“The web is dead and will be replaced by an executable architecture.” So says Forrester CEO George Colony.
The sort of bluster is unbecoming of leading Internet thinkers, but understandable given that making bold statements is what gets Forrester the press that gets them the clients.
I think that the idea of the “X Internet” or executable Internet is already a reality in places, but Colony falls for a classic mis-interpretation of the Net. People feel an uncontrollable urge to say “The Net is…” and pick one thing, or one analogy for the entire net. If the “Net is…” anything, it is the infrastructure that most non-real-time human-to-human and human-to-machine and machine-to-machine interaction will happen over. What we’re communicating and how we communicate it is entire up to the parties involved. Sometimes it’s static content on a page, sometimes a stream of consciousness weblog, sometimes an online application, sometimes a web service, sometimes it’s software, sometimes it’s entertainment, sometimes it’s something we never imagined.
I suggest we all stop trying to limit the Net by overdependence on real-world metaphors.