X.commerce: A boldly open platform & OS for commerce in the cloud
X.commerce is designed to help merchants reach consumers at the edge of their businesses - where they shop today - online and on millions of mobile devices.
X.commerce is a great example of a platform going boldly open. Many platform businesses focus on apps and business processes on top of the platform layer (apps on top of an OS, system integrators on top of Salesforce, and so on). X.commerce's innovative approach also enables 3rd parties to plug net new capabilities into the X.commerce fabric from below, making them available for use in apps.
These plug-ins, such as tax calculation, customer support services, or rewards management, will extend the eBay capabilities in the ecosystem for thousands of potential customers and collaborators to take advantage of. This also includes the potential for capabilities offered by 3rd parties that are competitive with those offered by eBay.
It's analogous to Linux's loadable kernel modules or Microsoft's device drivers - not just enabling apps above, but many devices below that can be used by apps; each device added enriches the app ecosystem. The X.commerce platform begins to look like an OS for commerce in the cloud.
eBay understands that more capabilities plugging into the commerce OS means more apps being built on top. This should lead to increased traffic and transactions through the platform. In turn, X.commerce will likely see very rapid ecosystem evolution and growth. It's a bold move and is likely to be rewarded by the ecosystem and the market. Bravo!