I recently wrote what I like about the Web: everybody can participate without having to ask for permission. There is another thing that I like and which is fundamental to the Web: everybody can use the Web and experience it on their own terms.
Let’s review what’s needed to access the Web from a desktop computer (as opposed from a smartphone):
1 – a Web browser (such as Firefox, but you have choice), with optional add-ons
2 – an Operating System (Windows, OS X or GNU/Linux)
3 – a computer (the brand does not really matter)
4 – Internet access
To sum things up: the computer of your choice, the OS of your choice, the Browser of your choice, the Internet service provider of your choice.
In every technology layer used to access the Web from a desktop, users have choice, and that’s the second thing I like about the Web: as a user, I can choose what product I use. My Web experience is not dictated by a single company.
We’re at a time where the Internet is becoming an increasingly important part of our lives, so this choice is becoming increasingly important too. It’s the opportunity for us, citizens of the Internet, to exercise our freedom to shape our own Internet experience.