In 1998 and 1999, Microsoft CTO Craig Mundie and I sat in his office over a period of months, prior to the launch of UPnP, and talked through a bunch of scenarios where the internet was ubiquitous. We sketched out a world where most of my devices, wired and wireless, would have an IP address assigned to them, and an assortment of services would be offered over this ubiquitous network.
It was a grand thought experiment at the time, but 8 years later it’s becoming true.
A few weeks ago, I bought aircards from Verizon and Cingular. These allow me unlimited Internet access anywhere on their networks. While connected to my VPN at the office, I called Howard in our hotel room in Redmond, over this link. He didn’t know I wasn’t calling from a landline. Similarly, I plugged my Nokia N70 handset into my PC recently, while on a train, and had VPN access back to my office. Stepping off the train a little while later, I tossed the PC into my bag, and continued to synch mail while walking to my destination.
And this morning I am IMing with Andy, who’s somewhere over the Atlantic on a plane. I had no idea where he was until he told me.
Office, home, coffee shop, and everywhere in between. It’s quite an amazing transformation in such a short period of time.