Sometimes this business can seem like participating in, or at least watching, a Samuel Beckett play. Absurdities rule the day, and despite all the mumbo jumbo about “innovation,” in the end we are left pretty much where we started. Technologically speaking, that means we get promised a lot more than is ever delivered. The tech road is littered with ideas that never became useful, while the tried-and-true white-box PCs seem to last. Heres a list of my technologies that still havent delivered but will have to soon if they dont want to end up as road kill.
PKI: Great security potential, zero ease of use for admins and users alike. Even the vendors that are building businesses around it acknowledge the daunting task presented by PKI.
Bluetooth: A colleague said picking on the local wireless transmission protocol isnt fair because it hasnt been teasing us long enough and that without its fancy name, it wouldnt have garnered nearly as much attention. Ive seen some impressive demos, but until we find an everyday use for it, implemented within a set of common standards, its destined to be demo-fodder for years to come.
DSL: Ive also seen it in action; immediate connection and blazingly fast. And it was hooked up by no less than my not-very-techie brother-in-law. But that was the only DSL connection Ive ever heard about that anyone got working without long delays and frustration—if working at all. DSLs time to prove itself is running out, while cable access, which is much easier to set up and administer, is waiting in the wings.
User interfaces: Microsofts newest incarnation, XP, is more goofy-looking than useful. Truth is, there has been zero progress in the GUI since the original Macintosh, and voice recognition struggles to both developer and user apathy.
The good news is that we still have plenty to keep us busy while we wait, such as wondering where some other bleeding-edge projects like .Net, thin-client computing and flat-panel monitors are going to end up. …