Storage Explosion

Bill Burnham writes:

I found a recent article on Toms Hardware to be fascinating. The article details the increases in storage capacity and performance over the last 15 years. Some of the numbers involved are mind boggling. In the last 15 years, the storage capacity of top-end hard drives has increased 5,907X from 130MB in 1991 to 750GB in 2006.

The price difference is even more dramatic. In 1991 a megabyte of storage cost about $7.00, now it costs $0.000527. Thats a 13,274X price improvement or a 99.9925% price drop in 15 years.

Storage capacity is clearly the most abundant and faster growing component of the big three(processing power, bandwidth, and storage) today and it looks as though the relative disparity between the three may even increase further in the short term.

Enterprise 2.0 Predictions

From the list of 2007 predictions by Dion Hinchcliffe:

Not a dent will be made in 2007 in the installed base of pre-existing collaborative tools such as e-mail, telephone, and IM. But the groundwork will be laid for a noticeable shift in 2008 as managers and workers discover the advantages of increased corporate knowledge retention, far better location of relevant business information, and emergent structure in terms of tagging and linking. And I suspect that tools that integrate e-mail, telephone, and IM into Enterprise 2.0 environments will see the biggest early success.

Enterprise 2.0 and Office 2.0 will face off as leading new terms for online business software and no one will win. Enterprise 2.0 is a broad a term that with it’s automatic association with organization-scale back-end systems will struggle to maintain it’s particular niche in freeform, emergent, social software tools for knowledge managements. Office 2.0 is a nice sized umbrella but tends to refer too much to the client-side aspect and not enough on the back office side. Will they merge or just remain convenient short-hand that evolves through next year? The label debate is important because we need effective short-hand labels to identify the fast moving trends in our industry and for now my vote is with the latter trend.

Digital Consumer

Michael Gartenberg writes about CES: “One core theme will be the real emergence of the digital consumer. Not just the digital home but the digital consumer. As more and more consumers are putting their lives on line, rely more on mobile technology to keep in touch and are creating huge collections of content that is important to them, look for solutions to help them integrate these devices to work better together and allow consumers to better manage their devices and content.”

Microsoft’s Robbie Bach

WSJ writes about the ‘Xbox whiz’:

Now, with all of Microsoft’s key entertainment groups reporting to him, Mr. Bach says his mission is to devise ways for them to work together without creating an unwieldy mix of technologies. Examples might include easier ways to use an Xbox or future Zune player to watch online videos, or a mobile phone to access wirelessly music stored on a PC, say Microsoft insiders.

At a five-hour annual strategy meeting on Dec. 14, Mr. Gates pushed Mr. Bach’s team to speed up its connected-entertainment plans, Mr. Bach’s lieutenants say. “They want us to move as quickly as we possibly can,” Mr. Bach says. “Apple has a lot of market share — we need to move quickly. Our share in the cellphone space is improving and growing but we need to move quicker there. Even in videogames, there’s still plenty of unfinished business there.”

TECH TALK: 2007 Tech Trends: 2006 Review (Part 3)

6. Networks are becoming higher speed and ubiquitous. Broadband is happening on both wired and wireless networks. While countries like Japan and South Korea have had broadband for a few years, it is only now becoming widespread in the US and other markets. In India, the early signs are positive even through telecom operators still tend to do metering of traffic. Broadband is now an accepted reality. Even on wireless networks, the data speeds are improving. China and India are on the verge of announcing terms for 3G networks. WiFi hotspots are spreading and then there is the promise of WiMax on the near horizon. We are on our way to living in an envelope of connectivity.

Update: Even as broadband grows internationally, it is still disappointing in India. BSNL is promising that it will change in 2007, but I am not too sure. Networks in India are far from being high-speed and ubiquitous. This must change. Wireless mesh is one technology that offers promise.

7. Peer production and syndication are at the heart of the new Web. People power is on the rise. As writing and publishing becomes easy, more are taking to the Web for recording their thoughts on whats happening. Blogs now come in all forms from text to audio to video. Syndication, in the form of RSS feeds, is making consumption of this peer produced content easier. Aggregators are coming in all forms, and even becoming part of email clients. A decade ago, Geocities and other gave birth to the People Web. But the static nature of those pages saw that promise fade away. Now, its finally happening blogging is fulfilling that vision. This is the real Web 2.0. It is about We, The People.

Update: Time magazine’s decision to select You as the Person of the Year epitomises this trend. The Web is becoming two-way. Sites like YouTube and MySpace have given rise to self-expression in a big way, and this will continue. Syndication via widgets came to the fore in 2006.

8. Multimedia on the Web is coming into its own. For a long time, the web was mostly text and images. Now, as the devices and tools to create, distribute and consume multimedia are spreading, the Multimedia Web is coming alive. Whether it is podcasts, music, videos or movies, the Internet infrastructure is now there to ensure distribution. This is the world of on-demand. All those investments in fibre many years ago are now paying off. In this world, people will consume the media of their choice at the time and place of their choosing.

Update: Video is everywhere. From short clips to movies, it is all available some for free, some for a fee. Content Distribution Networks have made access to video much easier. DRM still remains a challenge, but it is likely that video ads may provide an alternate revenue model for content owners.

Tomorrow: 2006 Review (continued)

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