web 2.0 and the revival of browser only PCs


Is it time to revisit browser only PCs? Would web 2.0 cause a fundamental change in hardware architecture(both PC and mobile) by facilitating a move towards the network computer architecture?

In the PC/Internet world, the browser is fast becoming the universal client. However, there is a crucial difference between the PC world and the browser world.

In the PC world, we need one type of program to run a specific type of application (‘word’ to view word documents, ‘excel’ to view spreadsheets and so on). In contrast, we can use the browser to view any type of application(i.e. one client for many applications).

or as Gandalf would say – One ring to rule them all!

This makes application development much more optimal and less susceptible to software running on the client(in this case the PC).

An extension of the ‘one client’ i.e. browser based paradigm is the ‘browser only PC’ .

Recently, Walter Adamson asked me this question on forumoxford – ‘And who bought the last round of “browser only” PCs? Noone, including you.’

That’s true. I didn’t buy a ‘browser only’ PC at that time.

But the point is – NOW I would.

Already, my email, calendar and other applications are on the web. Using Web 2.0 applications like the writely , I can store all my documents on the web.

All I need is a browser. One client to rule them all!

Thus, today I would use a ‘brower only PC’ – would you?

What does that say about mobile applications ?

Image source: http://members.lycos.nl/lotr1en2en3/de_ring.htm