Living in a Web 2.0 World

Hello and welcome to the first post of MDNG's MoBlog Mobile Weblog. As part of MDNG's new website, MoBlog will serve...

Hello and welcome to the first post of MDNG's MoBlog Mobile Weblog. As part of MDNG's new website, MoBlog will serve as your informal guide to the world of mobile technology and how it pertains to life at the hospital, in the office and beyond. For starters, a little bit about me.

My name is Eric Zeman. I've been an editor and writer for 12 years and have been covering mobile technology exclusively for 7 years. I write for a number of Web sites and publications that focus on mobile technology for the consumer, enterprise, government, health care provider and more. As for my writing style, I don't pull punches. In this blog, I'll give you the real deal. If I think something isn't going to be worth your time (eg, it stinks), I'll be sure to let you know. Likewise, if I see something that could be beneficial to you or your practice, I'll be sure to tell you all about it. If you happen to agree or disagree with something I've written, have questions, or just want to add your own two cents, please feel free to write to me. You can e-mail me at eric@zemanmedia.com and give me your opinion.

We're living in a Web 2.0 world, feedback and an on-going conversation is expected. Now that all that introductory stuff is out of the way, on to today's topic: What Will 2008 Bring To Mobility? There's no question that the biggest mobile stories of the year are going to center on a few key players and events.

Here's a quick rundown:

1. Google - Aside from Apple, Google is making the biggest waves in mobile these days. Back in November, it announced that it is hard at work on a new mobile platform called Android. This platform (AKA, mobile operating system) is open source and based on Linux. Google has already made an Software Developers Kit available to developers and plans to have Android-powered devices in the market by the second half of the year. It will package up its growing bevy of mobile applications in one easy-to-use platform that could change the face of the wireless world.

2. Apple - With rumors of 3G-enabled iPhones and new ultra-portable laptops swirling about the Internet, it's clear that Apple will continue to play an ever-increasing role in mobility. MacWorld is just two weeks away, where we are sure to learn what new tricks Steve Jobs and Co. have up their collective sleeves. A 3G iPhone will be a major step forward for Apple's successful foray into the mobile phone business. But will it actually happen? Stay tuned...

3. FCC 700 MHz Auction - Say what? It sounds scary, but it is going to shape the future of the mobile world. Why? As television migrates to different areas of spectrum it is opening up the old analog spectrum for other uses. Select bands have been chosen for high-speed wireless data transmission and will be auctioned off by the government in mere weeks. Typically these auctions are reserved for wireless providers such as AT&T and Verizon Wireless to buy the licenses they need to expand their networks. For the first time, some non-traditional players are getting involved. Google for one. This may sound tech-y and uninteresting, but I assure you it is going to have a major impact on the wireless market.

4. WiMAX - 2008 is going to be the make or break year for this wireless networking technology. It has some major backers, such as Intel and Sprint, but it is also on shaky footing. It's ability to provide high-speed wireless Internet over vast distances (similar to Wi-Fi, but covering city-sized areas) is promising, but rolling out WiMAX networks is a pricey undertaking. Will anyone really step up to the plate and deliver the base hit that WiMAX needs to be successful?

5. Research in Motion - I am going to stick RIM in here because the company used 2007 to prove that it can make mobile devices that are appealing to both the business and consumer markets. Smartphones such as the Pearl and Curve have had massive appeal and crossed over to become popular with regular users. RIM is going to use this steady foundation to really springboard itself further forward.

I am looking forward to writing this blog for MDNG. I think 2008 is going to be a very interesting year for mobility. Tune in next week to see what new and interesting gadgets will be shown at the Consumer Electronics Show.