Rich Ziade has written a really interesting analysis of the jostling for position by the big players (especially Microsoft and Google) in the emerging Web 2.0 marketplace.

Rich’s main contention is that whiles the web-browser has been the ubiquitous tool for accessing internet-based information, controlling the entry-point (URL) has been all that was necessary to dominate the market. He suggests that Microsoft, at the same time as launching Live to compete directly with core Google services, are planning to take control of the ‘entry points’ by embedding them into the desktop with Windows Vista and especially XAML. Describing what he calls ‘The New Guerilla War’, Rich goes on to say:

As content and functionality continue to leak out of the browser, the weapons needed to win this battle are going to change. Microsoft owns the arena and the other players will use every means possible to offset their clear advantage. […] By moving software away from the browser and decentralizing it, the nature of the battle fundamentally changes. Whereas the battlefield was clearly delineated prior, the war zone is now far less tangible.

One thing I find interesting about this point of view is that it kind of contradicts the excitement surrounding Ajax. The huge impetus behind Ajax comes from the perception that the browser is being freed from its shackles, and that the web’s user interface can catch up with that of the average desktop. All of which is predicated on the continued existence of the web browser as the primary tool for interacting with the web….

Rich make some compelling arguments - this is definitely recommended reading.

This was previously published at and was retrieved from the Internet Archive.