Let\u2019s take a break from Longhorn, Windows XP Service Pack 2 and servers for a moment to talk about the subject of networking overall. It\u2019ll get a bit philosophical, but it might be interesting.Recently, Wired magazine declared it would no longer capitalize the word \u201cInternet\u201d when referring to the network itself. The editors also decided to lowercase both \u201cWeb\u201d and \u201cNet\u201d (when used to refer to the Internet, presumably). Their reason was stated, fairly succinctly, as: \u201cThe simple answer is because there is no earthly reason to capitalize any of these words. Actually, there never was.\u201dIt\u2019s that second sentence that does them in.The Internet has always sported a capital \u201cI\u201d to differentiate it from an \u201cinternet\u201d - any collection of interconnected networks. Twenty years ago that was an important distinction. Most commercial enterprises were not connected to the Internet, but they were just beginning to form internets. In the mid \u201890s, of course, we invented the term \u201cintranet\u201d to describe an Internet-like arrangement (using HTTP, FTP, SMTP and other Internet protocols) within the enterprise. No one ever capitalized \u201cintranet.\u201dComing out of the \u201880s into the \u201890s, though, internets were a hot item. In the intervening years we\u2019ve called these interconnections of networks by different names. We\u2019ve talked about \u201cvalue chains\u201d and \u201cfederated systems\u201d just to name two. But both of these refer to a number of individual networks (two or more) which have a relationship using well-defined protocols to exchange (usually business-related) data between and among them. While 20 years ago these connections would have been over a private network using point-to-point connections, today they use the public, TCP\/IP-based Internet to connect with each other. Still, the value chain connections you set up with your organization\u2019s suppliers and customers can be called an internet. For a number of years people tried to use the word \u201cextranet\u201d to define this type of relationship between organizations. This was seen as the opposite of an \u201cintranet.\u201d Both terms appear to have dropped out of favor. We do tend to use more specific names (such as \u201cvalue chain\u201d or federated \u201ccircle of trust\u201d) today rather than the generic \u201cinternet\u201d - possibly so that in casual conversation (where we can\u2019t see if the \u201cI\u201d is capitalized or not) there\u2019s no confusion. I\u2019ll continue to capitalize Internet when I refer to the, well, \u201cInternet\u201d and lowercase it in other uses (even if they seldom occur). But I\u2019m willing to listen to you, out in the trenches, if you think usage has changed enough that this is an arcane usage.Next time out, I\u2019ll wander through the usage of client, server and peer-to-peer. Stay tuned.