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Who Will Rule The New Internet?

Jun 09, 2008, 15:30 (3 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Josh Quittner)

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A platform, to computer people, is the software code on which third-party applications function. There are scores of big platforms out there--something like three dozen in the international mobile-phone business alone. But a truly successful one can extend far beyond its immediate group of users and effectively create and control an enormous market. In the computer industry, IBM dominated the first commercial platform with its expensive mainframes and operating systems, aimed at corporate users. Seemingly overnight, IBM was supplanted by Microsoft and its Windows operating system as the PC revolution took hold. Windows, in turn, is now losing its power as the Webâ€"owned by no one, accessible to all--becomes the dominant platform. (Yes, the Web is nothing more than a big layer of code; all those websites we visit are merely applications that sit atop it.)

"Every major player in Techland wants to create the next great platform, of course..."

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