December 22, 2000, 2:08 PM — Everything's going global these days. Global economy, global travel, global warming. More than ever before, we are all realizing that we share the same space, the same food, the same world. So then why is it that we can't get a global wireless standard and start talking the same language?
Instead, we're all thinking globally, but acting locally. And in this case, the bumper stickers don't apply.
Now I'm just as much a capitalist pig as the next guy, but this madness has got to stop. I write this column with an admittedly U.S.-centric view (it's not as though InfoWorld is sending me to Europe, Asia, and South America to research this stuff). Every week I receive a barrage of
e-mail messages from my readers in other countries that haven't the slightest idea what I'm talking about.
A couple of weeks back I wrote about the demise of WAP (Wireless Application Protocol), but I failed to specify what country I was talking about. I thought it implicit that if a perfectly good standard was getting brushed under the table by competing interests, it was happening in the United States. Europe seems to have no problem embracing a standard. Asia is the same way. But leave it to the spoiled brats in the good old U.S. of A to ruin it for everyone.
I may be exaggerating, but the situation is seriously annoying. What people want is a cell phone that works anywhere and anytime, regardless of carrier, protocol, or country. As we watch the government split up Microsoft, let's also remember that if not for its dominance, we would not have an operating system that works on most all computers for all applications.
I'm not asking for world peace or an end to world hunger. All I am asking is for all of our phones to talk the same language. I don't care what language. I don't care who develops the language. And I don't care who owns it.
Just make it work.