Convergence zone
So close and yet so far
Apple is strongly cognisant of the movement towards technological convergence: a phone that is also an mp3 player that is also a camera that is also a PDA. For that matter, an mp3 player that is also a video player. A camera that is also a camcorder. And so on, and so on. There is some debate over whether or not this is the best way to go forward, but in any case it is the way we are moving, and this basic utility combined with its inherent sexy appeal is I think the reason why the iPhone has been so successful.

When Google first started making waves about Android I was working for the Windows Live division of Microsoft, a department predicated on thoughts of the "Cloud" and inevitably, via Live Mesh, of a seamless environment of data, people, and places. So it goes. Because this is Microsoft, various and sundry Live and other divisions have come up with about half a dozen ways of synchronising things or preserving accessibility of data (off the top of my head: Foldershare, Skydrive, Live Mesh, Exchange, and Office Live, though I'm sure I'm forgetting something), none of which exactly work properly at everything you would want them to do.

Microsoft's visions of the future are quite grand, and I respect them (the visions). Again, of course, this being Redmond the reality falls somewhat short of the goal--they're definitely near a "seamless mesh" yet. Their efforts in the mobile market have resulted in the Windows CE derivative Windows Mobile, which ships with a version of Internet Explorer designed around the IE4 codebase, so you can tell we're really talking serious 21st century tech, here (other things that came out the same year as Internet Explorer 4: a computer capable of beating Gary Kasparov, the Nintendo 64, "Barbie Girl" and Titanic)

I have a Windows Mobile 6 phone. It sucks.

It remains to be seen to me whether or not RIM and Windows Mobile will be capable of challenging the iPhone (which is somewhat odd, since the iPhone did come out after them...), but that is not actually my point here. I have been reading about T-Mobile's upcoming launch of the G1 "Google Phone," about which I have mixed feelings because I, ah, hate Google some, and I don't like the way they have their fingers in every pie, and I don't trust them.

But the phone looks fucking sweet. Killer app: ShopSavvy, which allows you to take a picture of a barcode. Oh right. And then it scans the barcode, and returns a comparison price list based on stores surrounding your geographic location, derived from the onboard GPS unit. Can I say: holy fuck. I do not know that I would necessarily have anticipated this when I got my first mobile phone five years ago, an ugly coffin-shaped Nokia thing.

Now all that needs to happen is for somebody to write a DOS emulator for Windows Mobile so I can play Strike Commander on my mobile phone, which has a faster processor, more RAM, and more hard drive space than the computer I first played it on. But who would write a DOS emulat... oh. Ok.

Anyway I don't really know what I'm saying anymore. Just that I have seen the future, and it is friggin' sweet.

/a
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