In a recent article, my colleague Paul Barter described “Crazy Awesome Stuff About the Future”, he described why the doom and gloom predictions of the future should be tempered by the amazing innovations that the future will also bring. Most of which we only have a shade of understanding at this point, but I agree with Paul completely. However, observing the events of the past few weeks in the technology industry (along with some pretty credible “rumours” out there) I was inspired to write this, because it is not only the future that is Crazy Awesome, it is literally right now.
This period of time has struck me as simply astounding in the pace and significance of technology releases, innovations, business model changes as well as failures. I am not writing this intending to take sides for or against any of these changes (but I can if you’d like…)
There are always announcements and new products brought forward in the technology sector, some big and some not. However, the amount of staggering, potentially behaviour and business disrupting announcements that have and will come out from September through October 2011 is simply mind blowing.
Let’s look at the big boy first. Microsoft announced Windows 8 and its entirely new approach to User Interface and experience through the Metro UI approach. This marks a profound shift in the world’s biggest operating system and will have a huge effect on its customers, technology and partner ecosystem. Pundits are still grasping to try and figure out what it all means, however I have to agree with Chris Madden that If You Already Hate Windows 8 then You Hate Technology. This announcement will likely shape computing for the masses for decades, for good or bad, but it is nothing if not profound.
Also this month Google has added over 100 features to its Social Network Google+, although it is still unfortunately a bit of a wasteland. Google has also launched Google Wallet in limited trial, again another technology which could literally change the behaviour and experience of millions of users. These are not minor updates, or .1 releases, these are major initiatives.
Finally, the most controversial updates (at least for today) are from Facebook, who made yet another huge step in their bid to control the entirety of social activity on the Internet with their Open Graph announcement (in addition to Timeline, which is an amazing piece of technology in and of itself). Facebook, like it or hate it, is not going anywhere soon, and their recent announcements will make it Social Graph approach a factor in the majority of app announcements as they increasingly include social activity announcements and integration. Facebook is making strides in their efforts to become THE internet (for all intents and purposes), to most users.
And that is not even close to being all for this year - there is the impending worst kept rumour in the room, which is Apple’s iPhone 5, sure to be announced and released within the next few weeks. And to try and upstage that, today Amazon scheduled their press conference to likely announce their potential iPad competitor, the Kindle Tablet. And while I have mentioned about the successes and innovation, let’s not forget the profound changes and failures in the landscape as well, such as HP and RIM’s recent failed ventures.
On a less business focused level, it is also worth noting that the video game industry is also likely entering its most significant holiday season, ever. There will be hundreds of millions of dollars spent on blockbuster technology titles this fall, even in the face of potential worldwide economic hardships, simply dwarfing Hollywood.
This period of time has struck me as simply astounding in the pace and significance of technology releases, innovations, business model changes as well as failures. I am not writing this intending to take sides for or against any of these changes (but I can if you’d like…), rather just to point out the sheer magnitude of change, innovation and excitement in the technology industry today. I would suggest it is unprecedented and I don’t expect anything to slow it down. Similar to the article linked above, if you can’t find anything to be excited about these days, whether having an entrepreneurial idea, or the prospect of using some brand new technology, or the idea that whole new experiences are being developed and available almost every day, then you simply don’t like technology.
I definitely do, and this is an unmatched time of excitement if you are a technologist.