May 24, 2004, 11:02 AM — I just got back from the Networld+Interop show in Las Vegas, and I'm pleased to report that the world of networking is alive and well. Of course, most of the interesting stuff in networking is wireless, but you probably already knew that. The wireless sessions at the conference were for the most part packed - interest in mobilizing workforces remains high. And it now appears likely that the desktop of the future will of course have AC power running to it, but the phone and notebook computer there will be wireless.
Speaking of notebooks, though, it's been rightly pointed out that even the smallest of notebooks is probably too big to be something one will want to take everywhere, wireless connectivity or not. Of course, the single-device paradox will always be with us. The smaller the device, the worse the impacts of the paradox - and that's my incentive for writing this particular column.
Many people now use notebooks as their primary or even only computer. They are in every way the equivalent of the desktop computer, albeit with a limited degree of expandability and configurability in most cases. But they are usually expandable and configurable enough for most people to be quite happy with them, and the rapid decline in prices we've seen in recent years leads me to conclude that most professionals will eventually use a notebook as their only computer. Both Windows XP and Apple notebooks are available in a broad range of form factors. We use the following general categories to describe these: