Michael Gartenberg on Digital Ubiquity


Windows 95 as a watershed event. Before that we worried about people taking enterprise software home and messing up licensing agreements. Now we worry about people bringing in their software from home and messing up out licensing agreements. People now frequently have better computers at home than they have at work. (What they don't have is better connectivity in general.)

IT departments are strapped installing security patches. Meanwhile users are out exploring the future of IT.

  • Information co-mingling requires optimized synchronization. The IT universe is not prepared for this data co-mingling.
  • Users cope multiple access venues. Home and office: home base. Libraries, hotels, and airports: steady relationships, kiosks, malls, etc.: fleeting connections. IT department need to consider providing mobile data services to users to help employees maintain connectivity focus.
  • Wireless data service charges (which are hard to keep track of) are a huge hurdle to the growth of digital ubiquity. This is true for me. AT&T charges me an arm and a leg for a limited connection and I rarely use it since I'm afraid of going over.
  • The trend to wireless networks in homes will put increasing pressure on IT departments to provide similar services at work. 2004 is the tipping point for wireless home networks. This causes networking to expand rapidly since wireless makes network deployment trivial for the home user.
  • PC throughout the home are changing the nature of the PC and how we work. I think this raises the question of what new products will consumers want as this trend continues. Multiple devices will create a need for bridges to ensure interoperability. Linking this all up is hard and the majority of users won't get it. Michael says that there's one person in his neighborhood who makes his living setting up universal remote controls for people.