A couple of things happened yesterday that reminded me of this old Microsoft “Steve Masters” video from 2001.

First, Chrissy had an appointment with an obstetrician at the hospital to go over the plans for her c-section in a couple of weeks. Rather than book a firm date, he said he’d have to get the theatre to check their schedule and call her next week to confirm a date.

Next I had to get a new iPhone and as I walked out of the Apple store, I connected it to iCloud and within seconds I had my contacts and calendar up and running.

If you haven’t seen this video before, or if you haven’t seen it for years, then it’s worth a look at Microsoft’s vision back in 2001. Back in the day I showed this to clients so many times, it drove me nuts.

Looking at it again 13 years later, it’s obvious that while we’ve realised a little of this vision – the downloading of contacts and calendar over the cloud to the phone, the voice commands and the doctor using a tablet – most of it still seems futuristic. Considering that in 2001 one of the most popular mobile phones was the Nokia 8250, which had a single colour display, the idea of full colour, cloud-connected phones was pretty out there.


Of course, only six years later, this object d’art made its way into our hands, the future seemed much brighter, and it seemed like Steve Jobs had been paying more attention to Microsoft’s little video than Redmond had themselves.



By comparison, the state of the art Windows Mobile phone at the beginning of 2007 was the HTC S710. Oooh, slide out keyboards!


Anyway, back to Steve Masters – we are still waiting to see it being a commonplace event where the doctor’s receptionist can look at the schedules of other associated clinics online, or automatically send you a car, get you to approve insurance claims over the phone, etc. I’d much rather see the tech industry focus on connecting those kinds of dots than coming up with another bloody iPhone game or note-taking tool.