I wanted to add a final post on the software I’m most looking forward to this year (I know, we’re already a third of the way in, but hey!):
- Windows 10- This looks like a solid release (although there are certainly a fair few rough edges in the technical preview) for Microsoft. I’m excited to see a whole generation of Windows 7 users move across to a modern operating system – and the potential for the app store once the majority of customers get some exposure to it- very exciting times indeed.
- Photoshop – Adobe seem to never fail to amaze me with adding clever functionality to Photoshop. OK, the cost is still crazy, and the app is definitely edging beyond the world of bloatware into a category all of it’s own- but I love the innovation at work here.
- Skype – if Skype really can deliver on near instant translation between languages it’ll be amazing- but Microsoft’s latest tech video points to a future where the MEDIUM itself is flexible – changing voice to written message, etc. depending on how you want to consume the information – that could be truly groundbreaking (I thought we might see this when we got “visual voicemail from Apple, but they stopped short of transcribing messages!).
- Google Now – We’re starting to see the new Google Now cards creep out – and whilst I’m worried that card overload is just around the corner (context/situation awareness is still lacking from a lot of cards and so many apps use notifications as engagement tools, rather than actually trying to enhance the utility of the application itself) I’m excited to see where this goes – certainly notifications need a lot of changes to become worth while in an age of smart watches (no, I don’t want the 50+ emails (on a quiet day) popping up on my wrist whenever they arrive).
- Cortana – A desktop AI/speech recognition system? Yes please!
And… that’s it. I’d really like to see a lot of refinement of existing apps and wares (Android OS, Evernote, etc) – but the most interesting thing is that nobody is really pushing any boundaries for software – the same utilities and apps are reaching the point of minor refinements which means we’re left only with crazy, unpredictable apps that challenge the status quo that come out of no-where from previously unheard of companies. I’m not going to pick up Snapchat (doesn’t fill a requirement for me) or start using Wunderlist (it’s too close to other apps I’ve picked up on and now it’s hard to swap) but both of these show there’s potential to come from nowhere and challenge the workflow.
Exciting times indeed!