2015 : RobertCringely has an interesting take on consumer CloudStorage providers : they can charge pretty much nothing, because what they're really acquiring is long-term ownership of you as a customer. (IdentityProviders)
2013 : It happened through FaceBook owning social identity.
And maybe Apple's Fingerprint reader as standard on everyone's phone turns it into the generic identity device, which wraps all other online and DeviceSwarm services? (See also TheLittleManInTheComputer
Software companies compete to be higher in the stack of abstractions, closer to the user.
Hardware wrapped by Operating System
OS wrapped by Windows GUI
GUI wrapped by browser? By Office? By mail tool?
eventually they understand, flip it, don't wrap the computer, wrap the user.
The user is the final platform ... own her
or for those who care about freedom ... guarantee her freedom.
But if she needs freedom to be guaranteed by someone or an organisation, does she have any freedom at all?
One thought about reputation / identity management. (AboutReputation) Once there's a public identity management infrastructure available, the last reason for centralized systems goes away. Those of us who were influenced by PhilipGreenspun originally thought of cool websites as being backed by a single database, with lots of cool things being done by joining tables behind the scenes. But why should a single site offer all this functionality? Why not combine best of breed custom application servers, for content management, blogs / news, commerce etc? Mainly because of the problem of sharing the user's identity among them. Once this is solved, we can expect to see communities build their community software ad-hoc, out of diverse components. It's another nail in the coffin for the centralization of information systems, and consequently another nail in the coffin of centralized organizations in general. (See AlternativesToCompanies)
Maybe this is what FOAF is too.
Digital ID World : http://www.digitalidworld.com/index.php
So why don't remote control makers own the hi-fi, video world?