The Software Industry - 15 years from now? Here is my take...
The year 2015 will see the world resort to Open Source Based on Open Standards. There will be one single platform - A Grid Infrastructure (or even a better one!) - where every software service provider hosts services. The entire world accesses this grid to use these services. In 2017, I expect even Timbuktu - the gold valley - to be far well developed from what it is today. Broadband networks will be omnipresent.
Its 11 May, 2017 and a business article in a morning newspaper reads - "Blueple Micromachines services used for 80% of the time by 50% of the world!". Its going to be an opensourced world, and the biggies (of the Software world) of today would be forced to chant the mantra of Open Source. Though, they will continue to make a part of their earnings through "Closed Source" as they do today - thanks to their dominance in the industry for decades!
The newspapers' Job Opportunities column will read different - "Blueple Micromachines looking for software developers who has an experience in developing services for Open Source Grid". There will be no more acquisitions of companies, but "acquisition of services".
So, how will this work? Simple - If Rossi Motor Company was setting up new motorcycle plant, the CTO and team from RMC would potentially have a planning meeting to decide which services would be used for this new setup. If there were 10 options available on the Open Source Grid for a simple station broadcast service, from 10 different companies, RMC would go about selecting one of them.
Services are selected based on their "Service Ratings and Recommendations" and the USP of the service. RMC will use the service on a pay-for-minute or a pay-per-day basis - based on the granularity of the service.
Branding plays a crucial role in this kind of a world, but the branding object changes. Instead of the brand of the Service Provider, the brand of the Service is what will influence the market.
There is a gamut of changes that the Open Source revolution can bring about. This is just the tip of the iceberg!