Every week, there is some new RC feature that gets uncovered that I don’t seem to know about. I suppose that says how many little tiny features are actually built into Windows 7 or if you’re cynical, show’s how Microsoft communicates :) Virtual Wifi adaptors will allow wireless cards to essentially connect to more than a single network using one antenna and adaptor. The benefits of this may not be exactly clear at this point, but as Long Zheng of iStartedSomething states,
“…the scenario that is more appealing is the idea of a mesh network. In a mesh network, every client becomes a repeater, growing the network organically as more clients connect. Virtual WiFi enables this, since every client can become an access point too.”
I have to say if this is indeed the scenario we are looking at, than the world of ad-hoc networks is about to change in a big way. Potentially this means that personal area networks will leave the bluetooth domain and enter the wifi one. Think about a laptop connects to a commercial wifi point. Now if you can pay once and then route all your wireless enabled gadgets like a repeater, those devices can become very useful on the road. If we scale this scenario where multiple Windows 7 laptops are connected to high quality internet connections and then are able to share bandwidth in a peer-to-peer manor…i believe my mind just exploded.
The real areas that still need to be worked out is how to encourage this sharing in a way that is safe, encrypted, and secure. Mesh bandwidth management also needs to worked out both at a network level and a device level. I envision some new ISV startups that can potentially be huge!