I have read some interesting articles about where we are going after web 2.0. Some people have said that higher CPU and greater broadband speed will see us moving to more rich applications based on the likes of Silverlight and Flash.
I for one am a bit sceptical on this predication. Not that I don't think this will happen but just how this all works for us. For example I know Flash and Silverlight look very nice when applied to a site (correctly). But and this is a big but, I believe machines are not quite there yet. You are probably thinking "what on Earth does he mean?". Well let me put it this way, we have all encountered Vista and some of us Linux at some stage we know the machines to run Vista need to be pretty powerful. These pretty powerful machines generate a lot of heat so we need to put some nice big fans in them to cool them down. If you don't have the higher spec fans on your new Vista capable machine, it usually ends up sounding like a small aircraft taking off. Now take that same technology and apply it to a Vista capable laptop, can you remember the last time you could sit with a laptop on your lap for any reasonable amount of time? It gets pretty hot doesn't it? Now think about the last time your fired up a Flash or Silverlight rich website on your laptop, after a while the fan on your laptop started getting rather noisy and if you were working off the battery on your machine it probably started losing power a lot faster.
My point is the faster machines have become - the noisier, hotter and more energy they have started to use. Basically there is a cost for that power provided by the higher end CPU. If you cast your mind back to Windows 95 or even Windows 3 the machines running these OS's were a lot quieter you could also place the laptops on your lap and not suffer a heat injury! When I visit websites I love websites that just use just HTML, why do I love HTML? Because it is simple it doesn't take large amounts of CPU power to process, my machine stays relatively quiet and I don't have to wait for annoying Flash and Silverlight applications to load. Don't get me wrong I think Flash and Silverlight have their place and that is for small nuggets of information not for the whole page, as so many people wrongly use it for in my opinion. I like sites I can also use from my mobile device or from my laptop on 3G. 3G may be fast but at times it can be very slow especially when you are in London at rush hour with hundred of other commuters doing the same thing. Believe me you don't thank the makers of Flash intensive websites when you are on a slow connection and need to get to the information on a site in a hurry.
What I am trying to say is why can't we use technology that doesn't require the masses of processing speed and stick to simple applications that are well programmed so as not to require the large amounts of CPU usage and can transport the information needed over lower bandwidth for them to perform? At the end of the day I am after the information and if I get a richer experience based on the clever usage of keys bit of technology while keeping the need for processing speed and bandwidth low surely that is best for all? Just because we have more bandwidth doesn't mean we have to use all of it, shouldn't we use it only if we need to when providing information to Internet applications and not because we can? The same goes with processing power, if Internet applications were done more in this way we would end up with happier machines that didn't have to dedicate all of their processing speed just to one hungry application.