Now blogging at diego's weblog. See you over there!

a new era of software

Ray Ozzie: commenting on a discussion between Bob Frankston and Dan Bricklin regarding the browser as the (in a nutshell) "interface to end all interfaces":

For a while, we were seduced into thinking that we should optimize costs by reducing the PC to being a dumb terminal, or by stopping the upgrade cycle, or by reverting to a simpler, generic OS. But as we by necessity deal with more and more PCs in our lives, and as we use them in more and more locations, and as we've come to terms with the fact that we can't imagine doing our jobs without them in the course of our work with others, it has become clearer that the most critical thing to optimize is our time. And in order to do that, we need more appropriate technology, not just simpler tech.

Exactly. And anyway, what's important about the web are the protocols, not the interfaces. The interfaces (i.e., browsers) will change and merge into other applications and disappear. The protocols will live on. XML will only accelerate this.
"It's finally dawned on many of us that our software has fallen behind our infrastructure, and that we need significant upgrades to our systems and application software that bring them into an era of ubiquitous computing and communications.  We need to prepare for, and to embrace a whole new generation of systems and application software that leverages our computers and networks specifically and tangibly to increase our interpersonal productivity and agility.  To enable us to spin more plates; or to keep them up in the air in a more measured manner."

Right on. Mass-market software has grown stale, Microsoft's claims to "innovation" notwhistanding. There are too many things that are falling in place and will require a qualitative leap in applications to be used fully: P2P, Ad hoc, Wi-Fi, UWB. I feel we are approaching a new critical point, (as it has been the tradition in the computer industry to reach one ever ten years or so: 1960s mainframes, 1970s minis, 1980s PCs and LANs, 1990s the Internet, and 2000s... well, maybe massively distributed edge networks?)

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on September 14 2002 at 12:22 PM

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