BlackBerry Gets a Live Endorsement
I've been telecommuting in one form or another since 1995. I had broadband
back when broadband meant wrestling with the phone company and its legions of
under-trained installers to get a working ISDN line (and wiring, oh yes, the
wiring) in my second-floor San Francisco flat.
In fact, telecommuting allowed me to move in 1997 from San Francisco to Burlington,
Vt., where I quickly learned to appreciate how good the digital life was in
the Bay area. I recall being given a stark choice between paying an arm and
a leg for DirecTV satellite digital download service (the upstream was an analog
dial-up line) or paying two arms and two legs for a dedicated 56K frame relay
link from the telco to my home office. Cable services wouldn't arrive for another
two years. DSL? A six-year wait.
And yet, 11 years after my move from San Francisco, I'm finally crossing the
last bridge in my personal, digital divide. You see, last week I finally (finally)
caved in and got a BlackBerry.
It's not that I wasn't willing to be of the body. I would've happily joined
the ranks of the addicted and gotten a crackberry years ago, if I thought the
darn thing would work up here. But cellular service in Vermont is as fickle
as the weather. I'd say at least 40 percent of the cell phone calls with my
wife consist entirely of the two of us shouting "What? What!?" into
the phone. Calls drop when the wind shifts and routine conversations turn into
fiscally disastrous international roaming sessions if I drive too close to the
In short, it's been a complete crapshoot.
But two things happened that changed my mind. One, service in Northwest Vermont
has finally improved enough to make digital services tenable (if still a bit
unpredictable), and two, the applications are awesome.
I must be on to something because less than 48 hours after getting a new BlackBerry
and RIM agreed to bring Windows Live services (like Live Hotmail and Live
Messenger) to BlackBerry users. The move opens a broad platform for Live development
and, I expect, will have important implications for Live
Mesh development and adoption in the enterprise.
But let's not get distracted from what's important in all this: I have a BlackBerry.
And if I (finally) have a BlackBerry, the divide is really closing. The era
of ubiquitous and compelling device-borne apps has begun.
Am I getting ahead of myself, or am I so far behind that the world has actually
wrapped around the screen and caught up to me from behind? You tell me. E-mail
me at email@example.com.
Posted by Michael Desmond on 05/13/2008 at 1:15 PM