While geeks have been gushing about web-based software for years, average consumers have been slower to adopt it. That said, given the huge popularity of web e-mail, it's only a matter of time before they use the web for more complex tasks. Here are three ramifications to watch.
|Photo: JC Bourcart|
|Steve Rubel is a marketing strategist and blogger. He is senior VP in Edelman's Me2Revolution practice.|
LESS IS MOREYour next computer could be a sub-$500 netbook -- a light, low-powered laptop with a small screen that relies on the internet for most tasks. According to Google Trends, netbook searches are up four times this year, and IDC sees sales topping 9 million in 2012. As netbooks rise, thin will be in. These computers are low-powered by design, and the consumers who use them will eschew complicated, 3-D or processor-intense experiences in favor of interfaces that are easy and formatted for a 10-inch screen.
WEB-APP ADSMany online applications are free. Others, such as mapping tool MindMeister, operate under a freemium model, where the basics are free but advanced features cost a premium. Most so far are devoid of ads.
Web e-mail has displayed ads since its earliest days. Others such as IMeebo, a universal IM service, are taking this a step further by creating immersive brand experiences. That's just the beginning. The rise of web apps will unleash innovation. Online photo editors such as Picnik could serve ads for how-to photography books to consumers who spend an extensive amount of time tinkering.