Steve Case: Internet shakeout and changes ahead

America Online CEO Steve Case used his keynote address this week at Internet World to urge the online community to make the Internet more friendly to average consumers. He sees the future Internet as being more like AOL.

"As the mass market moves toward the Internet, the Internet must move toward the mass market," Case said. "For this medium really to reach its potential, we will have to shift from a technology-centric view of things to a consumer-centric view."

Case said that for the Internet to be truly pervasive, accessing it would need to be easier. He pointed to set-top boxes like WebTV as a good first step and said that such devices must be as easy to use as a CD player or camcorder.

"Technologies that consumers like the most are those that are so advanced that they are invisible," he said.

Case also pointed to the inevitable shakeout that will occur in the Internet market.

"A few years ago there were a lot of software companies in the marketplace, and now it's dominated by only a few," he said. "The same thing is going to happen to the Internet.

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