Hive 7: a virtual world in a browser

Not to say I told you so, but This is only the beginning – ajax (and, I’m sure, other technologies that will peek out from around the corner before we know it) is on the up.

I really don’t think it’ll be long before the browser is everything we need to get most tasks done, and that’s no bad thing. What it does do is push commercial software into an entirely new age of revenue; open source applications are likely to be less able to keep up a centralised server-based environment, whereas suddenly commercial software vendors can charge a monthly fee to access their product. I’m sure open source software can engage in a more distributed set of hosting – in other words, there might be seventy different places to use a particular open source wordprocessor – but it’s more than likely that 99% of them will be supported with fees or advertising. And to be honest, as people get used to text ads I suspect their price is going to go through the floor, as banner ads did six years ago.

Nonetheless, the implications for universities and public organisations are huge – can you imagine if you could just pick up an open source app and stick it on a central application server? No more license fees, no more compatibility headaches, no more calls to Microsoft Support at $foolish a call …

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