Phy-gital Roundtable: Breakfast Roundup from Germany and Netherlands

02 May '15 | Debjyoti Paul

German Shoppers: Meet Them in the Fast Lane to Phy-gital

15 January '15 | Ralf Reich

Shoppers Will Share Personal Information (But They Don’t Want to be “Friends”)

15 January '15 | Anil Venkat

Modernize or Perish: Property and Casualty Insurers and IT Solutions

14 January '15 | Manesh Rajendran

Benelux Reaches the Phy-gital Tipping Point: Omnichannel Readiness is Crucial

13 January '15 | Anil Gandharve

The New Omnichannel Dynamic: Finding Core Principles Across Industries

13 January '15 | Debjyoti Paul

Technology does not disrupt business – CIO day 2014 Roundup

02 December '14 | Anshuman Singh

Apple Pay – The Best Is Yet To Come

02 December '14 | Indy Sawhney

Digital transformation is a business transformation enabled by technology

01 December '14 | Amit Varma

3 Stages of FATCA Testing and Quality Assurance

06 October '14 | Raman Suprajarama

3 Reasons why Apple Pay could dominate the payments space

18 September '14 | Gaurav Johri

Beacon of Hope: Serving Growth and Customer Satisfaction

05 August '14 | Debjyoti Paul

The Dos and Don’ts of Emerging Technologies Like iBeacon

30 July '14 | Debjyoti Paul

What You Sold Us On – eCommerce Award Finalist Selections

17 July '14 | Anshuman Singh

3 Steps to Getting Started with Microsoft Azure Cloud Services

04 June '14 | Koushik Ramani

8 Steps to Building a Successful Self Service Portal

03 June '14 | Giridhar LV

Innovation outsourced – a myth or a mirage or a truth staring at us?

13 January '14 | Ramesh Hosahalli

What does a mobile user want?

03 January '14 | Gopikrishna Aravindan

This is not your “father’s” web anymore

Posted on: 23 December '10

Recently I had two interactions that got me thinking on how the “web” is changing. The first is I downloaded the September 2010 edition of Wired magazine on my iPad (to test the much talked about iPad app for Wired of course) and the scintillating headline caught my eye – “The Web is Dead: Long Live the Internet.” It was an interesting article describing how the usage patterns on the web is dramatically changing from a browsing paradigm to an application oriented one. Secondly, I had an interesting exchange with a Forrester analyst and we got into discussion around the usage patterns changing with the advent of smart phones, tablets and other hand held devices. Again the discussion veered towards the amazing rise of mobile and hand held devices over the last few years and how applications for these devices are fundamentally changing how we use the Internet.

Up to a couple of years back most of the traffic on the internet would have been HTTP (browsing) and we jumped from site to site in pursuit of content and interests. Change started happening with the launch of the iPhone, iTouch, iPad (almost $120Mn users in the first 3 years); Android came as a challenger and has been gaining ground; there has been an amazing rise of rich media via Youtube, Hulu and Netflix and of course the phenomenal and increasing time we have been spending on Facebook (which now gets more page views than Google) and Twitter; interacting, playing and devouring content.

As per a Morgan Stanley study, Streaming video accounts for ~37% of Internet traffic during peak TV hours. In North America, where many operators have invested in 3G networks (and now a move is afoot towards 4G), mobile video accounts for ~41% of peak hour traffic up from 27% just 10 months back. Many of you would have heard the “streaming only” option from Netflix (for $7.99/month) and how Comcast has demanded a “toll” from Level 3 which is a Netflix partner due to the high usage of bandwidth from video.

What is fundamentally afoot is a shift in our behavior as it pertains to the Internet. The World Wide Web (web for short) was thought of a series of interlinked document and we “browsed” the web going from link to link. Today we are starting to use the Internet more as a messaging backbone and using targeted applications or sites to accomplish “tasks” of interest or spend time on our favorite activity; watching a movie, tweeting, checking on friends, updating the status on a social media site, checking in at foursquare, checking the news etc. With the screen size (and our attention span) shrinking, we are launching specific applications, consuming the content or performing an activity and then moving on. Users of Facebook or Twitter may spend hours within those environments. Similarly a typical web user may only interact with 10-12 sites on a given day. The Rockmelt browser, which was recently launched as beta, is fundamentally built on this premise. It brings together many aspects of social media, search, news, video and frequently visited sites under one umbrella.

This changing reality is not lost on investors. A PE investment of $150 Mn recently puts Twitter’s valuation at $3.7Bn which is higher than the NY Times company. Similarly Netflix has just been added to the S&P 500 index as a forecaster of the market – ironically replacing NY Times.

So what does all of this mean to our privacy (web browsing used to be a fundamentally “private” activity)? If our interactions are becoming limited and with a few applications/sites does it mean that these sites/apps can start tracking our every move and start building a mega-profile about us? Maybe they already are (scary thought isn’t it). What about search; is it still the “killer app” or is there something else lurking to replace it. More on this on my next blog ….

Kamran Ozair

Kamran Ozair is the Co-Founder, Executive Vice President at Mindtree. He oversees technical competence creation, technology direction, building key alliances and the financial planning for Mindtree's Technology Practices for IT Services. An acknowledged authority on Architecture and SOA, Ozair is also a current member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society. Ozair holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in computer science and engineering sciences from Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H., and a Masters degree in computer science with a concentration in artificial intelligence from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

  • Hi Kamran,
    Glad to see your blog, especially this one. The topic is close to my heart and have been writing/reading on this for a while. Thanks for providing the statistics about the new media emergence, and I reckon the recent read that more Youtube videos are watched from Facebook than Youtube itself. So, there is a convergence of technology based on basic human preferences, in this case a single window (FB) for accessing information. Rockmelt is probably a good fit in this white space. You might find the following read interesting.

    Looking forward to read your postings..


  • In India, where mobile penetration is higher than that of computers, if the now expensive mobiles which are compatible with 3G were more affordable it would change the entire gamut of doing business and a huge transformation could be brought about in smaller towns and perhaps even in rural areas.

  • Good blog. I got a lot of great info. I’ve been watching this technology for awhile. It’s fascinating how it keeps varying, yet some of the core factors remain the same. Have you seen much change since Google made their most recent acquisition in the domain?

  • Thank you very much for posting this good content! I am looking forward to checking out more!