There isn’t a single story about the Apple iPad in this issue of SD Times. That’s not because the editors don’t care about the newest consumer-electronics platform. (Is it a tablet computer? E-book reader? Movie player? Photo viewer? Perhaps it’s a giant iPod touch?) Like many in the media, the SD Times editors were watching the live tweets, the streaming video and the breathless anticipation of the latest toy to emerge from the creative mind of Steve Jobs.
The nonstop media hype around the launch of the iPad even led the staid New York Times to begin a section devoted to “Non-Apple News” in its Technology section.
While the iPad is a huge story for consumer electronics and the publishing industry (which looks at it as a next-generation e-book reader), there was no news of significance—at least in terms of SD Times’ mission as the newspaper for the software development industry, with a specific focus on enterprise IT.
That’s why we didn’t cover the launch of the Apple iPad. It’s not an enterprise IT product and doesn’t yet affect enterprise developers, at least not more than the Apple iPhone does. The iPad, after all, is designed around the same app development and distribution model as the iPhone.
Now that’s not to say that we’re uninterested in the emerging category of mobile platforms, because it’s clear that they are beginning to affect the mainstream of software developers, beyond those creating consumer-centric apps and games.
Enterprise developers (and ISVs targeting the enterprise market) are beginning to target these managed mobile devices in significant numbers. The iPhone has the highest visibility, but there’s also interest in other “app-centric” platforms for enterprise software, including Google’s Nexus One and other devices running the Android operating system, smartphones from RIM and Palm, and others.
The e-book category has always been interesting for media companies as a target for custom content and content distribution. Readers are also heating up as a software development target. The iPad is as much an e-book readers as anything else. Tellingly, Amazon is talking about releasing an SDK and an app-development model for its Kindle e-book readers. Other tablet manufacturers surely will be close behind in opening up their devices to custom software.
Moving forward, SD Times will be following the mobile-device trend, including the specific tools, methodologies and software delivery methods that they require. Our focus will continue to be on enterprise computing, both from the IT and ISV perspectives; you won’t see coverage of games or consumer applets. But when it comes to the intersection of mobility and enterprise computing, we’ll be there.
Happy 10th birthday, SD Times
The debut issue of Software Development Times appeared on Feb. 23, 2000. A new issue has been published twice each month after that. The issue you’re holding, No. 240, celebrates our 10th anniversary.
It’s been a turbulent decade. The first issue of the newspaper came out weeks before the dot-com bubble burst; the technology-centric NASDAQ stock index peaked at 5132 on March 10, 2000. Ten years later, we’re beginning to recover from a global economic recession, and there are still rough days ahead.
It’s ironic that the first issue of SD Times covered the introduction of Java 2 Micro Edition and Solaris 8, and this anniversary issue covers the completion of Oracle’s acquisition of Sun. It’s the end of an era.
We can’t wait to see what the next decade will bring to SD Times, our readers, and the industry we cover. Thank you for celebrating with us.