It's an interesting profile, and it offers some insight as to where Microsoft plans to go from here.
A short list of what the Internet is about today would inlcude video sharing, eCommerce, file trading, social networking, telecommuting, news dissemination, and blog based commentary. A longer list could go on for pages and encompass a range of activities legal and illegal or wholesome and seemy.
But at its core, it's about bringing people together -- about letting people be who they can and want to be without the limitations of geography, appearnce, age, or physical ability. Sometimes that gets lost in the noise coming from the latest buzz word.
This story from the article was particularly telling. The core of what network communication was about in the 70s is what it's still about today. Here is my favorite passage from the article.
One incident in particular introduced Ozzie to the magic that comes when people connect via computer. He had taken a part-time assignment helping a professor finish writing some courseware. The prof lived on the other side of town, so Ozzie collaborated with him remotely. Ozzie came to know and like his boss, save for one annoyance. "He was the worst typist ever," Ozzie says. "He was very eloquent on email, but on Term Talk [early form of instant messaging]it was just dit-dit-dit, sometimes an error, but agonizingly slow." At the end of the project, the man threw a party at his house, and Ozzie discovered the reason for the typing problem: The professor was a quadriplegic and had been entering text by holding a stick in his teeth and poking it at the keyboard. Ozzie was floored.
Plato terminals at the University of Illinois gave users interactivity.
"I remember really questioning my own attitudes," Ozzie says. "I had been communicating with him mind to mind. Technology lets you do that, unprejudiced by what anyone looks like. From that era forward, I just knew I wanted to work on something related to communications and interactive systems."