What is essential in software design

In my opinion most innovations concerns software requirements and design.

Languages
For example commonly used implementation languages are still this same or almost this smae:

C family: C, C++, Objective C
Java
PHP

Software design
Not so new but very influential are:

Design Patterns (Gamma at all) and newer Patterns
Software components
Product line software engineering

Software development became more and more visual.

Software processes

Processes based on USDP
RUP
OpenUP
Agile UP

They uses Java, PHP and .NET and offer different price models.