Sunday, October 29, 2006

The future of applications and platforms 

Tim O'Reilly
In my talks on Web 2.0, I always end with the point that "a platform beats an application every time." We're entering the platform phase of Web 2.0, in which first generation applications are going to turn into platforms, followed by a stage in which the leaders use that platform strength to outperform their application rivals, eventually closing them out of the market. And that platform is not enforced by control over proprietary APIs, as it was in the Windows era, but by the operational infrastructure, and perhaps even more importantly, by the massive databases (with network effects creating increasing returns for the database leaders) that are at the heart of Web 2.0 platforms.

But as Bill notes, this doesn't mean the end of the application category. It just means that developers need to move up the stack, adding value on top of the new platform, rather than competing to become it.

Topics: /Web2.0 | Architecture

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