The Personal Productivity categorys most promising products were those that strengthened the business case for handheld computers and WAP phones. These products and services set about providing increasingly mobile workers in the enterprise with wider access to the data and resources they enjoy at their officeor cubicledesktops.
The judges for this category selected GoAmericas Mobile Officea wireless middleware product that makes resources on the corporate network available to mobile device usersas the overall winner of the Personal Productivity category. Mobile Office enables users to access e-mail and documents on a variety of mobile and wireless devices, such as those powered by the Palm OS and Windows CE handheld operating systems, as well as Research in Motion Ltd. BlackBerry units. The GoAmerica offering can also convert many commonly used files, such as Word and Excel documentsreceived as attachments or otherwiseinto a format usable on devices that cannot handle them in their native form.
Barely edged out of first place by Mobile Office was vVault Inc.s vVault Direct Desktop Access 3.0, which provides similar functionality but requires that client software remain running on the users desktop. This can be a problem if a users primary computer, as in the case of a laptop, cant be left running all the time.
The other finalist in this category, Microsofts Windows XP Professional, won points with the judges for patching the software incompatibility gaps that sometimes marred Windows 2000. Also notable is that Windows XP is built with Terminal Services for enabling remote desktop access via another Windows XP desktop or one of many Terminal Services clients. This is a feature that can boost productivity but that rightly aroused security concerns among the judges. Jason Brooks