Two weeks ago I posted about the battle of the web browsers and what this meant for businesses. Even with the evolution of the browsers and the added functionalities they deliver, they are becoming irrelevant in the grand scope of the web. Years ago your experience on the web was dictated by the browser you choose. They all had different features and supported different options. Now, the web browser is virtually invisible. Users want access to the information they are seeking and they want the tool they are using to do so to just make this happen, without getting in the way.
The cover of the September issue of Wired boldly states “The Web is Dead”. This is a strong statement and one I don’t necessarily agree with. Yes, the face of the web is different and the ways that people are seeking information are different, but the fundamental concept of the web is still alive and kicking. People are still using the web to access information, but what’s changed is how the information is delivered. The days of funneling users through a web browser to your homepage are numbered, but users are still accessing information online. They’re just coming in through different doors, like web applications (iPad applications, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, RSS feeds and more).
Wired predicted the “death of the web browser” once before back in its 1997 “Push” article, which talked about a new breed of applications that decentralized the web experience into a series of extremely targeted applications that delivered a controlled set of data, outside the browser. The idea was ahead of its time, and had companies like Pointcast and BackWeb started up today, they may have been even more successful.
We won’t lament the death of the browser just yet, but businesses investing in their web strategy should look at the big picture and not put all their eggs into their browser presence.