A NASA telecon is still ongoing in which Ulysses measurements are being discussed which show a marked change in the state of the solar wind between the last minimum of solar activity in the mid-1990's and now: The electron density is down 20%, the electron density 30% and the dynamic pressure of the solar wind - which determines the extent of the heliosphere - 20 to 25%. At the same time the solar corona doesn't look unusual. Apparently there are solar cycles much longer than the 11-year one at work: The solar wind is now "less hard" than at any time when in-situ measurements began in the 1960's.
Perhaps the upcoming minimum of the longer Gleisberg cycle plays a role - but there is no indication of another Maunder Minimum on the horizon. The new sunspot that appeared yesterday and is now developping was actually quoted at the telecon as evidence that the new cycle will soon take off. What the lower solar wind pressure means for near-Earth effects is not clear either: In general more (hard) cosmic rays from outside the heliosphere can enter now, and the Earths thermosphere is cooling - meaning that space debris has longer life times in orbit.