I have been listening to discussions among people (and having a few conversations myself) this week, regarding the openness of the web as we know it. This is all discussion generated since the advent of the “post-PC world” Apple has told us that we live in.
I am one of the big proponents of the web. The web should be able to do it all, and as HTML continues to evolve, I feel more and more confident that it will. Apps have the problem of creating a rift in your potential userbase. You have to develop for Android, iPhone, iPad, Windows Phone, and perhaps a few other platforms like BlackBerry. It is because of this very limitation that Windows Phone 7 gets left out of the mania of new game releases. WP7 has only one version of Angry Birds, hasn’t gotten Words with Friends or Draw Something, and generally lacks the constant torrent of new apps that the other major platforms get. If all of those games were available via the web, we wouldn’t have to worry about what platform you were coming from, you could visit the site, and play!
So far, that’s just the mobile space. i have recently decided to rip some of my favorite DVD movies to my own hard drive, and stick the hard copies away in an attic. although i may some day want true “HD” versions of those movies and TV shows, my mid range Xvid rips will make me quite happy. But what tablet was going to let me accomplish that task? And then, where will I store these tons of movies? On my 32GB memory chip? Doubtful. “In the cloud!” some people suggest. Unfortunately, only SkyDrive has any reasonable capacity, and storage on the internet isn’t as cheap and easy as it always seems.
Then come the bandwidth caps. The thing that keeps me on Sprint: unlimited bandwidth. While I rarely use over 2GB per month, I certainly have on more than one occasion. when you look to see where things are going, more and more app and web driven, you have to wonder how we are going to survive with smaller bandwidth caps! A global infrastructure is going to experience growing pains for a while, until we get all the links worked out. Faster speeds, higher caps… We cannot be handcuffed if we are expected or in most cases required to work online.
For me, the desktop PC is still my safe haven. Proven and capable hardware, ever increasing internet speeds, and (so far for me) bimonthly bandwidth caps! It won’t be this way forever, and who knows what the next big thing will be… But I’m excited more and more by every change that comes our way – I just continue to hope that it is something that is open to the web, and not locked away, just for iTunes users, or Android owners, etcetera. Whatever the next step in the web is, whatever the thing AFTER the web is, it has to be for everyone.