This is a great thing for Bloomberg to do. In an age where so many politicians are trying as hard as they can to stifle the new economy in favor of the old economy, the major of a city with a GDP bigger than that of 47 other states paying such public attention to the tech industry is a great step in moving our politics forward.
Bloomberg's most famous product is probably the Bloomberg Terminal. A dual screen computer and OS for hedge fund manager types, that costs $1900-2500 a month per subscription.
Seems like the whole thing could just be web app now.
Also, wrt to being a web app, there are users and then there are users. Sure, certain customers' usage might be fine for the web (and it can be run remote from anywhere on the web for the obvious reduced performance due to remoting), but receiving 50k+ ticks a second and pumping screen updates to 8 monitors in a trading situation is not something a browser is good at.
Also most of the big clients have physical connections to Bloomberg directly rather than going over the internet (for redundancy, security and performance reasons), and you need to optimize the data going over those connections. If you have a few hundred people at one client all watching 1000 prices in real-time you don't want to send all that data to every user separately so you need to use a fan-out node located at the client site.
These are just a few of the kind of complications you'd need to deal with if you wanted to build a web app that did the same thing. I doubt there's a single web app in existence which has anywhere near the level complexity that Bloomberg on the web would have.
It might be possible eventually but we're still someway off.
Having said this, I think browser's will catch up and so...
John Siracusa talks about this very thing on the latest Hypercritical . Most people, while they could learn to code, have no desire or future being terribly proficient at it. The mindset and critical thinking is not how most people want to spend their time.
But can it come to the point where if you can't code, you get left behind? It might not be so farfetched.
For reading, I would argue the ability to read become more valuable as the literacy rate increases, as society starts to run on the written word.
Perhaps computer literacy is the same.
In 2012 a mayor would write code. That's what the mankind achieved.
That said, I'm pretty sure Bloomberg learning to code marks the peak of the second tech bubble. That, or Ashton Kutcher becoming a VC.