The Web That Never Was

The story of the web is a story about freedom. It’s a story about information, breaking down barriers, and creating new ways for people to communicate, collaborate and share their ideas. It’s also a story that has as much do with marketing, money and meetings as it does with research and innovation. It’s a story of mediocre ideas that succeeded where brilliant ideas failed, a story of compromises, rushed deadlines and last-minute decisions. And it could so easily have been very, very different.

What if IBM had hired Digital Research instead of Microsoft to develop the operating system for their first PC, way back in 1980? What if Marc Andreessen and Jim Clark had gone to work for Nintendo in 1993 and never founded Netscape? What if one of the team at CERN had said ‘Tim, won’t it sound a bit silly if everyone spends the next 50 years saying double-you-double-you-double-you all the time’?

In this talk, Dylan Beattie will explore alternative history of the world wide web - a web with no Microsoft, no Windows, no Firefox, no Google and no JavaScript. A software industry from another timeline, a world of platforms, protocols and programming languages that are unmistakably alien - and yet strangely familiar.

So strap in, hold tight, and join us on a journey through… the web that never was.

Other talks by Dylan Beattie