Web Services vs. Installed Software

More and more people are using computers for their own needs in daily life, especially mobile devices with touch interfaces like smart phones and tablets, yet it seems like a smaller and smaller percentage of these users seem to have interest in learning how to write their own software, let alone have devoted the time required to build up skill in software development. This tradeoff in trust is actually quite remarkable when you think about it, especially if the source code you rely on is unavailable.

There is also a move away from running software locally on one’s own hardware to using software via the Internet and the World Wide Web. Software like wordpress doesn’t run on your own computer, it is simply accessed through a web browser. The "instant on" internet devices touted so many years ago seem to have remade themselves and are making a comeback after several cycles of Moore’s Law type formulations (wikipedia) have made them more powerful and capable. A backpack of batteries or a gas powered generator is no longer required to power these mobile devices for a reasonable amount of time.

What do you think? Does the shift in emphasis away from locally installed software make Linux more or less relevant in today’s world?

We meet on the second and fourth Sundays of each month in Berkeley near the Downtown Berkeley BART station. We hope you join us at Bobby G’s Pizzeria.

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