2010 is nearly over and, as many people do, we can't help thinking about the future and what 2011 has in store for us. In the world of software there are many exciting things in the works for next year. Therefore, we've decided to sit down with a few of our favorite technology bloggers and talk about the software that makes us excited and eager to use in 2011. We've got guests from illustrious sites such as How-To Geek and Guiding Tech.
To make the discussion even more interesting, we would like to know what software makes you excited. So don't hesitate to shared your comments with us.
Asian Angel's Software Wishes for 2011
We will start with the lady in our group of guests - the wonderful Asian Angel, writer at the How-To Geek website. She publishes lots of tutorials about the web, web browsers and web technologies. You can also find her at her personal blog, Confessions of a Firefox Fangirl.
Firefox 4 - I am already in love with the 4.0 releases even though they are still in the beta phase at the moment. The user interface is streamlined so much better than 3.6 and the new Panorama feature is pure awesomeness! I can not wait to see how the final version turns out! I do hope that people are willing to be patient since Mozilla is actually willing to take the time to fix Firefox right before releasing each version.
Opera 11.X - While some people consider Opera to be a niche browser, it is a very dependable and solid browser. Good speed, a customizable user interface, and the recent addition of extensions definitely make Opera 11 worth installing as an alternative browser. I am really excited to see what Opera does next since they already have so much goodness baked in. What do they have in store for upcoming releases?
CubicExplorer - The streamlined layout, highly customizable user interface, ease of use, and portable versions make CubicExplorer a perfect replacement for Windows Explorer. Windows Explorer has just become too clunky/cluttered on appearance/layout and is missing many of the user interface tools that would make using it so much simpler.
I know that development seems to have stopped on CubicExplorer for the moment, but this file manager just has so many possibilities waiting to happen! So I hope that development can start up once again and then sit back and watch as CubicExplorer becomes even more awesome than it already is. ^_^
Paint.NET - This terrific all-purpose photo editing application just keeps getting better with each new release. ^_^ I am definitely looking forward to seeing what new features and/or tweaks will be added in 2011.
Ubuntu Linux 11.04 - I am definitely looking forward to seeing what Ubuntu's Unity user interface is going to be like and think that it will make for a whole new experience when it comes to using Ubuntu. ^_^
Now I know that there may be a lot of people that would disagree with me on one thing... the decision to leave GNOME as part of the total package. Personally I am very glad that it will still be a part of Ubuntu. Why?
- I actually like the GNOME user interface.
- I do think it will take time for the new user interface to get settled into a more stable state, so having GNOME to fall back on if needed will be a very good thing.
- Having options/choice is always a good thing...especially for those who may be trying Ubuntu for the first time... they can actually try the new and old out for themselves to see which one they like best (and may like both)! ^_^
Abhijeet Mukherjee's Software Wishes for 2011
Next on our list of guests is Abhijeet Mukherjee from Guiding Tech. On his website he published lots of tutorials, including about Windows 7. If you haven't visited his website, we do recommend that you pay a visit. But, before you do that, let's see Abhijeet's wishes for 2011.
Delicious shouldn't die - I rely heavily on Delicious for my bookmarking needs, and hence the recent reports of Yahoo probably killing it were enough to break my heart. They later mentioned that they want to sell it off rather than shut it down which brought a sigh of relief. But the only chances of its survival would be an acquisition by a company that, unlike Yahoo, loves to innovate and loves the people who innovate. Someone like Google may be. Only then it can stay afloat. My hope is that it does, and I can continue to use Delicious for ages to come.
A Better Firefox - While I love Chrome, I haven't abandoned Firefox and continue to use it as much as I use Chrome. I hope Firefox 4 is faster and better. The current version does frustrate me time and again by getting stuck and eating up the CPU.
GIMP and Paint.NET - 2011 will see me trying one of these awesome, and free, advanced photo editing tools. Both of them serve as worthy Photoshop alternatives for someone like me who has limited picture editing and designing needs.
