Tuesday, December 18, 2007

O'Reilly, Google Phone and Open Access

 tim oreilly I read an excellent article in the NYT (New York Times or www.nytimes.com for those of you who like links) by Tim O’Reilly.  O'Reilly opines that cell phones and the Internet are on a collision course.

Tim is a person who has always put his money and effort where his mouth is; in service of an open Internet.

Even more, he has spent a large amount of personal time working in the market to develop tools to make an open publishing environment became a reality. There are few people who have been more instrumental in helping develop open standards in the digital publishing world.

Open standards does not just mean free access. It also means open access; anyone can access any carrier on any device no matter where they buy the that particular device.

As ubiquitous as cell phone technology is; no one phone will let you access more than one carriers. A Motorola phone bought at Verizon only works on the Verizon network and you cannot access ATT or Sprint.  This is a unnecessary  layer of stupidity in system design that no one needs! 

The article discusses the much anticipated Google phone-like device.  Google is working with their partners to assure access will be open.  If they accomplish this we will soon have a world where cell phone service will no longer require some of us to carry two or even three phones.

cellphone girl But the most interesting statement he makes is one that is almost lost in the article. He states the obvious -- cell phone connectivity is so important to the future that soon all computing devices are going to be built around open cell phone technology.

That all computing devices need to be connected from anywhere at any time is such an article of faith with those of us who are working at planning the future that Tim tossed that comment off without stressing the point.

In other words, the value of any computing device, be it a cell phone, a personal digital assistant, a portable computer or an eBook reader is so enhanced by universal connectivity that it will become a requirement for all such devices in the future.

This should serve as a warning to people like Amazon and Sony.  The stupidity of an eBook reader based on proprietary technology that cannot be kept proprietary.  Like it or not -- the future is barreling towards us.  And  in that future we will have an open publishing environment.  

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