The importance of being in sync

This article from Microsoft Watch discusses the importance of Sync. I’m a geat believer in the power and utility of synchronization. Keeping information current across all of your information sources is crucial to being able to RELY on your data. And I believed in it even before I ran Internet Operations for Pumatech/Intellisync. When I had my first Palm Pilot I was at a loss to explain why more people didn’t use these devices to keep their contacts and calendars with them. I was happy that I could synchronize my device with my desktop but, at the same time, I was quite unhappy with the fact that I had to cradle the device to do it.

Enough preaching, the REAL reason I’m writing this is to say that I think Nokia does, at some level, understand the importance of sync because they BOUGHT Intellisync who were the leaders in the entire synchronization market, owning something like 85% of it (I say “were” because I have no idea what their market share is nowadays).

One of our noble but failed efforts at Intellisync was — the great synchronization server in the sky (or the ether or whatever we called it back then). In 2001, we could synchronize your calendar, contacts, notes, tasks and email to your desktop(s), laptop(s), mobile phone(s), PDA(s), all via the Internet, wired or wireless. It was true multi-client, multi-platform synchronization and it was great because the “sync point in the sky” was the place to which everything synchronized. It was automatically maintained — whenever anything that had or could make a connection to the Internet was connected to the Internet, it would sync. There was no question of which source contained the current “master”. The effort failed back then, perhaps because the Internet bubble burst, perhaps because it wasn’t marketed correctly, perhaps because it was a bit buggy (it never got out of beta), perhaps because the world wasn’t ready for the service, but probably for a combination of the reasons listed as well as a few others that I haven’t listed.

Now, 7 years later, we’re finally getting back to realizing the need for sync. Let’s hope we get it right this time.

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