For Filemaker to evolve more rapidly in order to stay relevant and to prosper, in my view, it will need to have a much simpler product line.
FMI is too small a company to be all things to all people.
The web is where everything is happening and FMI clearly understand that which is why they bet the family farm on Web Direct about 5 years ago.
The current jewel in the FM Crown is FMServer, that is where the real value is and also where the revenue model can controlled and simplified, hence the connections model for Go and WebDirect.
Ideally people will be able to buy FMServer as a service and not be bothered with installation or licensing, they will just buy a complete package on a monthly subscription - or better still pay in arrears on actual use as you do under a Windows SPAR agreement.
Once WebDirect is good enough there will be no more need for any FM Client Executable apps, other than the Developer App. I expect Advanced to be renamed back to FM Developer, as it was originally.
At that time expect the cost of FMServer Connections to become equal to the cost of equivalent FMPro licensing.
So the product line would be FMServer, availably flexibly as a service or as a normal install, and all clients on all devices would just use WebDirect.
Developers would develop solutions with Developer, which is as it should be.
In this way FMI would be able to put more resource into developing and improving the right technologies and spend less resource trying to keep too many products all working together over a myriad of operating systems.
In order to address the key issue of FMServer as a service, FMI would need a Linux version of FMServer for use by licensed cloud service resellers to reduce the cost base and maximise FMI revenue, provided that old agreement between Apple and Microsoft does not still preclude it.
I welcome your disagreement, I merely want to give this thread a suitably invigorating start, however I would personally welcome thoughtful future gazing as opposed to some of the dull negativity and pessimism that seems to have entered our community of late.
With Filemaker you can do stuff over a variety of OSs and devices that is really not possible any other way, without waste developer resources. FM is still the quickest and easiest way to organise and share data over a variety of devices and in an age of data overload FM has a potentially great future - provided FMI succeed in moving their market focus to web services sufficiently quickly and effectively.