At an analyst conference today, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made a choice comment. "We have won on the desktop," he said according to this account at CNET News.com. "Now we really are going to win on the Web."
Bite your tongue, Steve. Now, maybe he didn't mean it exactly the way it came out. And I don't doubt that Microsoft will indeed become an even bigger force online. But someone should break it to Ballmer--and, for that matter, to any folks at Google or Yahoo! who might think the same thing but are more circumspect: Nobody will own the Web of the future but the people using it. Between open-source software, blogs and wikis, Web mash-ups, Flickr, del.icio.us, Greasemonkey, and yet more technologies to come, it's the people who increasingly will create and control their own Web. And any companies that think otherwise will feel the Power of Us quicker than my pop-up blocker can spike their annoying ads.