April 08, 2009
It's a great day for the WYW-Web

The What You Want-Web got a number of power boosts this week.

  • iTunes, the online music hegemony, is now fully DRM-free. Differentiated pricing so far means mostly a price bump to $1.29 (says reports), but have you seen App Store prices lately? iTunes is now thoroughly lock-in free.
  • Spotify, the most disruptive challenge to the above hegemony, launched an API, the only plausible response to the open source despotify library that surfaced a little while ago. It is Linux only so far, but that has to be a temporary condition. Spotify still has DRM and probably needs a different level of bargaining power to make the argument that it does not matter anymore.
  • Google App Engine announced Java support, and not just Java, but full JVM support. This essentially announces Javascript, Groovy, Scala support as well (one would expect Lift soon), and - as important as more languages - better DB interop. Specific tools for importing and exporting data from the App Engine.

The What-You-Want Web is my just-coined phrase for the lock-in free, non-value-bundled, disintermediated, higly competitive computation, api, and experience fabric one could hope the web is evolving towards. Twitter already lives there, nice to see some more people join.
The important thing about all of these announcements is that they forgo a number of options for making money off free/cheap: Lowering the friction towards zero means the services have to succeed on their own merits. If they fail to offer what I need or want, I can just leave. I don't have to buy into the platform promise of any of these tools, I can just get the stuff that has value to me.

I think in 5 years we will remember Twitter largely as the first radically open company on the web. Considering the high availability search and good APIs, there literally is no aspect of your life on Twitter that you can't take with you.

P.S. (Also, three cheers for Polarrose, launching flickr/facebook-face recognition today. A company adding decisive value with unique technology, born to take advantage of the WYW-Web.)

Posted by Claus at April 08, 2009 11:38 AM | TrackBack (0)
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