Apple’s iPhone is an obvious choice for a product that will shape the next decade. Complete with a touch screen, a huge App Store and some of the most innovative multitouch gestures around, it’s the bellwether for all mobile products in 2010 and beyond. More importantly, the iPhone will be the standard by which the multitouch generation will be judged.
Although it’s not currently available, Google’s wildly anticipated Chrome OS will likely be the trailblazer for a new generation in operating systems. As the tech industry moves online, so will operating systems. Even Microsoft has made it known that it plans to challenge Chrome OS on the Web. But it will be Chrome OS that will lead the way. The 2010s will likely be marked by the adoption of a true Web OS.
Windows 7 will dictate Microsoft’s corporate vision going forward. The software giant’s latest operating system is Microsoft’s hallmark product. It’s also one of the company’s profit leaders. Windows 7 is the operating system that Microsoft will base all future decisions. It will also be the software that other vendors are gunning for.
5Apple App Store
Apple’s App Store was one of the most important releases of the past decade. Looking ahead, it will continue to be extremely important to the tech industry. The App Store taught vendors that users want useful third-party applications at their disposal no matter where they are. Look for more companies to follow suit in the next decade.
The Nintendo Wii might be a leader in this generation’s console cycle, but it’s also the first product to prove that motion gaming can be profitable. Going forward, motion gaming will likely play a huge role in the video game industry. It might even become the new norm in the 2010s. And only Nintendo’s Wii can be thanked for that.
Although it’s not a single product, the netbook will undoubtedly play a major role in the 2010s. Those slim, lightweight and easily portable machines are becoming more ubiquitous with each passing year. As we head into the next decade, it’s likely that netbooks will be a starting point for many other mobile devices.
Facebook is one of the world’s most popular social networks. And judging by its growth, it’s likely that it won’t lose that title anytime soon. But unlike so many of its predecessors, Facebook has migrated from being a basic social network with millions of users to a service that social networkers really want to use. Facebook has proven that social networking is not just a fad, it’s here to stay.
Although it doesn’t command the kind of respect it once did, Microsoft Office is still an extremely important product in the tech industry. It’s also a major reason why Microsoft is so profitable. But it has a target on it. Google is trying to bring the same Office-like functionality to the Web with its Google Docs application. Smaller services, like Zoho, are also trying to beat Office. Going forward, Office will likely continue to be the target of innovation in the productivity space.
10Mac OS X
Mac OS X might not have the kind of market share Windows enjoys, but it has consistently been a leader in operating-system innovation. That won’t change in the 2010s. Apple will use Mac OS X to continue to differentiate its products, improve usability and inspire other companies that are also offering operating systems.
The iPod doesn’t receive the same attention that it once did, but it’s still an extremely successful product. And so far, no other device in its market has been able to compete. Going forward, the iPod will continue to be the gold standard in the portable space. And until another company (or Apple) innovates beyond that, it would seem likely that the iPod will lead the music industry well into the next decade.