However, this is bunk. The Sprawl is decades ahead of The Bridge in almost every area. Domestic spaceflight is commonplace, and artificial intelligences like Wintermute and Neuromancer are incredibly advanced when compared to the Idoru, who is herself considered a leap forward. Not to mention that the interface between user and computer in The Sprawl, cranial electrodes, is far more advanced than the goggles and gloves setups used by characters in The Bridge Trilogy. With this in mind, the answer's obvious: The Bridge predates The Sprawl. Possibly by decades. And what's more, most of the climactic changes necessary to resolve the two are a result of the end of All Tomorrow's Parties.
At the end of All Tomorrow's Parties, the Idoru is able to make herself physical and, what's more, to spawn a copy of herself in every Lucky Dragon convenience store in the world. Nanotech is incredibly ubiquitous. But the problems with this are manifold. If a city can be built out of programmed nanites, and nanites can be programmed on demand in Lucky Dragon locations, couldn't nano-assemblers be created in Convenience Stores to take cities apart? The global trauma that separates The Bridge and The Sprawl is the Third World War, and if the Sprawl follows The Bridge, Nanotech has ceased to be ubiquitous for the same reason nuclear power stations are relatively rare in America: the fear of weaponry that uses this technology. What's more, if the Idoru can create copies of herself anywhere in the Western World, Soviet (Or Soviet-Kombinat!) Special Ops AIs could spawn similarly. The Lucky Dragon stores are incorporated into Maas Neotek by the time of the Sprawl series, their gambit having failed. The Idoru's spawning is likely the event that inspired the formation of the Turing Police well before Neuromancer's time.
Obviously, Nanotech is too dangerous and stigmatized to be used. Most of the technology of The Sprawl is more utilitarian than The Bridge, more vicious, and it's likely that this tech was invented during the war. The highest-performing computer hardware is based on biological components, which also neatly inverts the standard cyberpunk-hacker stereotype.
Gibson's more recent work, his closest to the present, also fits into this schema. Most notably, Hubertus Bigend is pretty much blow for blow a copy of Josef Virek, some years previous. They behave in the same way, both are frequently likened to oversized infants, and both have a penchant for hiring young women involved in some way in arts or entertainment to chase down esoteric secrets. It's implied, when Marly looks into Virek's past, the Josef Virek is not his original identity. The reason that Virek and Bigend are so similar is simple: Virek IS Bigend, the augmented reality from Spook Country evolves into the goggles and gloves rigs from The Bridge.
This raises, however, one important issue: Cell Phones. People in The Sprawl and The Bridge don't use them. While cellphones are an indispensable part of everyday life, it's entirely feasible that they could fade away between the Techno Thrillers and The Bridge, like Automats or radium water:
1. Over-advancement. The leaps forward in the power of Smart Phones over the past decade are incredible, but they grow more expensive to manufacture and future proof with every generation. It's feasible that Cellphones consumed augmented reality the same way that they consumed PD As, transforming into portable, personal computers like Chia's Sandbenders.
2. Paranoia. Surveillance Technology is a big theme in Pattern Recognition and Spook Country, where various methods (including Volapuk) are used to avoid surveillance. It's possible that the underground figures in The Bridge and the economic underclass eschewed cellphones for practical reasons, the same reason many modern drug dealers still use pagers.
3. Cost. Income inequality in The Bridge is far more pervasive and broad than in real life. It's possible that that kind of portable communication, especially when combined with the first two reasons, would prompt a lot of people to give up their cell phones.
A large portion of William Gibson's short fiction can tie into this theory, making for one cohesive world. "Johnny Mnemonic" is already canon, and "New Rose Hotel" and "Burning Chrome" can be tied directly into the Sprawl trilogy without much difficulty. "Fragments of a Hologram Rose" likely takes place during the post-War chaos, as it mentions interim governments and extreme resource scarcity; the ASP technology handwaved over is a forerunner of simstim, as is the dream-recording technology in "The Winter Market", which also features the first appearance of ROM constructs like the Dixie Flatline or Finn. "Dogfight" takes place slightly later in the timeline, during or after Neuromancer, as it features a very compact version of the image-projection hardware Riviera uses in that book.
Running from the above theory and using classic WMG devices, Laney was right about a huge world-changing "nodal point" coming up with the Lucky Dragon. In an alternate turn of events, the Lucky Dragon engineers locked their nanotech with enough safeguards, DRM, and other protection that its civilian role is almost guaranteed safe, though weaponized versions are still horrendously effective. It soon becomes as vital to society as electricity, setting the stage for The Diamond Age. The anti-terrorism components are so successful that a century or so later they're still used for the magic, unbreakable cryptography used by the ractive theaters.
Assuming that the thrasher-turned-Victorian-schoolteacher is in fact from Snow Crash, we now have to tie in that book, but the timelines are completely screwed up - even stretching the years as much as possible, Snow Crash still would take place about the time of the Bridge trilogy, and the universes are clearly different. Solution: Snow Crash is an in-universe work of fiction by a hip young author, taking place in the dark pre-nanotech days when everyone sat around playing Second Life. The relentless focus on hypercapitalism, corporate dominance, and government incompetence are all due to their Values Dissonance compared to a scarcity-based society, and possibly sponsored by Protocol, which is quite happy overseeing a world of anarchistic phyles without any big corporations or governments coalescing to challenge their control. At least, until the Fists.
Is it really Y.T.? Naw. Just some random skateboarder who saw the same ad she did.
This leaves Cryptonomicon as the last major work to link into the timeline. Given its setting, this might actually be the easiest. The World War 2 sections mark the point of divergence between our reality and theirs. The success of Detachment 2702 leads to an international obsession with combining special operations and information warfare, which inspires events as late as the Screaming Fist attack on Russia during World War 3. The massive supply of Japanese war gold found at the climax, and subsequent economic shocks to the world market, are a contributing factor to a worldwide depression that, several years later, leads the homeless of San Francisco to colonize the ruined Golden Gate Bridge...
- Either the Finn was flattered that Windermute chose his persona, and it got him thinking, "I make a good A.I."...
- Or he was unhappy about being impersonated, and made the construct to keep alive what he felt was his real identity, and to set the record strait for anyone who stopped by.