Deflating The Wireless Bubble - InformationWeek

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Commentary
4/11/2006
02:44 AM
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner
Commentary
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Deflating The Wireless Bubble

Mobile and wireless computing are among the most hyped technologies available. My colleagues Elena Malykhina and Andy Dornan do a great job today describing both the potential and the problems of wireless and mobile computing. Their report includes the following:

Mobile and wireless computing are among the most hyped technologies available. My colleagues Elena Malykhina and Andy Dornan do a great job today describing both the potential and the problems of wireless and mobile computing. Their report includes the following:- Enterprises looking to deploy applications to mobile devices find the job challenging. Applications designed for use with a keyboard, mouse, and monitor don't adapt well to cell phones and PDAs. One solution: Just put the essential parts of the application on the mobile version.

- Ultra Wideband shows promise as a standard wireless technology to replace the tangle of cords on the desktop currently used to connect CPUs with monitors, keyboards, mice, printers, and other peripherals. Everything's perfect except for the vendors, which are more interested in yet another stupid standards war than in getting products out to the user.

- Likewise, cell phone service providers are proving to be roadblocks in getting great new features like Bluetooth telephony, electronic payments, and digital music out to customers. The service providers, such as AT&T and BellSouth, are the real customers of the handsets made by hardware vendors like Nokia, Samsung, and Motorola. And the service providers are only interested in features that require users to spend more time on the network.

There's lots more, so read the whole package for those stories and more about WiMax, Wi-Fi tracking, municipal Wi-Fi, and dual-mode Voice over Wi-Fi telephony.

Disruptive technology like wireless computing goes hand-in-hand with hype. It's a frustrating, depressing cycle, actually: Vendors make outrageously inflated claims about technology, which are repeated dutifully by overly credulous journalists and analysts.

Next comes the bust cycle, when the journalists and analysts go too far in the other direction, declaring new technology to be a fraud, a scam, or phony, believed only by suckers and used only by child molesters, terrorists, drug dealers, and people who talk on their cell phones in the theater.

I'm proud to be associated with InformationWeek this week because of that mobile computing package and several other articles that look candidly at the benefits and pitfalls of several emerging disruptive technologies and business practices, including virtualization, podcasting, and innovation itself.

We're informative and analytical without falling into either excessive hype or excessive cynicism. You'll come away from these articles enthusiastic about the potential benefits, knowing that it'll be a big job to achieve those benefits, but ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work.

P.S. When I say "we" did these things, what I actually mean is that other people did all the work, and I'm just coming in at the last minute and sharing in the credit.

P.P.S. Also, when I say "roll up your sleeves and get to work," I do not exclude those of you who are wearing short-sleeved shirts.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
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