And now—the most important tech person of 2003...The drumroll will have to continue a bit longer as I explain the wholly unscientific, subjective and arbitrary process behind my selection.
In my quest to identify this person, I asked the eWEEK staff, the eWEEK Corporate Partner Advisory Board and an assorted group of friends and acquaintances for their suggestions as to the people who had the greatest influence on the corporate technology marketplace in 2003. I specified that they could nominate anyone, regardless of whether that persons influence was positive or negative. I reserved the right to count the votes in my own way, tossing some into the hanging-chad pile, if I so chose. I did say this was a subjective process, didnt I?
Nominations from the vendor group included plenty of well-known names.
Carly Fiorina got a mention for beginning to deliver some benefits resulting from the combined Hewlett-Packard and Compaq. Michael Dell got a nod for becoming the king of enterprise commodity technology. Ciscos John Chambers got several nominations for continuing to provide a tech vision after the bursting of the tech bubble. Bill Gates got votes for making good bets with billions of dollars.
Linus Torvalds gained adherents for reminding the industry we dont have to settle for being locked in to a single vendor. Steve Mills had support at the polls for spearheading IBMs Web services push and in so doing making Web services a reality. AMDs Jerry Sanders, a behind-the-scenes player who has been giving even those who arent ready a path to 64-bit computing, got write-in votes.