Monday, February 12, 2007

How Come ZeroConf is Not Yet Wildly Popular

I have always wondered why Zeroconf adoption has been so poor. Stuart Cheshire of Apple who pioneered this technology, briefly explains one of the reasons in a presentation introducing zeroconf(6:16-7:30) at the 2006 Emerging Telephony Conference.

I imagine a number of people are thinking, well, if it's so great, how come I haven't heard of it ? And, that's an unfortunate history of marketing mistakes - I called it Zeroconf, but Steve Jobs thought that was a dull name. So he called it Rendezvous which is a really good name. But, some other company thought so too and they had registered the trademark.

Then we had a couple of Years of the marketing people and the lawyers doing their stuff. And meanwhile we had a technology without a name. So, in that two years every single printer vendor adopted it. But they didn't have a name to call it, which is why you won't see it on the box. But if you have a printer on your network, an ethernet printer, or a 802.11 wirless printer that you bought in the last couple of years, then it has bonjour in it. And, on the Mac you go File->Print and it's right there in the print dialog; No setup assistant, no wizard. On Windows we can't make it quite that easy. But you can download from and just run the setup assistant and it will find all those printers on the network, and configure them for windows for you.

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