When the iPhone was released, two apps rushed to market in a battle over geolocation that would come to be briefly known as the “location wars”
The metaphor of “war” frequently enters the lexicon of commercial web coverage. When the web intersects with the world of business and high finance it evokes the same language and tone—framing healthy competition between similar services as a a cutthroat, zero-sum brawl raging in the skies above the independent web (which mostly ignores it). There was the portal wars, the server wars, the browser wars.
That language hides something that is, in fact, much more boring, rote and slow-moving. As Doc Searls pointed out in the midst of the browser wars:
The Web is a product of relationships, not of victors and victims… the Web as we know it won’t be the same in six weeks, much less six months or six years. As a “breed of life,” it is original, crazy and already immense. It is not like anything. To describe it with cheap-shot war and sports metaphors is worse than wrong — it is bad journalism.
And though the analogy of war is brought up over and over, there has been none as short-lived as the location wars. The location wars were branded and hyped by the press, then subsequently dissipated in the span of a couple of weeks in March of 2010. The story of the location wars, however, begins a few years earlier.