Saluting Products That Get the Work Done

And the winners are ... well, I don't know the answer, but I do know the finalists in this year's eWeek eXcellence Awards.

And the winners are ... well, I dont know the answer, but I do know the finalists in this years eWeek eXcellence Awards. And you, too, can know the finalists by going to "2nd Annual eWeek eXcellence Awards Finalists".

This is the second year for the awards, and despite a grumpy economy, we have a strong group of more than 500 products in the competition. If you are looking for signs of strength in the technology business, you need look no further than the finalist list. The finalists represent shipping, enterprise-level products that have made it through one cut by the toughest judges around: our eWeek Labs analysts and our Corporate Partner IT executives. Unlike award programs consisting of beta products cobbled together for one presentation, the eXcellence Awards recognize products that are ready to go to work in your company.

In conjunction with the awards, we donate a portion of each companys contest entry fee to an organization that uses IT to further a worthy cause. Last year, we presented a check to the Starlight Childrens Foundation (, which uses technology to brighten the lives of hospitalized youth. This year, in addition to Starlight, well be supporting Youth Tech Entrepreneurs (, which works to develop technical entrepreneurship in inner-city high schools.

Well announce the eXcellence Awards winners and host a dinner in Boston March 5.

OK, trivia time. Who is Robert Morris, and what did he do in 1988? As youll read in this weeks Cover Story by Dennis Fisher, Morris unleashed the first self-propagating worm on the Internet. Morris Internet Worm infected about 6,000 machines, which was probably a large chunk of the systems then connected to the Internet. Now that Bill Gates has said security is the No. 1 issue for Microsoft, what are the chances those Internet Worm descendants will die off? Read Dennis story on the state of Internet security.

Microsoft had better deliver on its security priority if the companys plans for .Net are to materialize. The .Net environment calls for sweeping changes in how applications are deployed and companies work with one another via electronic bridges. Not the least of the changes are in the languages and platforms under which .Net services will be developed. For the inside scoop on how developers regard Microsofts .Net development environment, see Anne Chens story, "Picking Up on Web Services Tools."

Do you think that XML is the final word on providing a common way to deliver and present information in the Web services era? Holes remain. A bigger issue is the need for a query language to update specific information in a document. To understand state-of-the-art XML query updating, see Charles Babcocks article.

What products cant you do without? Write to me at [email protected]