A Look Back at 05

Opinion: Tech growth exploded this year, but not without a few stumbles.

Well, 2005 is just about gone. It was only yesterday that many of us stopped writing "04" on our travel and expense forms. The year went by so fast that it almost had the feel of 1997, or even 1999. Tech exploded this year, especially in online search, mobile devices and wireless. At the same time, however, cracks were showing in that shiny facade of growth. As eWEEK editors, reporters and Labs analysts look back at the year that was in this weeks issue, we found much to praise—and just as much to pan.

Hurricane Katrina proved that no matter how well you plan and execute your disaster recovery/business continuity plans, some things you just cannot account for—such as your city being washed away. In his retrospective on the top news stories of the year, Executive Editor Chris Gonsalves points out that while much infrastructure has been restored following Katrina, many New Orleans residents are still without communications services.

Security—always an annual Top 10 story—did not disappoint again this year. While some progress is being made, data breaches, such as those at LexisNexis and ChoicePoint, became common, while new threats emerged. Looking ahead, eWEEK Senior Writer Paul F. Roberts reports inside that new and more organized crime syndicates will threaten enterprise data in ways that will be harder to detect until its too late. Regulators are stepping up their efforts around data breach notification and spyware regulation, Senior Editor Caron Carlson reports. Next year, will "The Big One" happen—a security breach or failure of historic proportions—or will enterprise and consumer IT users continue bleeding of a thousand cuts?

In another look back at 2005, Editor in Chief Eric Lundquist points out that some of the biggest stories were going on behind the scenes and will be big news in 2006. What Google will do for an encore is an intriguing subject, but, more significantly, how will it be matched by Microsoft and Yahoo, and how will each Internet power differentiate itself? In the "wild, wild Web," Lundquist writes, the biggest challenge for enterprise IT managers will be gaining control of information. The blogosphere can attack and dissect an issue faster than a school of piranhas.

Finally, eWEEK Labs analysts take a look at their favorite products of 2005 and also choose the biggest flops of the year. No. 1 on the hit parade: Sony, for its digital rights management fiasco, which is still unraveling. Heres to putting technology to smarter uses in the coming year.

eWEEK magazine editor Scot Petersen can be reached at scot_petersen@ziffdavis.com.

Scot Petersen

Scot Petersen

Scot Petersen is a technology analyst at Ziff Brothers Investments, a private investment firm. Prior to joining Ziff Brothers, Scot was the editorial director, Business Applications & Architecture,...