Internet as a Platform

Your Next Computer - Next Frontiers - "unlike the Internet, the phone world has no open and single set of protocols for programmers to build around. Software written for one kind of phone won't work on all the others. The uncoordinated, noncommercial programming that led to the quick evolution of the Internet hasn't taken hold in the world of mobile phones."

Likewise, if Service Oriented Architecture, Network Computering, or Internet as a Platform is going to happen we need standards. We have SOAP or REST for protocol today, but we need standards for the actual programming API. Today. an application written for Google Maps is incompatible with Yahoo Maps. We need what Operating Systems to hardware drivers for Web Services.

Assuming no single company gains monopoly on the "Internet Platform", I imagine in the future each user would supply a profile of preferred platform services and each application would adjust automatically for the user. For example, my profile might say that I prefer Google Maps, Amazon Book Search, and Yahoo Search as my platform providers, whereas somebody might prefer Yahoo Maps, Ebay Book Search, and A9 Search. The benefit is of course, if I'm a premium paying customer of a particular mapping service I would benefit from a richer experience in ALL web applications.

This might not seem like a serious problem today because most services are largely identical, but as companies provide more premium services or specialized services people would want to take their subscriptions with them to other sites/applications. RSS and Atom feeds have done this nicely for data streams. I can take my feeds to any feed reader I want. A9 has proposed Open Search for search, which is one step closer.

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