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'A Foothold Would Be Fine'
While Rubin sees opportunity for Windows Phone in 2013, Information Technology Intelligence Corp's Laura DiDio calls it a "make or break year" in smartphones for Microsoft , as well as for their venture into tablets. If she had to bet, DiDio said, she'd give the company better chances in tablets, given that the company has already "had time to make it in phones" and hasn't acquired much market share.
DiDio said it would be "very problematic" for the company in the long haul if it doesn't succeed in the near future in either category, and "even a foothold would be fine." As for Windows 8 for PCs, she predicts it "will do fine," adding that we're "nowhere near the end of the PC yet." She added that Microsoft is building their rollout of Windows 8, especially in the enterprise, on a foundation of "lots of people with Microsoft experience and 35 years of tech support."
As for RIM, DiDio expects that they'll have a rough time next year "unless they can find someone to buy them." On another front, she forecast that 2013 will continue a trend where some companies, such as Kodak or Alcatel-Lucent, keep themselves afloat by selling or licensing their patent trove.
Al Hilwa covers applications development software for IDC, and he expects HTML5 will enter a "period of balanced enlightenment" in 2013, where developers will more clearly understand "what it is suited for and what it is not." For complex client apps that want to take advantage of the latest device features, or where performance is key, he said, "native platforms will continue to dominate." For other apps without such stringent requirements, he predicts that HTML5 will gain share.
HTML5, Cloud-Based IDEs
"Over time," Hilwa said, "the bar will continue to shift" and HTML5 will be utilized for a wider set of requirements.But, at least over the next few years, "we are going to have a truce between native and Web apps."
Hilwa also sees cloud-based integrated development environments, or IDEs, becoming "mainstream for a much broader set of users" in 2013, such as cloud application development and Web platform development. He points to such examples as Cloud9 and Salesforce .com's BrainEngine, and said that 2013 will also "begin to see companion IDEs that are congruent with full-featured siblings but are oriented to get in, fix something and get out." (continued...)