App stores are not the future, the web has won

I have already given the Windows Mobile App Store the thumbs down and put the boot into the Apple App store. So its clear I believe there a fad and other factors will take over very soon.

What's reassuring is that Google also see the problems with App stores and in this interview with found via Jyri, they describe the problem. Boiled down to a sentence, the web is the platform.

Apple customers may have downloaded 1.5bn applications from its AppStore in the past year for their iPhones and iPod touches, but the service does not represent the future for the mobile industry, according to Google.

Vic Gundotra, Google Engineering vice president and developer evangelist, (pictured centre) told the Mobilebeat conference in San Francisco on Thursday that the web had won and users of mobile phones would get their information and entertainment from browsers in future.

“We believe the web has won and over the next several years, the browser, for economic reasons almost, will become the platform that matters and certainly that’s where Google is investing.”

Mr Gundotra won some support from the rest of the panel. Michael Abbott, head of application software for Palm, said advances in the browser being introduced through HTML5 standards meant that web applications could tap features of particular phones such as their accelerometers.

Once again I need to give some credit to Chris Messina for waking me up to the fact that the web has won. Google and Palm have also put out products and services which operate on this fact. And today at a presentation from Aza Ruskin, I quized him about Ubiquity and the notion of browser vs the OS. I didn't push hard or even mention Google Chrome OS but he came back to me with a lot of interesting thoughts about barriers around personal content rather that a barrier between online and offline content. Would have liked to have explored but it was clear that Aza Ruskin was also talking like the web had won.

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser. Can be found at, and