The State of the Internet Operating System by Tim O'Reilly
This is why I love the blogosphere! And it proves the blogging is not (just) for dummies and show-offs. There's some real deep thinking and interesting interaction going on on blogs. Need proof? Read this post by Tim O'Reilly about 'The State of the Internet Operating System'. What a great piece! It gives a very interesting and inspiring overview of what the Internet is now and what it can do. Here are some highlights if you're still nog interested in reading it all:
Ask yourself for a moment, what is the operating system of a Google or Bing search? What is the operating system of a mobile phone call? What is the operating system of maps and directions on your phone? What is the operating system of a tweet?
Interesting questions, eh?! O'Reilly goes on to take a look at the competing Internet Operating Systems or The Information Operating System. An Information Operating System because:
The underlying services accessed by applications today are not just device components and operating system features, but data subsystems: locations, social networks, indexes of web sites, speech recognition, image recognition, automated translation.
O'Reilly goes on by deeping out these elements of the web. He also relates back to his paper 'What is Web 2.0?' in which he analyzed 'how the Web as Platform was going to be dominated by data services built by network effects in user-contributed data'. One thing he didn't stress as much then was that the data would increasingly be contributed by sensors. (As he wrote in his paper with Batelle about WebSquared).
He finishes his post with a couple of big questions:
Might an operating system of the future manage when and how data is collected about individuals, what applications can access it, and how they might use it? Might it not automatically synchronize data between devices and applications? Might it do automatic translation, and automatic format conversion between different media types? Might such an operating system do predictive analytics to collect or locally cache data that it expects an individual user or device to need? Might such an operating system do "garbage collection" not of memory pointers but of outdated data or spam? Might it not perform credit checks before issuing payments and suspend activity for those who violate terms of service?
My short answer is yes, I think it will. We are seeing and making it happen.