Google Apps Account Integration - It has already started, and Google promises that very soon, Google Application owners won't need to maintain separate Google accounts for services that aren't available in Google Apps (like Adsense, Analytics etc). While that's all good, my main concern is how smooth Google can make the data transfer process from the older accounts to the new Apps account. That's something I am waiting to see.
Mac App Store - Apple will launch the much awaited Mac appstore on the lines of Chrome web store sometime in January, 2011. Although I am not a Mac user yet, I am waiting to see how this turns out. Unlike Chrome OS, Mac is mainstream, and the way the audience uses and adapts to those apps could go a long way in determining how the future operating systems will take shape.
Yatri Trivedi's Software Wishes for 2011
Yatri is another writer from the great How-To Geek team. He has written lots of great tutorials we love and we were honored to have him as a guest in today's roundup. You can also find him at his personal blog The Technological Monk.
Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) - I wholeheartedly agree with Asian Angel's pick. Canonical's move to Unity as the default Window Manager, as well as support for Gnome 3 is sure to be a treat to please, and rumored support for Wayland in following releases promises to make things more interesting.
Honeycomb (Android 3.x) - the next version of Android, is something I'm really looking forward to. The ability to see Android work on a larger platform and with better support is great, and as an iOS user, it'll be great to get my hands on a tablet that has Android on it with some bonus features. Maybe we'll finally see BlindType come to light!
Xbox Kinect & Future Open Source Drivers for it - Open source drivers hold a lot of potential, and next year is bound to showcase more amazing projects as well as allow novices at home to take advantage of that stuff. Hopefully, we'll be able to use more advanced gestures with our operating systems and white-board applications, or have voice commands work in conjunction with gestures. Oh, and of course new games will be fun to play.
Firefox 4 & Other Browser Updates - Firefox 4 looks very promising, Chrome OS's web store looks good, and with Opera 11 just released with extension support, 2011 looks to continue the world wide web-browser wars, much to the benefit of all users involved.
Ciprian Rusen's Software Wishes for 2011
Last... it's time for your main editor, here at 7 Tutorials, to share his software wishes for 2011.
Firefox version 4 and above - I'm a big fan of Firefox and I am thankful to this browser for literally freeing up the web. However, Firefox 3.6 is slow and feels like a dinosaur who's approaching the age of extinction. Chrome, Opera, Safari - all have made tremendous advancement and Firefox must catch up. I've been part of the beta program for Firefox 4 and I've liked most of the things I've seen in the new version. However, it feels like Mozilla is playing mostly catch-up with version 4. We need more innovation (and especially speed) at a faster pace. I hope Mozilla will be a more active player in 2011, quickly release version 4 and start adding more innovation to their browser.
Firefox for Mobile 4 - First of all, the new version promises to work on Android which happens to run on my mobile phone. Then, it will allow users to sync their mobile Firefox with their desktop one and have everything that's important shared between them: history, bookmarks, open tabs, passwords and form data. If it works reasonably fast on the mobile, I will finally have both my desktop and mobile Internet in sync.
Drupal 7 - Drupal is the Content Management System powering our website. Drupal 6 has definitely been great but it is not that easy to make themes for it. Drupal 7 packs some interesting new features, performance improvements and, most of all, a better system for themes and more simplicity in creating them. Since it is in final Release Candidate stages, I can't wait to test the final version around January - February 2011.
Java SE 7 - I chose to feature Java not necessarily because I consider it exciting but because Java has had serious security issues lately, becoming the most targeted software for security exploits. Even though the feature list is not very clear, I do hope lots of advancements will be made on the security front.
Extensions for Opera 11 - Opera 11 is a great browser which is tempting me to make the switch from Firefox. However, in order for me (and others) to adopt it, it quickly needs to grow its collection of extensions. I hope they will manage to do this in 2011. Some of the things they should cover are: synchronization of passwords, bookmarks, and browsing history across computers and devices, the possibility to render a web page in a tab using the Internet Explorer engine, so that corporate users won't have to change the browser in order to visit old corporate websites.
Share Your Software Wishes for 2011
We hope you've enjoyed this roundup. Before you go, do share with us what software makes you excited and you can't wait to get your hands on in 2011. We would love to read your wishes.