Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Smoke and Vaporware

I've been an avid reader of John Gruber's "Daring Fireball" for over two years now. I even bought a couple Daring Fireball T-shirts, a black and a grey one. I've always enjoyed his objective take on things and the way he thoughtfully presents things. He gets a lot of flack because he's Apple-centric in the way he writes and a great source of PR for that company.

Full disclosure, I also use a number of Apple's products. Since 2009 I've owned four apple computers, an iPad, and an iPod Touch. I'm also firmly in the Windows Phone 7 camp and have a couple of Thinkpads running Windows and a Samsung Focus. My most modern Lenovo dual boots Windows 7 and Ubuntu. When it comes to operating systems, both desktop and mobile, I'm a well rounded and open minded guy.

Microsoft released a video of one of a number possible futures for mobile business computing that I found fascinating. John has been relentless in his criticism of that video and has posted a lengthy defense to that criticism. Speaking as someone who loves Microsoft's Metro-designed Windows Phone 7, I don't share John's feelings.

John's entitled to his opinion, but I think the video introduces several ideas that would revolutionize mobile computing. I agree that there are many things in the video that are sitting in the distant future. There is one thing I saw that I desperately want, and I think is within reach if Microsoft, Apple or others wanted to reach out to it.

I would love to be able to point the camera on my tablet at the display for my desktop and be able to set a file transfer based on what was on the screen, and vice versa. Using optics and displays as a LOS based interface to initiate file transfers, access advertising and make purchases would open all sorts of doors for mobile computing. Being able to share information this way would make offices, big and small, more efficient.

Obviously, there would be significant security considerations to overcome, but then, there always will be.

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