Podcast Video | Posted by Phil Leigh on November 24, 2007
Summary: Today’s video is a narrative summary of our November 8th analytical report entitled, “Gravitational Attraction in the Internet Cloud”.
A defining characteristic of Web 2.0 is the adoption of the Internet cloud as a computing platform. It is the culmination of an evolutionary trend that started with mainframes, proceeded through the PC, and followed with the Local Area Network (LAN). Each platform transition provided an opportunity for new industry leaders to emerge, and the movement into Web 2.0 is no exception.
As a computing platform, the Internet yields three advantages. First, it eliminates the requirement for users to download, install, and maintain software. Second, Web-hosted programs are available to users anywhere they can find an Internet connected computer. They don’t have to lug a computer around with them. Third, workers can collaborate on projects at shared work spaces on the Web.
Web-centric computing has two important implications. First, it is more of a service than a product. As such it takes on utility-like operating characteristics, including a non-negotiable emphasis on the minimization of downtime and latency. Second, in some instances the service might be offered without a specific fee, as in advertising-supported scenarios.
Successful Web 2.0 applications shall tend to cluster around concentration points within the Internet cloud, much like planets formed around the centers-of-gravity within the primordial gasses of the solar system. Those companies successfully constructing such platforms shall have the opportunity to become the gravitational centers around which third party developers with similar programs will tend to concentrate.
Three contenders that are assembling such platforms include Facebook.com, Salesforce.com, and Cisco-owned WebEx. Facebook hopes to become the focal point for social & business networking apps, whereas Salesforce.com is striving to host the central structure for more general purpose business Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Finally, WebEx aspires to use its Media Tone network as the “ether” within the Internet cloud that permits geographically dispersed users of business programs to collaborate in real-time.