What we need are applications that have the deployment characteristics of browser-based applications but have equivalent power and more interactivity than desktop applications. Thats what RIAs are all about. They bring complexity on two levels. First, computing happens on both the client and the server over a potentially unreliable WAN. Second, they aim to deliver highly interactive user experiences (UEs). Dont blow that second requirement off. Research clearly shows that users respond better to these types of interfaces. Who wants to use old-style Web maps when you can go with Google maps or the Flash-based AbMap?
Sadagopan points to a Summit Strategies report and writes:
The report notes that Salesforce.com is now intent on establishing itself as the leading platform provider and solutions aggregator of the on demand world. It has already made significant strides toward laying the foundation for this goal. But it must go much furtherand it must do so before larger, more powerful potential competitorssuch as Microsoft, IBM, Google and eBaystake their own claims to this mantle. The report set me thinking – I do not share the perception that Salesforce.com is a great success(not yet) in the enteprise software market – not atleast till 10% of Fortune 100 companies begin to use it and claim unique success and testify value generation. Some key points to be considered:
– Third-party software vendors in the fields of CRM, ERP (enterprise resource planning) and others can use the Salesforce.com platform as it provides a ready-made hosted data management-data sharing environment, provides the widely touted cost advantages of on-demand software, and can be readily customized to fit their needs.
– Salesforce.com is already heading in this direction because other on-demand software applications are linking up with the Salesforce.com platform. The report also says Salesforce.com is claiming that more than 150 add-on applications have been developed for its platform and that it serves an expanding community of more than 8,000 corporate and independent software vendors.
Phil Windley writes about Nick Gall’s keynote at OSCON:
Web 1.0 made a three compromises. It was read-only, one-way links, and macroformated (page-level granularity). Gall says that search engines are an example of something that’s been layered onto Web 1.0 to deal, in part, with one of these compromises (back-links). Web 2.0 fixes these three compromises.
There will be unintended consequences of architectures in internetworked architectures. These can result in serendipity (like mash-ups, RSS, and podcasting) as well as perverse effects (like viruses, spam, and phishing).
Justin Sanger thinks Internet Yellow Pages are dead.
Even at they’re most basic, new local search applications provide a user experience superior to IYPs’. At their most advanced, they render IYPs to the status of Internet search on training wheels.
There’s a new, savvier local-Internet consumer emerging. Even late into the buying cycle, consumers are becoming aware that local search can do more for them than traditional print Yellow Pages or IYPs ever could.
So why don’t the IYPs simply reinvent themselves as new local search providers?
They’re trying to, and it’s like watching an elephant tap dance. Their goal is obvious: to provide a richer, more qualitative experience for local search users.
Internet users have been conditioned to utilize IYPs as a safe, familiar alternative to print Yellow Pages. This has been fueled by the power and reach of the IYPs’ parent brands, including SBC, Verizon, Bell South, and Dex.
To survive as a destination, IYPs must display more than flat business listings and advertisers in their result sets. They must better discern user intent. They require rich business descriptions, product and service summaries, maps, coupons, payment types, user reviews, and ratings.
i-mode Business Strategy writes about Philips’ plans for the next 3 billion users:
“Right now, 77 percent of the worlds population lives within range of a mobile phone network, but only 25 percent of the worlds population subscribes to a mobile phone service (Sources: World Bank and EMC). All around the world operators have the infrastructure in place for mobile services, but the relatively high cost of mobile phones is holding back potential subscribers,” said Thierry Laurent, executive vice president of business development, communications businesses, Philips Semiconductors.
Philips has pioneered the system solution approach, with one in seven GSM handsets built on the platform. The scalability and flexibility of its Nexperia system solutions is at the heart of enabling Philips to deliver its low-cost solution, which can easily be integrated into mobile handsets by its customers.
The first product from the project will be a sub-$5 system solution – a GSM device capable of making calls and sending SMS messages. It will have a black & white screen and will be able to play polyphonic ringtones.
By bringing to market a sub-$5 system solution, with all the hardware, software and peripherals necessary for building mobile phones, Philips is enabling its ODM, OEM and operator customers to dramatically reduce costs and bring sub-$20 handsets to the consumer.
Over the past decade, we have been spending an increasing amount of our time in so-called cyberspace. Companies and individuals have created virtual representations of their products and services. Our communications have also moved to conversing with identities (email IDs, IM monickers, SMSing to mobile numbers) rather than directly with people. David Gelernters idea of Mirror Worlds takes this to its logical conclusion: we will have a parallel world that we will increasingly inhabit which is a copy of the real world. Today, maps can provide us the spatial copy. But they do not give us the real-time component. That is where a mix of next-generation mobiles, sensors and user-generated content will come in and embellish the other world. So, Mirror Worlds are microcosms of all that we see around us as updated as the real world that they resemble. These Mirror Worlds are accessible to us through screens on the devices we have our mobiles, computers, and perhaps, networked TVs.
In a true mirror world, data would be mapped onto recognizable shapes from real life. For instance, to find information on a local hospital, you would locate the building on a computerized map and click on it with an “inspector” tool. Within seconds, the big-picture data about the facility would come into focus: number of patients and doctors, annual budget, how many patients died in operating rooms last year, and more. If you were looking for more specific informationsay you were considering giving birth at the hospitalyou could zoom in to the obstetrics department, where you would see data on such subjects as successful births, premature babies, and stillborns. Information about how the hospital connects to the wider citywhat Gelernter calls topsightcould be had by zooming out.
Another key feature of Gelernter’s vision is what he calls narrative information systems. The data in a mirror world are time-based: The mortality rate at a hospital varies from month to month and from year to year, and a mirror world would record those changes. So with any variableor combination of variablesyou could reverse the data stream to see past conditions. This is a tool not only for making sense of the past but also for predicting the future: If you’re in the middle of an economic downturn and you’re thinking of moving to a new neighborhood, you might like to see how the real estate values fared during previous recessions. With a mirror world, you would select a neighborhood (or a city block, if you wanted that much detail) with the inspector tool and shuttle the data stream to 1990 or the mid-1970s or the late 1920s, as though you were rewinding a VHS tape.
“My life, like your life, is a series of events in time, with a past, present, and future,” Gelernter says, sitting in a conference room in the New Haven offices of Mirror Worlds Inc., the software company he cofounded. “And that’s the way my software ought to look. The mirror worlds approach to organizing information is based on reality, as opposed to an engineer’s or a computer scientist’s fantasy. I don’t want my personal life to be stored in an arbitrary UNIX file tree; I want it to be life-shapedthe shape of the way I live it.”
Mobiles and next-generation networks are what will make all this possible. For the first time in human history, we have a device that is part of our body it travels with us everywhere. It is a two-day device in the sense that it has both eyes and ears, along with an output mechanism. We also have increasingly ubiquitous networks. What has been missing are the applications to leverage this emerging new order.