Google's introduction of Chrome as a half browser/half operating system yesterday really got me thinking about a fundamental shift that is taking place in our industry.  In the old "software paradigm", a version 6 or 7 used to be a good thing.  Once a product re-rev'd that many times, you'd be pretty confident the kinks were worked out and that it would be worth a major investment.

The Cloud is a lot different in the sense that starting over from scratch is often a big advantage for the company that makes the leap.  Chrome is a reaction to bloated browsers that are perhaps built for backwards compatibility as much as they are for innovation.  Silverlight is getting attention because it is backed by real code as opposed to a scripting language, and it is fighting Flash — a ubiquitous platform that is to some extent captive to the 9 official versions that came before it.

Simply put, we're starting to see the major players attack each other by scrapping bloated projects and doing big things with tiger teams.  We've seen it with Facebook Connect, Android, and Live Mesh also.  New platforms inevitably result in big opportunities for startups and innovative apps and user experiences for customers.  I'm not quite going to say "I told you so" just yet, but I do think there is a lot of promise in our industry despite the troubles of the broader economy around us.