When I started working on Audio Software in the mid 1990’s, things were still a bit “wild-west”. 16-bit sound cards and CD-ROM burning had just become widely adopted, and there was a basic level of support for audio playback. That was enough for a fair number of companies to produce some good Digital Audio Workstation (or DAW) software on the PC and Mac platforms.
Back in those days, a developer writing a DAW had a lot of work to do to design the process for how the audio got from an audio file, passed through plug-ins, and made its way to an audio output. Nowadays, a lot of the low-level work is taken care of by operating systems and various publicly available libraries. This has made it easier for new companies to jump into the market, and for those companies to focus more on providing a great workflow rather than on just getting a sound out of the sound card.
This mirrors what has occurred in the software industry in general: developer tools and libraries have advanced to the point where developers can focus on bigger-picture goals. And it is a good thing – developers often need to be coaxed into paying attention to the needs of the user rather than to solving a sexy coding problem. The bottom line is that as far as Audio Software goes, you can expect to see software that is easier to use and gives you more creative possibilities to express your inner muse.