Last Updated Jun 25, 2009 2:46 PM EDT
1. Vendors supporting HTML 5 like Nokia, HTC, Samsung, Palm, Apple and Research in Motion will see demand for their devices explode at the expense of desktops and laptops from the likes of Dell, Lenovo and HP. Why? Because customers have demonstrated time and again that, all things being equal, they'll take small and light every time, and HTML 5 is the great equalizer. By improving the quality of cloud-based applications and the efficiency of device storage, HTML 5 turns smartphones into pocket-sized supercomputers. This as much as anything explains HP, Intel, and Qualcomm's sudden interest in netbooks (not to mention Apple's thinly-disguised plans to enter the fray). For the first time in dog years, too, device makers will also have an active interest in applications; but the fragmented App Store model will soon give way to a more federated model such as Qualcomm's Plaza. As I've written earlier, IBM's $100 million committment to mobile applications comes in no small measure from a desire to take part in the disruption of the Microsoft-Dell duopoly.
3. Finally, HTML 5 can be used to create temporary or ad-hoc peer-to-peer networks running within browsers of individual devices. This is the ultimate in disintermediation, potentially marginalizing not just large application suites but even cloud-based computing by allowing customers to collaborate in the ether. They would be able to save conversations or documents to their devices if they chose, but could also disintegrate them by simply closing their browsers, ensuring those documents didn't survive to implicate a whistleblower, or to be discovered through litigation. This would have tremendous implications for vendors of collaboration suites like Microsoft, IBM and Google, and would be a potential new source of revenue for wireless operators offering advanced services, and niche networking equipment vendors like Airvana.
The shake-out that ensues could undermine Google's business model, which relies on heavy usage of cloud servers to feed the information-hungry algorithms that power its search revenue stream, obviate Microsoft's hold on the desktop by rendering desktops obsolete, and destroy the value proposition of legacy, proprietary application suites that don't function well in a standards-based, flexible, and ultimately ubiquitous IT environment.