Just as you begin figuring out what Web 2.0 is all about ... talk of Web 3.0 begins to surface.
Back in September, drawing on an eWeek article by Jim Rapoza, I posted an entry describing some rapidly developing trends that may end up being classified as "Web 3.0".
In a December article, Is This The Birth of Web 3.0?, Julien Lecomte follows a similar line of thinking. Lecomte describes the evolution of the web as follows:
Web 1.0 -- "the good old web of the 1990's"
Web 2.0 -- "the emergence of social media (Internet users creating most of the content), powered by mature technologies (DHTML, Ajax) on somewhat stable web browsers.
Web 3.0 -- "will lead to the blurring of that artificial wall between the web browser and the desktop"
Up until very recently there has been a clear distinction between web applications and desktop applications. To access online information you open your browser. For everything else you open an application installed on your computer.
But the lines are getting blurred. Is iTunes a website or a desktop application? Is the Office template you just chose coming from your hard drive or Microsoft's website? Desktop applications are beginning to seamlessly access the web for certain functions.
Soon you won't need the desktop app at all! With Google and other developers writing fully-online versions of word processors, spreadsheets, graphic editors, 3-D modeling, language translation, and more, there won't be a need to install client software. There might not be a need for Windows. Just make sure you have a browser running on your machine. And a network connection (although apparently this won't even be required all the time).
Whatever Web 3.0 turns out to be it will be here sooner than we think.