Web is dead, long live the Internet economy

Web is dead, long live the Internet economy

Last year it was the Microsoft Network, this year Forrester boss George Colony says "The Web is dead". Web pages are static, uninteresting things that are quickly being overtaken, he said.

But Colony is quick to point out that this is not a harbinger for the future of the Internet, but rather a new generation of interactive platforms that will replace the Web, enhancing further the useability (and saleability) of the Internet.

These platforms will create the new "Internet economy" that will serve 100 million people by the end of the century, representing about 1 per cent of the GNP of first world economies like Australia and the US. And that figure will grow to 3 to 5 per cent of GNP by the year 2005, he said.

Colony poured scorn on that other potential Internet development - the network computer espoused by companies such as Oracle.

He described the NC as Oracle CEO Larry Ellison's mid-life crisis, claiming it was the latest manifestation of jealously from a "festering group of Silicon Valley personalities" who were obsessed with Bill Gates. "One thing about this industry is that we never go backwards," he said.

Ironically, given his scathing criticism of Microsoft's Internet strategy last year, the Forrester chief praised Microsoft's new spin, saying Gates had successfully altered Microsoft's course very quickly, when it became obvious that it was heading the wrong way.

Indeed, according to Colony, Microsoft is set to end Netscape's dominance of the Web browser market by as early as next year. With Internet Explorer bundled into Windows 95 Microsoft will capture half the Web browser market, at Netscape's expense, he said.

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