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Will Mobile Development Slow in 2011?

One expert believes that many companies are coming to the conclusion that mobile applications don't add to the bottom line.

With all the changes that 2010 brought, what will happen this year with applications and software development in general? this year? Here are a few interesting predictions for developers, courtesy of Mike Rozlog, product manager for Delphi Solutions at Embarcadero Technologies, a provider of tools for developers and database professionals.

Among other things, Rozlog believes mobile development will drastically slow; Java will continue to be the COBOL of the 90s; Google's Chrome OS will remain an 'appliance' for the foreseeable future; and more 'sur-charged' OSes may follow the Apple iOS.

Mobile Application Development Will Slow


While hoping his prediction is proved wrong, Rozlog said he believes many companies are coming to the conclusion that mobile applications don't add to the bottom line.

"I have a lot of friends who have been on mobile application development projects, and many of those projects have been killed," he said. "Why? Cost and ROI issues."

Companies have been investing in customer service applications, which may give a more positive interaction for some customers, but they are not seeing the bottom-line grow compared to the investment, he said.

"For that reason, I believe there will be less general mobile development in 2011," Rozlog added.

An example of such an app is one from an electric utility that allows users to look up their current bills and maybe even pay them.

"But will such an app get more people to sign-up for electric service?" Rozlog asked.

Java Will Be the COBOL of the 90s.

Most organizations will not get rid of Java but will hold onto it around for many, many years just like they held onto COBOL in the 90s, said Rozlog. "There are billions and billions of line of code written in Java," he noted. "Companies are not going to dump their massive investments in Java."

Rozlog does not expect to see much, if anything new in Java this year as Java is under the grip of Oracle, whose main priority for Java seems to be generating cash to the bottom-line.

He said he expects to see the introduction of more DSLs (domain-specific languages) that will run on-top of the JVM (Java Virtual Machine), while Java itself will continue to stagnate.

"By the by, don't think this is good news for .NET lovers out there," he said. "One of the things that I hold dear is that whatever happens to Java happens to .NET 3 years later."

"Technology renews every generation, and every generation has a standard," he said. "For the late 90s and early 2000s, the standard was Java. Now we are poised for something new and different. It could be scripting, or it may even be JavaScript or PHP."

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