In Communications Technology, Size Matters, Says Microsoft
A lunchtime discussion about mobile marketing at the YPulse Mashup conference provided an ambitious inside glance on the mobile of today (think early AOL) and the mobile of tomorrow (kiss your laptop good-bye).
One Microsoft representative in particular betrayed an odd preoccupation with size, foretelling the death of the laptop "as we know it" in favor of ever-more-sophisticated smartphones that double as sync-able remotes for big screen TV/computers.
(Think, revival of Microsoft Media Center - talk about beating a dead horse.)
So in the future of communications technology, there is no room for middle ground. Portables go into pockets, and at-home interfaces are wall-sized.
One discussion group member pointed out laptops are made in a certain size to accommodate our conception of the 8.5 × 11 sheet of paper. People need to see their work in context.
Waxing poetic, Microsoft replied, "Why keep structuring PCs around 8.5 × 11? We need to get away from designing the software world like the real world. Mobile is teaching us that."
I had to wipe a tear away then. Thank you, manifesto man.
But there is a serious problem that keeps mobile in the realms of antiquity, and that's carrier division. The only type of message that's sure to proliferate any mobile platform is SMS, which is understandably limited.
Carriers are also very possessive about consumer data, making it difficult to track business campaigns and gauge the quality of mobile platform communication efforts.
According to Microsoft, carriers need to learn they're providing a utility, not just a service. In other words, where mobile's concerned, there is no room for a unique snowflake.
Unless you're a consumer, of course. In that case, stockpile those $0.99 ringtones by the hundreds.