It was another rough year for the Internet. Starting in March of 2000, the entire Internet industry started down a steep decline. During the first half of 2001, technology companies began to realize that things were not going to get better any time soon. Each quarter, more companies would miss their revenue targets and revise future targets downward. As earnings dropped, investors started to back out. As investors took their money away, many technology firms began steep cutbacks or simply closed their doors. Any trace of optimism was destroyed along with the World Trade Center. Even analysts who had predicted a quick economic turn-around decided things wouldn't get better until well into 2002.
I predict that the worst is over; it can only get better from here. In 2002, the Internet will emerge as a solid, stable business communication mechanism. Companies will realize the true cost-saving potential of the Web as they slowly begin to rely on it for business-to-business transactions, voice-over-IP, mobile and real-time communications. The hype of the late '90s is over and the dot-coms are done. The Internet is ready to spend the next decade maturing.
Tony Northrup, MCSE and Compaq ASE, has been implementing Microsoft Windows NT and 2000 networking solutions since the first generation of the product. He has worked as a consultant at some of the largest corporations in the United States, implementing Windows-based networks in a variety of environments. Tony is currently responsible for Web hosting architectures at Genuity. He is the author of "Introducing Windows 2000 Server and NT Network Plumbing," co-author of "Networking Essentials Unleashed," and has served as technical editor for half-a-dozen Microsoft Press books on the Windows platform.