Microsoft has decided to release new developments in Google style. All kinds of applications in beta version are disclosed bit by bit. Anybody who regularly browses through www.live.com or labs.google.com can puzzle together the future. In the near future we will not choose for Windows, Linux of OSX, the internet is the platform of the future and then we will choose between Google or Live.com.
Away with Windows, OSX or any other operating system, the future is online. In a year or so, most of your computer activities will be conducted from a browser through a broadband connection. Reading your mail or instant messaging can already be done with only a browser in Gmail/GoogleTalk or Windows Live mail and messenger. The startup business is running at full speed again, developing all kinds of ideas to help entrepreneurs big and small to do business seamlessly with only a computer and a broadband connection. And seamless usually also means free, ‘no friction’ is the motto.
Windows is over with as a cash cow for Microsoft, you can just as well install Linux (for free). Kick Outlook out because Gmail is just as good (and works on my mobile too). But who will pay for all of this?
The answer is clear; the money will come from advertising.
And what will be used to attract advertisers: consumer attention!
“Attention” is the new currency of the online economy. Microsoft or Google will know exactly which search terms you use, what you are e-mailing or who you chat with. They can map out your personal network to the detail:
Chatters (soon split in business and leisure) are people who really know each other personally; e-mail means a more loose relationship. Bring that together with the search terms you use or your favourite websites stored in the Microsoft version of del.icio.us or ma.gnolia.com (favourites.live.com is available online) … and one can group together people with similar fields of interest. Can you see the three concentric circles symbolising your network in front of you?
Gmail and WindowsLive are not free at all; you pay them with your attention. So what if you don’t feel like selling your thoughts to a stock quoted multinational? Well, go check out http://www.attentiontrust.org, they offer you the possibility to log your online behaviour and should you like to, sell it to the highest bidder.
Get those interactive brains working to figure out how you can put these new possibilities to work as a marketer, advertising professional or entrepreneur. Pandora’s box is about to open!