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Could the Closed Aspect of Apps Threaten the Free Internet?

Instead of the free Internet, there could be walled gardensthat are promoted by our own laziness to simply and consume prepared content rather than exploring the Internet on our own. That is the result of a somewhat unusual survey conducted by pew Internet and American Life Project, which included just two questions and then asked 1,021 respondents for comment.

According to the report, 35 percent of respondents agreed with the following forecast:

"In 2020, most people will prefer to use specific applications (apps) accessible by Internet connection to accomplish most online work, play, communication, and content creation. The ease of use and perceived security and quality-assurance characteristics of apps will be seen as superior when compared with the open Web. Most industry innovation and activity will be devoted to apps development and updates, and use of apps will occupy the majority of technology users' time. There will be a widespread belief that the World Wide Web is less important and useful than in the past and apps are the dominant factor in people's lives."

59 percent believed this scenario to be more likely:

"In 2020, the World Wide Web is stronger than ever in users' lives. The open Web continues to thrive and grow as a vibrant place where most people do most of their work, play, communication, and content creation. Apps accessed through iPads, Kindles, Nooks, smartphones, Droid devices, and their progeny—the online tools GigaOM referred to as "the anti-Internet"—will be useful as specialized options for a finite number of information and entertainment functions. There will be a widespread belief that, compared to apps, the Web is more important and useful and is the dominant factor in people's lives."

There is no right or wrong and there is no detailed conclusion to those questions other than that more than a third of respondents sees apps to become the dominant usage scenario of the Internet within eight years. The takeaway clearly is that an education process is taking place and consumers have begun making choices how they use Internet resources. The request for comment yielded answers that are broad and cover everything from an infinitely open web to an environment that will create "app potatoes". The hope is that HTML5 is capable enough to help evolve the Internet and keep it useful to remain attractive as an open tool.