Many many years ago, long before I was born, the telephone was invented. Several years later, it started to appear in homes, and eventually was located in nearly every household.
Today the telephone has come full circle and many people no longer have “land lines”. Instead they have made the switch to exclusively use their cell phone.
Computers, and the Internet more specifically, are doing something similar. Not too long ago the idea of a personal computer in every home was a thing of science fiction. Today, most homes have them, and many have several. It wasn’t long ago when the internet first started to gain in popularity, and now, that too has found its way into just about every home that has a computer.
Just like the telephone, the internet is going mobile too. It is now easy to find cell phones that are fully internet compatible, laptops are impossible to find without a wireless network card, and many have cellular modems built in, and now netbooks are also online anywhere you go. The internet is everywhere, and it is leaving the home and expanding into the world.
It won’t be long before your internet access account is simply a WiFi subscription, following you everywhere you go. If you want to work from the beach, just grab your laptop and go, no worry about huge cell phone data charges as it will all be included in your plan.
Some day, globally free wireless broadband may be available as well, paid for by advertising – but I personally would prefer to pay a few bucks and remain somewhat ad-free.
I have no doubt that in my lifetime (probably within the next dozen or so years) wireless internet will be available everywhere – after all it practically is today. Perhaps it will work along the same lines as Satellite radio – the technology is all there, it just needs to be refined.
The one thing I am not certain about is the future of cloud computing (essentially using web based software for all your needs – word processing, graphics, gaming, etc). It is in use today by many, the most common being the various Google Aps, but I am skeptical that the masses will start to trust all their file storage on machines not in their control, requiring internet access to retrieve their documents.
There is a certain convenience in the whole cloud, but I personally like having all my files available on my personal machine, sitting there in front of me, where I have full control and easy access. Even if internet connections are sped up considerably, opening a photo stored on your local machine will always be faster than grabbing it from your online storage.
I suppose though, if the future goes in the direction of the cloud, I will have no choice to go there with it. I am however, all in favor for wireless internet available everywhere. (as long as they block it in resort towns – don’t want work following me on vacation)