We all wanted convergence.
Convergence of networks--one bill. One log on.
Convergence of devices. The PDA or Smartphone.
Convergence of applications. Office.
And with each wish, our worst nightmares came to fruition.
Convergence of networks has led to an oligopoly like Internet, where access choices are limited and our rights getting less and less free.
Convergence of devices has led to weaker experiences and rise of mediocre low priced handsets or overpriced do a lot, but nothing perfectly (albeit the iPhone and Nokia N95s come closest to making dreams reality...almost...)
Convergence of applications has meant that we either go Google apps because the just work, or suffer with Microsoft Office scaled down for mobile devices...
None of the above is what perfection is or could be.
Now we see the first steps of DIVERGENCE, with Kindle. Tom Evslin has a good write up about the new Amazon device, which connects to the Net via Sprint's Broadband Wireless network, which I find rather peppy.
This get into a point I realized during the Intel and Cisco presentations at Telco 2.0 last month in London about the need for purpose built devices. I commented that we're seeing the dawning of divergence as a result (thankfully) and that I could see the day where we have our "morning at the breakfast table device" so we can read, watch and listen to the news, catch up on our blog reading and do light email and web related work. Evslin pretty much sums up that Kindle is the first of those type of devices.
In many ways reminiscent of the first generation of the Apple Newton, the Kindle provides the ability to do a few things well.
1) Read books (its primary purpose)
2) Read news feeds
3) Read blogs
To me everything else it does is a bonus.
Just like the RIM Blackberry is primarily two things, a phone and an email device, the Kindle shows the forthcoming rise of purpose built devices in my view and is a nice entry step.