Streams of Micromessages: Building the Live Web


Steve Ballmer

Steve Gillmor recently described a breakfast meeting Micorsoft's Ballmer had with Twitter's Costolo, it's timing, and--more interesting--what it means called breakfast with Twtter. The point of the article is that Microsoft's empire is built on a crumbling foundation that has at it's very base "Outlook." Outlook is vulnerable because it's not real-time. Microsoft's efforts to bring real-time into Outlook have largely failed. Here's Gillmor's words:

For all the power and money Ballmer commands at Microsoft, he faces a serious vulnerability at the heart of his Windows/Office stack. In a word: Outlook. If Outlook goes, Office goes. If Office goes, who needs Windows? If Windows goes, something replaces it. Whether it's Chrome OS or iOS or even Android, that something would be a big big deal. Most likely, it will be all of the above, with a communications layer loosely coupling them together under a stream of micromessages.
From Breakfast with Twitter
Referenced Tue Dec 28 2010 14:46:11 GMT-0700 (MST)

What really caught my eye was this phrase: a communications layer loosely coupling them together under a stream of micromessages. This is music to my ears because it's my song. :) I say "events" rather than "micromessages" but the meaning the same. I believe that the next generation of Internet applications, what I've taken to calling "the live Web" with props to Doc Searls, will be based on contextually correlated events and data. In order for those micromessages to be meaningful, they have to be correlated with each other and with relevant data using a context that's meaningful to the user. Once we do that, applications that seem like science fiction are within our reach today.

I'm in the process of writing a book on all this. Over the next few months, I'll be posting much of the material from the book here to test drive it as I go.