IBM recently published a statement of directions to release "virtual editions" of IBM WebSphere DataPower XG45 and XI52. These are probably two the most popular DataPower models.
DataPower functionality ("firmware") will be implemented as a VMWare VM.
This will greatly simplify use of DataPower for development. For example, development and test instances can be implemented as VMs, whereas production could remain hardware appliance-based.
Hopefully, this will also lead to increased popularity of DataPower platform as it makes it easier for potential customers to try it out (will we see a trial version of DataPower?).