Thinking about the Future

October 29, 2009

What will the Web Look Like in 5 years? Gartner presented Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google to talk about the future. Some of his key points include:

  • Five years from now the internet will be dominated by Chinese-language content.
  • Today’s teenagers are the model of how the web will work in five years – they jump from app to app to app seamlessly.
  • Five years is a factor of ten in Moore’s Law, meaning that computers will be capable of far more by that time than they are today.

He also talks about being trapped in a 1980s architecture. I heard a webinar demo of an app today which uses client-server technology. It seems to me that any application which does not use the web with AJAX and hosted on a virtual server is old technology and not something that should be supported.

Schmidt also talks about the Google business model and pricing. He notes that Google customers ask for more features for a price that is less that what they are paying for desktop applications. They are starting at the bottom with the largest customer for Google docs/email of 35,000 seats but 10s of thousands of companies (at $50 per seat).

“We are not trying to design the future, we are trying to invent it along the way.”
“We have migration tools and no one seems to migrate back.”

Is the implication that the majority of companies will move the cloud for desktop apps and enterprise apps? Are current vendor supported enterprise apps inflexible as he says. Are companies and health care missing out on mobile opportunities? Open source also adds to that flexibility.

Five years from now, will be all on powerful wireless devices, running open source, cloud-based apps, with books on netbook tablets and running a Wave-like instantaneously messaging. What will that mean for health care and especially collaboration in health care? How about collaboration so fast that medical treatment is communicated and executed faster than we can imagine either at home or at a local clinic thru virtual technology promoting health and treating symptoms to minimize side effects. Support of participatory medicine will be seamless through these mobile, real-time social networks.

Finally, thanks to Eric Schmidt for his humorous quips throughout. Check out the full 45 minutes also.

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