Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Web 2.0 and mobile phones

There are two significant trends emerging that stand to shift the balance of power away from the desktop pc and the vendors that serve that traditional market. 1. Web 2.0 applications. 2. Mobile Phone functionality. Web 2.0 applications These applications are providing a rich user interface via the browser. While there may be vagaries between browsers this type of application is reducing the application footprint on the desktop and making it easier to move towards the virtual/mobile desktop. The problem of "do I have the right version of the right application available on this machine?" becomes just a painful memory. Mobile Phone functionality The Mobile phone is increasing in processing power and capability. The delivery of music and video to the phone is only serving to drive the evolution faster. The phone is becoming firmly implanted as the primary personal device. Calendars, contact lists are held there. It is the first device many people turn to. However, we have the legacy and coverage problems in addition to device limitations. The phone is not an ideal platform for heavy duty editing. It can however be an indispensible device in conjunction with a laptop, where it provides the high speed network conduit - where high speed networks are available. I believe it will be some significant time before we can assume ubiquitous high speed network availability where ever we travel. This therefore pushes us to consider how this evolution will occur. It is my belief that we must see increased development of SMS and Voice Recognition services that provide natural language interfaces to back end web systems. This development is critical to the evolution of Web 2.0 and the mobile phone. These capabilities will enable consumers to interact with their web-based applications from anywhere without having demanding communications requirements. The ability to add an event to Google Calendar via an SMS message is just a taster of what is to come. We are seeing the emergence of an entirely new paradigm. We will be living in interesting times.

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