My group had a chance to talk to the head of CERN yesterday. Mostly his talk and our discussion focused on the Large Hadron Collider and also some organization aspects of CERN. He did, however, mention that the work that led to the development of the World Wide Web was done at CERN. He also said that when CERN realized this Web concept was promising, they tried to put it up for sale. But nobody was interested. And since nobody was interested, they released their work to the public for free and one thing led to another and now we have the Web we all know and love.
Internet history isn’t something I’m all that familiar with, despite my familiarity with all internet traditions, but it’s fascinating to think about what might have happened had some firm decided to buy in. Maybe the open internet we have today wouldn’t have existed?