Now that people are getting worried again about the architecture web and its future -- as Google+, Apple and Facebook seem to be devouring everything -- it is worth noting where things went wrong. I'd point to two things:
- No static IP addresses for home broadband. The internet was designed with static IP addresses in mind. Your computer should have an IP address just like your phone has a phone number. If we all had static IP addresses at home (and IPv6, which we should have had a long time ago) then we'd also all have home servers hosting or at least backing up all our photos, videos, etc. It would be a large market. It would be much easier to roll out a decentralized social network, etc. Instead, we're just dependent on Google, etc. This isn't actually Google's idea, it is more the way the telecoms want it. It just happens to benefit the big hosting companies.
- Windows' horrible insecurity. Not so much anymore, but at the time the 'net was growing, Windows was not ready at all for it, and that fed into the idea that static IP addresses for home users not only aren't necessary, but dangerous.