Year in Review: Social Networking, RIA Frameworks, and iPhone

It is a rather slow week as most people are off on vacations. A quite time at the end of one year and beginning of another gives me an opportunity to pose a few questions and share my thoughts with you. One question is about the key highlights of this year; in other words, what were the most significant tech events of 2007? Well, I think the consumer space was the winner this year. It is interesting, few years back most of the advances were in the enterprise space but somehow it is getting saturated and the consumer technologies are the next big thing. That’s all good. In many ways technology is not really limited to a certain segment; it transfers in amazing ways. Recall instant messaging clients few years back, it was all for home users, now it is a productivity\collaboration tool in enterprises.

This year social networking was king. Facebook in particular was the cleverest player of all. If you think about it, social networking is a natural evolution of email, instant messaging, blogs and feeds put together. The new medium for people to communicate, share, and let information about themselves flow freely in the system where new level of experiences can be realized. The new development frameworks for social networking are a very significant development in this space. The potential is not fully realized yet. My feeling is that in 2008 we will witness amazing new experiences introduced in this space.

The Rich Internet Application or RIA is yet another significant development. Companies like Microsoft, Google and Adobe are working hard trying to win this market. Call me biased; but taking data offline was a big hit this year. In case you are not following, Microsoft Sync Framework, Adobe AIR, and Google Gear are new offerings that just came out this year almost at the same time. It appears that all players come to realization that offline or rather better sync technology is a key element for true RIA. I am convinced that RIA space will grow faster in the coming year.

I am maybe stating the obvious here, but mobile communication segment needed a real change. Powerful devices are still used mainly for voice and SMS. Realizing the full potential of the computing powers that we carry in our pockets needed a new device that is data centric rather than voice centric. iPhone did just that. It is benefiting all of us really. More devices will go the same route and mobile operating systems will change to get the best experience possible. The effects of iPhone will be realized in the coming year as the industry transforms.

Year 2007 was great, 2008 seems more interesting though. Have a great new year and I will see you next year.

Update: Just to let you know, I left Microsoft to start a new company, Raveable Hotel Reviews . See Examples: Romantic Hotels in Myrtle Beach , Top 10 Hotels in Seattle , 5 Star Hotels in Miami, Hotels with in-room jacuzzi, Family Friendly hotels in Anaheim and Best Hotels in Fort Lauderdale . Your feedback is welcome, raveable blog.

I am not actively blogging about Sync Technologies. Please see Sync Team Blog for more updated content.