WiFi In The Chasm

from the gotta-cross-it dept

Business Week is running an article looking at the hurldes that remain for WiFi to go truly mainstream. They point out, accurately, that despite the hype, WiFi has mostly just made it through the early adopter stage, and really hasn’t found its place in the mass market. The article, though, focuses way too much on fee-based WiFi. While the fee-based WiFi companies need to get their act together to figure out how to roam across multiple services (and what – if any – value they can add on top of a connection), the bigger issue is simply the complexity of connecting to a WiFi access point for most people. Sure, sometimes it just works – but plenty of times it’s not that simple. Folks who use WiFi a lot have learned how to fiddle with settings to get things to work, but that’s not the sort of thing most people want to do. The article also admits that security is a concern, but points out this is being addressed. Instead of worrying about roaming and security (both of which are coming), I’d be bugging Microsoft and Apple (anyone using something else probably doesn’t mind fiddling with settings) to make sure their operating systems have the most fool-proof connection wizard around that makes the system insanely easy for people to connect to the best access point, and to understand what that means. On the other side, making the process of installing and configuring an access point should also be much easier to make home use much simpler to set up.

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