The economic meltdown that swamped the US and the rest of the world particularly at the end of 2008 has not only reshaped the financial landscape, but also impacted the Web landscape in many ways. All in, 2008 was such a tumultuous year, that the past year’s events will likely continue to set the tone for 2009.
Among the major Internet events of 2008 that came to mind:
- Microsoft’s bid for Yahoo that didn’t materialize
- Yahoo-Google ad deal that failed due to antitrust concerns
- The dramatic fall of most Internet stocks
But despite all the financial gloomy news, the Web is still growing, with major markets opening up in Asia, in particular. And Google’s shares are up when most are down. So, it’s a mixed bag for the Internet giant, really. Not to mention that Google continued to eat up most of US Internet search in 2008.
The latest big news is that Google is planning to launch Google Drive or GDrive, along with other cloud computing proponents like Microsoft, IBM, and Amazon. If you haven’t heard about cloud computing, it’s best summed up as replacing your PC with a virtual one operating from cyberspace. I’m not going to debate the merits or demerits of cloud computing, but personally I wouldn’t go further than uploading some unimportant files. A few prominent IT pioneers like Richard Stallman, have voiced concerns about cloud computing. To me, the real user of cloud computing is industry, not the average guy on the street.
Already, Facebook is facing serious flak over its plans to retain user data, not to mention possibly selling the data in future to marketing corporations. Cloud computing may just open up a much wider possibility of user data leakage, in a worse case scenario. If applied correctly though, cloud computing can benefit industry, who won’t need to invest so much in computer hardware systems. For the average man on the street, I doubt cloud computing would be “revolutionary.” GNU founder, Richard Stallman
Still, cloud computing searches have soared last year, as evidenced by Google Search Trends, with India topping the list of search origin. And maybe, it’ll be the next Web hype in the next few years. Speaking of which, Web 2.0 as a buzzword has indeed fallen into increasing disuse. It did not occur to me that nobody really cares anymore about Web 2.0 now. Rather strange, when for the whole of 2007, you couldn’t go anywhere on the Web and not notice “Web 2.0.”