Tuesday, September 09, 2003

A Short History of Technology and the Web

From Jeremy Allaire's article

A Short History of Technology and the Web
Trends fuelling the growth of the Internet

Affordable personal computers.
Around 1994/95 price functionality made PC's viable household goods.

Low-cost connectivity.
TIll 1994, dial-up connectivity belonged to geeks. After 1994, large-scale connectivity infrastructure investments by AOL, Microsoft, and thousands of smaller Internet service providers (ISPs) provided an affordable means to get online.

Ubiquity of LAN .
In mid-1990s the local area network (LAN) caught on in companies.LAN's became the building blocks of Internet.

Mass-market server software.
Around 1994, mass made server platforms started emerging. Till this time, deploying a web server was a pricey, complex proposition.

Digital media creation tools.
Around mid-1990s lots of PC software applications emerged emerged for tweaking graphics, text, and audio.

Individually, each of these trends is significant. Each a force driving the growth and development of the PC and computer industry. But when combined, these trends create a growth dynamic with incredible power and thrust.

Trends for next version of the Internet

10 Trends for Internet 2.0
There appear to be at least 10 significant trends that constitute this next-generation Internet opportunity.

Broadband Rules

Broadband growth isa round 80% year over . This proves Internet has become central to our daily lives and the value of an always-on, reliable connection is compelling.

Broadband creates a massive new opportunity for media, software, and services delivered over the Internet.

Wireless - Alive and well

Mobile handset technology is now rich enough to deliver real consumer value. Unlike low-quality, low-speed WAP, the new world of smart phones includes multimedia messaging, integrated cameras and other digital media support, and software runtimes like BREW, J2ME and Macromedia Flash. It’s creating a wave of innovation and growth. The mobile landscape is now attractive and real.

Wi-Fi is growing by leaps and bounds. The level of investment, innovation, and growth in broadband wireless delivered using Wi-Fi is nearly identical to the growth in ISPs, TCP/IP, and Internet access in 1994 and 1995. New applications and ways of doing business built around wireless will emerge.

Digital lifestyle devices

Digital cameras, camcorders, and digital music players have become a part of daily life and a potential for new sources of content and new distribution channels for media.

As broadband and Wi-Fi penetrate the home market, they are instigating a new wave of innovation around Wi-Fi devices such as wireless security cameras, Internet stereos, video phones, and even Wi-Fi enabled music devices for automobiles.

Rich Clients
To many people, the level of innovation in client technology on the Internet has appeared to stall; HTML 4.0 and Internet Explorer seem to provide the platform for web experiences. In reality, innovation has moved steadily along, primarily led by the now ubiquitous adoption of rich client technology such as Macromedia Flash Player.

Rich client technology can transform the quality and boost the usefulness of Internet applications, media, and communications because it combines desktop-like experiences with the deployment and content-rich aspects of the web. And, in the coming year, Macromedia Central will extend this model further by providing a new client platform for the distribution and use of Internet software and media. Also this year, Microsoft will describe and promote its .NET client technology as a post-browser approach to Internet applications and content.

Web Services
Web services technology promises to radically change the usefulness of software in the world.

Within the next year, nearly 100% of new runtimes (client and server) will be SOAP-capable deployment platforms. This means that nearly any piece of code running anywhere in the world can invoke any other code on the network. This new model of application interoperability is affecting dozens of software markets. It provides the potential for new levels of productivity, integration inside of enterprises, and most importantly, it lays the foundation for interenterprise applications at a level we’ve never seen before.

Progressing side by side with the web services trend is the rapid adoption and popularity of microcontent formats such as RSS. Primarily used in the context of weblog or blog software, RSS and sister standards like RDF are driving the Internet towards well-structured, easily searchable and sharable data.

Unlike the 1.0 Internet, hacked together with logic and data isolated in stovepipes, web services and microcontent unlock the value of software and data and foster new economic models of cross-company interchange.

Real-Time Communications

The Internet is rapidly evolving from a one-way and text-based medium to a rich, multi-directional and real-time communications environment. Over the last several years, there has been mainstream adoption of real-time communications technology such as instant messaging in consumer and corporate settings. And while instant messaging may be a major driver for change, there’s a lot of focus on new platforms that enable real-time communication and collaboration within custom applications.

At the forefront of this innovation are Macromedia Flash Player and Macromedia Flash Communication Server. Flash Communication Server provides the first broadly available platform for building real-time collaborative user interfaces that incorporate multiway text, audio, and video as communications forms. Additionally, other software and online service companies such as Microsoft, Yahoo, IBM and AOL are providing their users with real-time communications applications.

Hosted Applications ( Apps on Tap)
The model of delivering software as a hosted service continues to gain traction. Although many dismissed this approach as a failure only a couple of years ago, rich clients’ popularity and web services’ ability to integrate hosted applications into an enterprise has promoted the adoption of hosted applications. This growth promises to transform the use of software in corporations around the world.

Big Data
Over the past several years, the price to value ratio on storage and bandwidth has improved dramatically, expanding what you can deliver to consumer PCs over broadband. PCs now have enormous amounts of plentiful storage, and, on the delivery side of the equation, it’s also economical to deliver and manage large quantities of rich media, including high-quality video. The trends on this front are only accelerating.

Paid Content
This new Internet environment is seeing the adoption of paid content as a business model for the Internet. Rich clients and broadband now make it possible to build high quality digital assets, and consumers seem willing to pay.

Unlike Internet 1.0’s 'information wants to be free' mantra, people now willingly pay to download music and to subscribe for access to quality content or games and entertainment. This shift from free to paid content is dramatic and symbolizes the maturity of the Internet as a media and commerce platform.

For example, RealOne has over 1 million paid subscribers for their video on demand Internet service. And dozens of other media brands are experimenting and seeing success. AOL has made it clear that their future is in broadband-enabled, high-quality paid services. Yahoo is experiencing robust growth in premium services, and the broadband ISPs are betting that paid content will form the next wave of profit growth, expanding the current access fee-only model. To make it easy to get into the game, Macromedia Central includes a model for creating paid content services and applications.

The Software Manufacturing Economy
Nearly every new Internet opportunity is based on shifts in the how software is manufactured and sold. The people, places, frameworks, and materials used to create and distribute software are changing dramatically:

Component-based software. The rapid adoption of Java and .NET runtime and development platforms make it possible to easily design, compose, and integrate software assets.

Open source.
Open source continues its forward march, giving developers access to low-cost software manufacturing and greater control over the code that applications are built upon. Because of this, application ISVs are opting for open source materials such as Apache Axis, Tomcat, Linux, and MySQL.

Global outsourcing.
Economic pressures are driving software companies to rely heavily on global outsourcing for software manufacturing. When combined with open source as a material and component architectures as a design model, it is becoming easier than ever to construct complex software projects overseas.

Web services and hosted applications.
Web services and hosted applications now deliver software products online, eliminating the need for packaged products. This shift redefines product sales and distribution channels for software and provides radical new economies of scale.


Post a Comment

<< Home