predicting a return of the neutral web

Jaucques Matheij claims that the future of the web (the mobile era) will come to look like the first era. Which is counter to all of the excitement about apps, app stores and the like. 

Which begs the larger question of why? What underling forces will mean that this movie ends like the prequel? and presumably what organizational mis-steps will we see from the current makers of apps, stores, developer tools and developer environments?

…The web, which started out as a very limited collection of linked pages with crummy images is now a full-fledged application delivery platform and it’s getting better with every day that passes. Some of the tech is still pretty messy but that too will change, with every new library that is released some pain point is removed and changed into a single function call. JQuery alone probably saved more man-years that you could easily account for.

I think the whole ‘war for mobile’ will end in exactly the same way as the war for the desktop did. The web standards,phones and browsers will adapt to the point where ‘always on’ is the norm, all traffic including voice is data and ‘apps’ will be delivered through the web rather than installed from an App store. Someone might even win the war and end up with an end-run around their victory by the users that simply use whatever browser they’ve got and they won’t care one bit what OS their phone runs.

We’ve already seen this movie, and we already know how it ends. That won’t stop the various parties to try to gain control, the cake is just too tasty to be ignored in favor of open protocols and standards, even the hint of gaining a microsoft like stranglehold on the mobile world is bringing out the long knives.

But in the longer term it will all fade away to be replaced with the www equivalent of mobile, and that’s when the real money will be made.

Until then, grab some popcorn and watch the battle, or place your bets with either side. Fortunes will be made and lost, in the end the web will prevail.

Daleharvey points out this gem: coding for the mobile web, which contains the sentence:

“For the record: Historians will classify native mobile apps as a short resurgence of shareware that was swiftly again replaced by the web – @cramforce”

via Ios, Android, WP7 – who cares? | jacquesmattheij.com.

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