The platform wars are over. Long live the Web. That was the basic message delivered by Jeff Huber, Google’s vice president of engineering, in a ten-minute presentation at Web 2.0 a few minutes ago. His talk was nominally about widgets (which Google calls Gadgets). Huber noted that over 100,000 sites have already embedded Google Gadgets, with 63 of them attracting more than one million active users a week. While the first phase of these gadgets involved people using them to syndicate content out to other sites, the real promise he says is their ability to spread applications far and wide:
What we see is applications fundamentally changing. Just like the model for content changed from monolithic sites, now applications are going to be feeds and containers.
A lot that you have heard here is about platforms and who is going to win. That is Paleolithic thinking. The Web has already won. The web is the Platform. So let’s go build the programmable Web.
Take that, Facebook.