Web 3.0

At the “D conference” (All things Digital) hosted by the Walls Street Journal last week, there was sudden use of the term Web 3.0. The hosts said, “So what’s the seminal development that’s ushering in the era of Web 3.0? It’s the real arrival, after years of false predictions, of the thin client, running clean, simple software, against cloud-based data and services”.

I like the tone of this description. It’s everything opposite to what we have been doing for years in the computing business. It’s not fat client, not complex, bug-prone, attack-prone software like Windows (origin from QDOS, Quick and Dirty Operating System), not power-hungry and lowly battery-life, not redundancy in data, not closed proprietary systems, and not labor-intensive maintenance.  Just look at Apple iPhone. It has the attributes of a Web 3.0. – elegant touch screen user interface, myriads of applications developed by others, just feels simple and hassle free.

I like this quote from The Wall Street Journal of today,

“…the complete integration of computing into every part of our lives in a way that is seamless, ubiquitous and ideally, dead simple. From using easy gestures to grab any piece of information from the Web to having powerful computers in the palm of your hand to being able to quickly dip into complex social networks to getting real-time information from across the globe as it happens, this is an era when  computing could become as integrated and invisible as electricity and just as important.”

This reminds me of the late Mark Weiser (of Xerox PARC) who predicted back in 1991 (18 years ago!) – The most fundamental technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves into the fabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it.

Some of us never thought we will see that prediction in our life times. But we are there now.

A long march over 50 years – from “big computers”, to “small computers”, to “connected computers”, to finally “invisible computers embedded in every day objects”.

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