The following video is part of our "Motley Fool Conversations" series in which senior technology editor Eric Bleeker and Chief Technology Officer Jeremy Phillips discuss topics across the investing world.

In today's edition, Eric and Jeremy continue their rundown of tech trends for 2012 by looking at software eating hardware. The key idea is that companies that rely on specialized hardware will continue to be pressured in 2012. One example is the calculator, which can now be easily re-created on a smartphone rather than a specialized piece of hardware. On the more complex side, advanced software technologies like visualization are now much more important than advances in the actual hardware the software controls. For companies relying on specialized hardware, the rise of "good enough" software from smartphones and advanced software on the enterprise front is a threat that will only grow in the coming year.

Eric Bleeker and Jeremy Phillips do not own shares of the companies listed above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and EMC. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Apple and VMware. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.