July was an active month within the social computing space. Microsoft kicked things off by acquiring Powerset for $100m. Founded in October 2006 and having raised $12.5m in venture funding the San Francisco based search and natural language company are early semantic web practictioners. Apple launched its much awaited iPhone 3G with 1m units sold over its opening weekend. If you have yet to get hands on with the device we recommend watching its 30 minute guided tour video.
Google went public with Lively, one of its virtual world projects. The browser based offering joins Meez Nation and a number of other browser based virtual world offerings currently within the marketplace. IBM and Linden Lab announced the launch of their Open Grid Public Beta project. Interoperability within virtual worlds is something both companies have been working on in partnership for sometime.
Each of the above were discussed with analysts looking to understand how the third wave is taking shape. While public listed companies were mere observers of the second wave they are now positioning themselves to be active participants within the third wave. Making this transition from user centric to user driven is one of the great challenges many organisations face as we enter the Meta Age. Interesting times indeed.