Gordon Bell: The big ones that got away

Gordon Bell has seen it all. The Microsoft researcher and father of Digital Equipment Corp.'s legendary VAX minicomputer also had a hand in the Internet's evolution, among other things.

But, in an interview posted on Wednesday, Bell says he and other Microsoft researchers initially underestimated the impact of cell phones and other mobile communcations devices and their potential as PC replacements.

Bell also discusses the Internet's birth--and how he and others didn't forsee the Web's potential.

What interests Bell now? The explosion of massive amounts of storage that allows individuals to "put their lives online", and "smart objects", or tiny single chip computing devices for network applications.

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