill in washing machines and dish washers.
I’ve stopped with my top 10 and look forward to seeing how many of these happen in 2011.