As most everyone is aware, the internet is a changing as we speak. It is a living entity made more intricate by many people every day. The idea that in a few years we may not recognize what we now know is an interesting one, however.
The people at Cisco have a few ideas about the possible and likely changes coming to the internet in the next 25 years or so, and shared them with PC World -
Consumers will pay for Internet connectivity in a much wider range of ways by 2025, according to a new report by Cisco and the Monitor Group’s Global Business Network.
The report titled "The Evolving Internet" examines the driving forces and uncertainties that will shape the path of the Internet over the next 15 years.
I have already seen many studies in non-computer magazines, where the method of access in third world countries is by smartphones, rather than traditional PCs for the greatest number of people. This is something that seems so strange to me, but it is no different than those in this country that have never used a PC (usually older adults) but are quite familiar with the use of the World Wide Web by a service like WebTV.
The report discusses trends already under way that provide a common foundation for any scenario on the Internet’s future. According to Enrique Rueda-Sabater, report co-author and Cisco’s director of strategy and economics for emerging markets, the next two or three billion Internet users will be mostly in emerging markets and very different from the first two billion.
Rueda-Sabater said global business models and national policies will fail if they are based on old expectations of behaviour, preferences, and success.
Noting that it is difficult to predict the future, GBN cofounder and Monitor Partner Peter Schwartz, said the Internet-related choices being made in 2010 will have long-term consequences.
Sabater, a major contributor to the report, hopes these scenarios will foster a deeper strategic conversation in and across the technology and policy communities about the impact of today’s decisions in the future.
Growth in the Internet-Related Market
According to the report, most growth in the Internet-related market will occur outside of today’s high-income, or "advanced", economies. While global governance of the Internet will remain substantially unchanged, "digital natives" will relate to the Internet in significantly different ways than earlier generations.
The authors of the report say the QWERTY keyboard will not be the primary interface with the Internet after 15 years. There are going to be many uncertainties in the coming years and the interplay of these uncertainties can result in a large number of plausible scenarios for the Internet’s path through 2025.
There are many ways this can become so. Right now, unless I am writing something here, or filling in a form, I can go for hours on the internet without touching the keyboard, as I happily click away with my mouse.
When I am using Opera to browse, there are many times when using the keyboard to fill in forms or form-like information is not needed, as it is already stored by Opera, and I have it at my disposal with right click of the mouse, again saving any interaction with the QWERTY keyboard.
Download Opera – A faster and more secure Web browser.
The report notes the changes will be affected by technology that continues to make connectivity and devices more affordable. Other factors are insecure growth due to relentless cyber attacks, prolonged economic stagnation in many countries taking its toll on the spread of the Internet, and capacity constraints for IP-based services.
Many people I speak with, that are less than up on the latest in technology believe that use of a smartphone to access the internet makes one totally impervious to attack or data theft. They have been scared away from using a PC, yet are blissfully unaware that the very same things can happen using any other device that access the same places.
It will only be a matter of time before we find that attacks through those methods of access are as common as through the PC today. There are already offerings of antivirus and antimalware for some phone platforms, and clearly some think they are needed.
Things are changing, and in many cases, because those things are evolving continuously, they have already happened.
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