Why has Microsoft become so interested in the use of the Web given its numerous attempts to marginalize it over the decades? According to Ben Galbraith, Microsoft has consistently attempted to neutralize the Internet. From reducing the value of their Internet browser to zero, to web applications being chained to the Windows operating system in the way that Activex was, this caused Galbraith to ponder why Windows changed its focus, as he relates at the recent launch event for Internet Explorer 9 beta.
He and Dion Almaer explain that in the early years of computing there were many platforms until one particular operating system, Windows, rose above the fray and developed an app advantage. Almaer says this persisted even as other platforms brought more interesting and user-friendly items to market. Almaer and Galbraith believe that eventually this dominance started preventing consumers from getting products that had real value. They elaborate on their hypothesis that Microsoft's embrace of the web has parallels to the story of Apple.
Among the questions they attempt to answer in this presentation are how can a balance be struck between proprietary apps, what Galbraith calls "native capabilities" of individual giants like Microsoft or Apple and changing to fit the Web, like Netflix has. He raises Facebook as the best example of this balance currently.
Dion Almaer is a technologist who loves to code and build. He and his long time partner-in-crime Ben Galbraith recently brought their team to Walmart to power the mobile engineering efforts. He enjoys sharing his passion for software production across various communities, including a new property called FunctionSource.com.
Dion has been writing Web applications since it took over from Gopher. He has been fortunate enough to speak around the world, has published many articles, a book, and of course covers life the universe and everything on his blog.
He has been called a human aggregator, and you can see that in full force if you follow him on Twitter.
Ben Galbraith, together with his long-time friend Dion Almaer, forms one-half of the dynamic “Ben and Dion” duo that founded Ajaxian.com, headed Developer Tools at Mozilla, ran Developer Relations at Palm and is now running mobile architecture and engineering at Walmart.com after being acquired along with their start-up team in early 2011. Ben’s been writing code since he was six and starting businesses since he was ten; he’s written books, given hundreds of award-winning presentations world-wide, produced a few technical conferences, sold three companies, and has held CEO, CIO, CTO, and Software Architect positions in the medical, publishing, media, consumer electronics, advertising, software and internet industries. He lives in Palo Alto with his wife and five children and blogs at FunctionSource.com.
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