Suppliers, knowing that everyone is interested in end of year predictions, have taken many different paths to get predictions that tend to serve their interests published. One of the more interesting ones came from the folks at rPath. They sent me a pointer to a humorous YouTubestyled video that detailed their predictions for 2010. You can find it here.
For the most part, their predictions are reasonable projections of trends seen developing in 2009 with the exception of prediction number 8. This prediction is that applications will be encapsulated into software appliances for easier deployment on physical machines, virtual machines, clouds or some hybrid using some or all of those approaches together.
Software appliances have been available in one form or another for quite some time. They've been successfully deployed for limited, point applications. Large multi-tier, multisystem applications don't lend themselves to the software appliance approach. Each tier would have to be separately encapsulated. In the end, this would be little different from deploying each of the tiers as they are today with the one exception of the additional overhead imposed by the encapsulation method.
That being said, this lighthearted approach to marketing is welcome.