Gates goes on to reflect on fax machines and circa-1980 phones. "A phone call might elicit a busy signal or no one would answer at all," he writes. Gates picked up on that theme again in his on-stage remarks when launching the company's new line of unified communications products in San Francisco. Gates reminisced about the build-it-yourself Altair PC, typewriters, and first-generation mobile phones that were so big a briefcase was needed to lug them around.
I'm surprised he didn't mention those old acoustic couplers there were used to connect laptops to phones in the early days of remote communications. Or rotary dial phones. Not that I would know.
Everyone agrees that there's got to be a better way. Here are just a few examples from the past few days:
This is the direction things are heading. Heavy black handsets connected by wires are out; smart, sleek, wireless devices packed with integrated apps are in. Got an anecdote to share from the past or favorite new way of communicating? You can reach me by corporate e-mail, Yahoo mail, phone (office, home, or cell), voice mail, IM, fax, LinkedIn, or Facebook. Or just leave a comment on this blog for everyone to see.