Beyond The Browser: Tog and Jakob discuss the future of information apps on the Internet

Bruce Tognazzini and Jakob Neilson takl about the problems with today's page-based browser in Beyond The Browser [interactive week]. They foretell a future where many distinct applications are added to take advantage of the Internet for offering information access. They talk about a lot of applications that extend the Net, including peer to peer apps like instant messenging and the many Napster-type apps. They mention Internet broadcasting and set top boxes as a means of suggesting, I think, that the hardware and applications that need to be designed, need to take the form of specific information needs. Just don't bring back PointCast or the Windows Active Desktop. They also talk about needing better ways of visualizing the information space on the Internet (not just the web), but don't offer any vision on where that would come from or how that may take shape. This, to me is a big question, as it must be for other IA's out there. People that work on large scale Web projects have probably been realizing the need for better collaboration and information access applications that work over IP for a long time. Working on an intranet, you see that failures to afford access or collaboration can result in decreased productivity and I guess the financial types would argue decreased Return on Investment (ROI). I find the argument valid that there is a great need for many new distinct applications that will fill the gaps where the browsers have failed. I wonder, though, how that will be realized when nearly every standard business application that sits on my PC desktop at work comes from Micro. [Sigh]