Finally, DRM is dying
Ken Fisher: 2007 is the year of the infamous Steve Jobs open letter on DRM, the year that EMI got brave enough to kick DRM to the curb, and even Universal is considering the idea. I've long argued that DRM isn't about piracy, it's about selling your rights back to you. With the growing backlash against DRM, smart players are realizing that their customers don't want to be treated like thieves, even if the MPAA has the gall to suggest that they do. Yet, even the MPAA knows that customers are tired of seeing their fair use rights trampled, coming out earlier this year to call for a change in the industry.DRM isn't dead yet, but the writing is on the wall. DRM for music will likely not last another year. DRM for video is another matter, as those players remain convinced that their products need protection. Once DRM dies in the music scene, however, the pressure will be on Hollywood to explain why it continues to trample on fair use.
The big disrupter: the iPhone
Eric Bangeman: I admire many of Apple's products—and I've been a Mac user for 22 years—but I also find myself irritated by some of the things the company does. But this year, I'm truly thankful for a game-changing product from Apple, the iPhone.
I've been a smartphone/PDA junkie for close to a decade and have used just about every mobile OS known to humankind during that time. The iPhone has truly made my life easier with its innovative UI, ease of use, and incredibly tight integration with Mac OS X (something no other smartphone has ever achieved). It makes me more productive (NewsGator's iPhone RSS interface is simply amazing), entertains me when I want to be entertained, and in its jailbroken form allows me to add extra functionality as I wait for official third-party apps to be released early next year.
The iPhone is significant not just because it is such a compelling product, however.The iPhone is sending a message to people at Apple and indeed everywhere that phone lock-ins aren't cool, and that the product can and will be made better by its community. In just a few short years, we'll look back and see how the iPhone caused a mobile revolution much like the BlackBerry did in the Enterprise.
No further commentary necessary. :)