Collaboration

Can you bridge the digital divide with a mobile phone?

Here's a News.com story that caught my eye today: "Sun president: PCs are so yesterday" (http://www.techrepublic.com/2100-10877_11-5879292.html).

Jonathan Schwartz, president of Sun Microsystems, had a few things to say about web services, and how he believes they will become increasingly more important than desktop applications. Furthermore, Schwartz claims that people, particularly in poorer areas of the world, will access the Internet and their desired web services via mobile phones—not PCs.

When it comes to aiding developing regions' digital development, Schwartz says, "Our collective generation believes the desktop PC is the most important thing to give to people. I don't buy that. The most important thing to give is access to the Internet."

Excuse me for a moment while I roll my eyes into the back of my head. Is he serious? I'm sure there are more productive ways we can aid developing regions. Do they really need digital development? Has the Internet become a social utility that's comparable to electricity and railroads, as Schwartz explains? There may be some gains to having information available at their fingertips, such as survival tips, but I don't think we should push our cultural dependency on mobile phones and the Internet on indigenous people. Sheeesh. 

I can see it now...

 

 

About Sonja Thompson

Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.

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