Keep Trying

Friday, July 18, 2003

The Future of the Internet

Tim Bray has a great post in which he peers into the future

The browser is going to be how most of us interact with information for the foreseeable future, and if there�s a competitive browser ecosystem the quality of the experience is going to improve, in aggregate across the world, by an unimaginably large amount.

He suggests that we switch to Mozilla Firebird. I have downloaded it and found it very useable. However due to habit, I am still using IE. Maybe if Covey writes a book on the 7 Habits of Effective Internet Users, I will be motivated to change.

From another perspective, Don Park is currently placing his bets with Microsoft and .NET.

Tim's post about sharecropping is interesting, but .NET is the equivalent of Industrial Revolution. Just think about the dam that is holding us all back, the dam called Client Distribution Problem. Look behind you and see how many amazing technologies and startups ended up as roadkills simply because they couldn't get their software to the desktop.

.NET will solve all that, in time. When it does, everyone will suddenly recognize that IE is the platform and Windows is IE. Distinction between applications and IE will start to blur. Ultimately, IE will be the Universal Document Viewer. But guess who is going to be standing at the bridge to the desktop with its hand out?

Tim and Don are two of the smartest voices on technology that I read. Personally, I think that the Tim has got it right and the HTML based browser is where the future is. Certainly in the corporate world in which I live. Once a company switches to a browser based application and sees the power of simplicity, while eliminating the desktop distribution nightmare that goes by the name of Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000, XP - they are never going back. And the promises of Microsoft and the well meaning intentions of those employed there will not be sufficient to persuade. Word and Excel will persist as their relatively long upgrade cycle make them somewhat manageable.

Go read Tim and Don. It will be worth your time.