hen eWEEK Labs looked back at
2009 to come up with lists of the
stand-out products and technology
goofs of the year (see Pages 18 and
26, respectively), I was struck by what a relatively
quiet year this has been.
In fact, most of the product activity that jumped
to mind from this year served mainly to set the
stage for 2010, which is shaping up to be an
extremely eventful year for the IT industry.
For starters, there’s the Oracle acquisition of
Sun Microsystems, which was announced months
ago but likely won’t take effect until 2010, thanks
to delays imposed by European regulatory scrutiny.
I’ll be particularly interested
to see how Oracle will juggle
Linux—a platform for which
Oracle is not only an ISV but a
its newly acquired Solaris
Between Oracle’s existing Unbreakable Linux and
flagship database products,
and its soon-to-be acquired
Solaris and MySQL products,
the company will have a mix
of different software stacks to
offer its customers. I’m wondering whether Oracle
will take the stack mixing to the next level, and
modify the licensing of Sun’s OpenSolaris project
such that the Solaris and Linux code bases may
intermingle, perhaps setting the stage for a future
unified OS product from Oracle.
Next year we’ll also see Microsoft’s operating
system for the cloud, Azure, switch from beta to
full-fledged service mode. Azure gives Microsoft
a powerful new way to market its wares, but I’m
equally interested to see how Microsoft uses the
new platform to offer up the applications of other
vendors—both with and without its participation.
SugarCRM has announced plans to make its
CRM suite available through Azure, and Microsoft
has said that MySQL will also be available run-
ning atop Azure, albeit without the involvement
of Sun—a MySQL arrangement similar to the one
that Amazon launched earlier this year in the form
of its Relational Database Service offering.
Also on the Microsoft front, I’m looking forward
to the release next June of Office 2010, which
has impressed me so far in the beta versions I’ve
tested. Among the most impressive aspects of the
coming suite are the Web versions of its core com-
ponents, which have been built to run as well on
machines running Linux with Firefox as on those
running Windows with Internet Explorer.
Microsoft Office isn’t the only productiv-
ity suite set to undergo a
major new release in 2010:
The OpenOffice.org project
is set to bear the first fruit
of its interface overhaul Proj-
ect Renaissance with a new-
look version of its Impress
presentation application in
OpenOffice.org 3. 3. Google,
for its part, has indicated
plans to add as many as 50
new features to its Google
Apps suite, in a bid to reduce
the functionality gap between
Google’s Apps and Microsoft Office.
Finally, I’ll be paying particularly close attention
to two new operating system releases in 2010.
Ubuntu 10.04, aka the Lucid Lynx, is set to
hit the Web in April. Lucid will be Canonical’s
third Long Term Support release, and I expect it
to break new ground for the organization in the
server space, owing in large part to its Ubuntu
Enterprise Cloud functionality.
Toward the end of the year, I expect to see devices
shipping with Google’s Web-centric Chrome OS,
which may well set the stage for a new batch of
rich Web applications in 2011 and beyond. ;
Executive Editor Jason Brooks is at jbrooks@eweek.
‘MOST OF THE PRODUCT ACTIVITY THAT JUMPED TO MIND FROM THIS YEAR SERVED MAINLY TO SET THE STAGE FOR 2010.’