Oh LAN, it seems like it was only yesterday that your first commercial installation (ARCnet) was born at Chase Manhattan Bank in New York. We must give thanks to Harry Pyle and that meatball sandwich he was eating for providing the inspiration behind ARCnet all those years ago. Enjoy it while you can old friend, because the times are changing, and you may not live to see your 40th.
According to at least one analyst, the LAN may die an early death thanks to what he is calling "de-perimeterisation." As firms move more towards wireless, the day may soon come where each computer has its own internet connection "with appropriate security technology"—skipping the LAN completely. Performance and reliability hurdles must be overcome, but it is entirely plausible that one day, average computers will have a wireless gigabit connection directly to the Internet. Eventually, the LAN will give way to an all-encompassing WAN. Whether that will happen—much less in as little as 10 years is anyone's guess. [ComputerWorld via Slashdot]