Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Ajax-enabled browsers vs GYM...

Alright. Let me start this off by saying this isn't a super novel thought, but I think its worth (re)mentioning. There's a general question around the business models of services like Meebo and other free Ajax-enabled services that are coming out. While each has intrinsic value to the end-user as an application (email, calender, events, etc), the real opportunity is in owning the end-user Ajax-enabled browser experience.

Consider Meebo. When you sign in to their service, the experience is no different than opening chat on your PC desktop. As Meebo continues to grow their users of Ajax-based cross-platform chat (which is offered for free), those users become more comfortable with Meebo's Ajax-enabled desktop on which chat is just one service. Box.net already offers a simple Ajax widget that gives mobile access to your files (with daily backup from your desktop/pc). If you combined that with Zimbra's email function and Meebo's IM Chat, you've essentially built a personal mobile desktop via Meebo's Ajax browser, accessible globally.

As Ajax-enabled apps (in very short time) are delivered to mobile phones, end-users will be able to build one common interface to the content, services and data of their choosing via an Ajax-enabled browser thats accessible cross platform. Obviously Yahoo, Google and MS are all enabling Ajax widgets on their portal pages in an attempt to lock in users to their specific offering. But it's the efforts of Meebo and other free, killer Ajax-enabled apps which may end up derailing portal pages as the center of end-users' Internet experience. Why clutter your personalized page to the web with services, ads or content that you didn't choose? As web services become increasingly more mainstream, the individual will be able to personalize and select only the content and apps they want (their personalized Internet dashboard). Think of it like an RSS Reader (e.g. Bloglines) for any content, application or service.

Should this happen, the impact on websites or software that don't offer their functionality as a web service would be dramatic. Just another reason for software/service providers (including eBay) to continue building out a rich web service offering...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

As Ajax-enabled apps (in very short time) are delivered to mobile phones

I have never in my life had a good experience on my mobile phone, and this is just pie in the sky. Seriously. The best I've had is email and IM on my blackberry. But on every mobile I've had it's been pure crap. And that's probably 7-8 mobiles.

The only one I even considered usable was my first internet accessbile Qualcomm phone way back in 1998. The only reason it was good was because it was text only. I could actually navigate to CNN and read a few articles while taking a crap. Nowadays with all these fancy phones and browsers and pictures and everything else I'm seriously lucky if I can finally make it to CNN to see the headlines by the time I've pinched it off. Cell phones are meant for 1 thing. Phone calls. Everything else on them is junk, except maybe text messaging.

1:43 AM  
Blogger Ro said...

You should try using a Treo or any of the higher end Nokia S60 or S90s. I browse the Internet on the Treo 650 all the time. Also consider that newer phones are becoming Wimax/wifi ready as well. Not as pie in the sky as you think...

9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those aren't phones normal people would carry. Most people consider those to be bricks.

People want small little cutesy phones . In fact tha smaller the better. Like the Razor.

We have Blackberry's at work and everyone I've made get one has resisted. Mostly due to it's size. But without that size they are useless. The extra size is needed for more pixels on the screen and the keyboard.

My contention is that the bigger screen and keyboard are needed for any of this web stuff to ever work well on a cell. And that since people don't want larger phones it's never going to work well enough for people adopt using them in large #'s.

Try reading your blog on a cell for example. What a horrible experience.

2:10 PM  
Blogger Ro said...

that because of the cellphone or my writing skills? ;)

3:21 PM  

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