Weather it’s attributable to a fear of Google Open Social or increasingly savvy executives there is a real movement to open up social network platforms. Facebook has been the hottest network of late but is also once of the most closed and restricted. Not anymore as Facebook announces an open platform. Not to be outdone, Myspace also has plans to open it’s code. What the open platforms will do is enable outside developers to create extensions and addons to these services. New features will not be solely at the mercy of the original developer.
Within five years it’s going to be hard to run any kind of web service or application that is not open source, or at least provide a strong set of open API’s. This is part of the new paradigm of Internet business. Open Source has been around for years, but only now it is really starting to take hold. This is partly why Google has the strategic advantage over Microsoft as we move into the future. Open Source is built into the Google DNA. Microsoft has been built on the concept of proprietary systems and control. Buying Yahoo makes sense for Microsoft not just for their search advertising program, but for the Yahoo culture and philosophy. Yahoo also has Open Source built in. If Microsoft would allow some of that to seep in, it could benefit them emencly.