Monday, March 06, 2006

Forrester: Why The Open Mobile Internet Will Win

Ted Schadler at Forrester posts at the Devices, Media, And The Future Of Everything blog about why he thinks the open mobile Internet will win. Schadler asks:

The Intel and Microsoft-dominated "open" PC industry is going mobile (I'm hearing Pete Townsend singing a rare lead vocal in the background) with the mobile Internet. But the wireless industry's already there, right? So, which industry will win? The open PC industry (okay, not open as in "open source," but at least open as in "open to all") or the closed wireless industry (closed as in -- you can only run an application if I make money on it and I let you in). My call? The PC industry and its open mobile Internet will win.
Here are Schadler's reasons:
  1. The PC industry is great at building platforms for applications. Without the PC industry, we wouldn't have music downloads, simultaneous chat windows, wikis, blogs, podcasts, Google Maps, local search, or 1,000 movies available from Vongo. Without the wireless industry, we wouldn't have, well, mobile phones and texting. Advantage: Open.
  2. 3G cards and Wi-Fi today and WiMAX tomorrow provide ubiquitous broadband access. Tiny PCs or whatever other form factor the industry can invent can be connected from almost anywhere. Top of Jay Peak in northern Vermont? Verizon's there. Sidewalk in Waltham, Mass.? The local real estate office has an open Wi-Fi network. PCs can tap any available network, thus driving access prices down. Advantage: Open.
  3. "Open" provides an abstraction layer that allows innovation on the edge of the network to be decoupled from innovation at the core of the network. The closed wireless industry (and the cable industry for that matter) controls the core and the edge of the network, which grinds the pace of innovation to a halt. Why? Because no application can be delivered without worrying in great detail about the end-to-end performance and impact on the network. The Internet's redundancy makes this a non-issue for the open mobile Internet. Advantage: Open.