Who doesn’t find the war of currents fascinating? While Nikola Tesla advocated AC, Edison was adamant over usage of DC as the electricity distribution standards for the United States. Direct Current came first, and was happily adapted during the initial years of electricity distribution.
Soon after, from his work with rotary magnetic fields, Tesla devised a system for generation, transmission, and use of AC power. Tesla had worked for Edison but was undervalued. When Edison first learned of Tesla’s idea of alternating-current power transmission, he dismissed it saying “Tesla’s ideas are splendid, but they are utterly impractical.”
DC had certain obvious advantages over AC. It does not come along with the hazardous threat of electrocution. It can be generated locally, and hence can support many small scale industries. Inspite of these advantages, AC was selected over DC. The reason was simple- AC can be controlled centrally- by the government.
A similar situation has been created with the arrival of Cloud and Grid computing in the virtual world. It might turn out to be a great threat to the free software movement. Moreover, there is a high chance that it will get great support from the government- directly or indirectly. Under such circumstances, it will be difficult to advocate the users freedom in softwares and the democratic nature of the internet.