The age of browsing the web is soon to disappear, according to the influential technology magazine Wired. The World Wide Web is already being pushed aside by a boom in applications — like Skype, for example — that use the internet without making users open a web browser, says Chris Anderson in Wired's latest issue. The rise of the iPad and iPhone has persuaded tech innovators that the future lies in "semiclosed platforms" where users can listen to music, watch movies, or play videogames without using HTML or Firefox. Does that mean the World Wide Web is dead?
Old-school websites just aren't enough any more: Apps are muscling out browsers because consumers want "quality, convenience, and reliability," says Amar Toor at Switched. We would rather pay for songs at iTunes, for example, than spend time finding ways to download them for free. This isn't a "bad thing" — it just means the web will have to evolve as people get used to what it has to offer, and demand more.
"Wired declares 'the web is dead,' apps and mobile devices to blame"
The browser will return: Wired's article makes for some "startling" reading, says Erick Schonfeld at TechCrunch, but "don't count the browser out just yet." Web browsers will evolve to absorb the desktop and mobile apps that are currently so popular. Eventually, users will become "overwhelmed by apps" — then, a new and improved browser can step in to allow you to manage them all.
"Wired declares the web is dead — don't pull out the coffin just yet"
Reports of the web's death are premature: Of the many ironies inherent in Wired's dramatic anouncement, says Ryan Tate at Gawker, the key one is that it was made first on Wired's "profitable" website, and not on its iPad app or in its print edition. Added to the fact that "the entire conversation about the Death of the Web is happening on the Seemingly Quite Alive Web," it seems as if Wired's editors have spoken too soon.
"Wired says 'The Web is Dead' — on its increasingly profitable website"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why Pakistan won't hunt down the terrorists within its borders
- Sorry, GOP, tax cuts don't pay for themselves
- Pope Francis' American problem
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Are there dogs in heaven? Let's hope not.
- Hey, bosses: Stop giving bonuses to your employees
- 10 things you need to know today: December 19, 2014
- Why torture doesn't work: A definitive guide
Subscribe to the Week