John Milan wrote an excellent two-part article for R/WW this week, about the future of software. Because it was a very long article - filled with John's trademark nature metaphors - I thought I'd pull out a few of the highlights.
The question addressed was: what will the software solutions of tomorrow look like?
In Part 1 John argued that data should become open and accessible, just like the code in Open Source software. Code is often re-written and re-factored, but systems only work if they agree on the data.
Part 2 contends that people will demand more access to their data and more integration with their apps. This will result in the single minded, all-encompassing applications of today dying off - in favor of multi-celled, specialized solutions. So the future will be combinations of best of breed technology, rather than monolithic software.
"And what trait will the eventual winners in this brave new world share? The solutions that can hone their data requirements, move results from system to system, use the best form factor for the job and still keep it on a human level."
an information broker is possibly a move in this direction.I wonder then if we're seeing glimpses of this future in today's Web products? Perhaps, as John suggested, the missing link is babel fish-like "applications whose main purpose is to translate and transpose data from one system to another." Mozilla's intention to make Firefox 3
This type of 'best of breed' future certainly plays into Google's hands, as they already utilize web standards in their raft of apps - whereas Microsoft mostly relies on the Windows OS (a trend that will probably intensify in 2007 as Vista is rolled out). Of course Google and Mozilla are bedfellows, so Firefox 3 being an information broker would be quite handy for Google.
Are there any other Web products you see today that point to a Best of Breed future for the Internet?