ANALYST: Jim Rapoza MOST IMPRESSIVE: When an open-source application developed by a few authors and maintained mainly by one guy beats the pants off million-dollar competitors in pretty much every way, Im impressed. The Bricolage project provides highly capable and extremely customizable Web content management capabilities, suitable for running even the biggest and most complex Web sites.MOST USEFUL: The long-awaited official release of the open-source Mozilla Web browser brought the joy back to Web surfing. Highly customizable and with a host of features that actually serve the user rather than the company that owns the software, Mozilla has made Web surfing a much more efficient experience. SLIPPING OFF THE RADAR: HailStorm, dead. Magic Carpet, dead. Liberty Alliance, looking a little pale. Passport, looking OK but still not playing well with others. All this combined means that a broad platform for unique ID management, which so many vendors were pushing for earlier in 2002, is further away than ever. And most businesses are OK with that. YEARS BIGGEST TECH STORY: The biggest threat to IT in 2002 wasnt viruses, worms or terror-backed hacker groups; it was government interventionfrom legislation that would criminalize basic security research to Hollywood-backed bills that would cripple all future hardware and software. WHAT TO WATCH IN 2003: In 2002, the U.S. government established a set of system configuration security guidelines for government workers and departmentsand anyone who, or any company that, works with these entities. More of these guidelines will be established, forcing default security mandates for many businesses. LEVEL OF PRESCIENCE LAST YEAR: Argus PitBull trusted OS is still a great product, but the company itself has turned out to be a big embarrassment. I said last year that PKI would slip off the radar, and its pretty much gone now. And my prediction about Web services was right on: The focus this past year has been on B2B Web services and not on the flashy consumer-oriented services typically highlighted in vendor demos.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: For many companies, 2002 was a very bad year. Unfortunately, rather than improving their products or changing to compete more effectively, many businesses turned to enforcement of shaky patents as a way to generate income. From claims on images to online shopping to hyperlinking itself, these patent squabbles not only hurt other businesses but also could stifle innovation.