CRN is using the 20th anniversary of the Channel Awards as an excuse to delve into our dusty old archives and reflect on how the industry has changed over the past two decades.
If you reckon you're a channel veteran and have seen it all, try our online quiz and let us know how you get on.
Back in the 1990s, carphones were king and you might be lucky if a mobile phone managed to fit in your pocket. Mobility may be the word on everyone's lips in 2013 but spool back to the 1990s and it seems not everyone saw the trend coming.
Beware: mobiles approaching
You may be hard pressed to find a businessperson not glued to their smartphones today, but back in 2004 – when X Factor was born and Crazy Frog was everywhere – the channel did not have such high hopes for mobile phones in the enterprise.
"There have been reports on potential for mobile devices, but we have not seen it materialise," said one managed services firm at the time.
Even analyst Canalys was sceptical about a business mobile boom, with one researcher claiming:
"We are seeing growth in the mobile enterprise but let's not be too upbeat yet. There are major security concerns about rogue devices being brought into institutions. IT managers need to look at this interest in converging devices and how they can be connected safely to the office desktop."
When Steve Ballmer announced his imminent retirement from the role of chief executive at Microsoft recently, many were keen to hear of his biggest regret. It turned out to be missing the mobile boat as he was too preoccupied with getting OS Vista ready.
Back in 1999 – before Ballmer was even chief executive – Microsoft was tipped for greatness in the market, while Nokia, whose mobile arm is now owned by the software giant, looked on from the sidelines. How times change...
"Nokia and Palm Computing have joined forces to challenge Microsoft in the emerging internet smartphone market," a CRN article from 1999 read.
"But Microsoft, which revealed its smartphone strategy last week, is likely to gain a head start. The joint Palm and Nokia product is now expected before 2001 in the US and even later in Europe...
"Bill Gates, chief executive of Microsoft, showed the first working prototype of a smartphone... he demonstrated its ability to browse the internet and deliver email and calendaring. He said wireless technology would lead to the development of a wider variety of connected devices, from low-end products like digital camera to high-end devices such as smartphones. ‘We believe demand for these things will explode without needing a lot of marketing,' he said."
Mobile phones that deliver email AND calendars? No. Way.
Finally, our trip down memory lane would not be complete without a mini gallery of channel headshots from years gone by. Do you recognise any of these familiar faces?
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