Were at the height of awards season: the Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the Grammys and, this past Sunday, the Oscars. Now its time for my (occasionally) annual Scotty Awards, recognizing the most notable accomplishments in the IT industry. Your host for the evening is that noted wisecracker, Sun CEO Scott McNealy. The envelopes, please.
In the category of Best Technology Trade Show, Now That Comdex Looks to Be Gone for Good. The nominees are Consumer Electronics Show, held annually, for giving us a renewed reason to go to Las Vegas every year; CTIA Wireless, held biannually, for having the best free live music parties (Cake, Alanis Morissette, Train) and gadget giveaways; LinuxWorld, held biannually, for becoming a popular place where geeks and suits can mix freely without threat of violence. And the winner is CES, because Vegas rules, baby.
In the category of Best Next Career for Carly Fiorina. The nominees are Department of Homeland Security adviser, Business school professor, New judge on “The Peoples Court,” Reality show host (“The Sycophant”) and Autobiographer (“Carlys Way”). And the winner is Autobiographer, because its time for a tell-all.
In the category of Best Software-Hardware Partnership. The nominees are Sun and AMD, for Solaris-Opteron; Microsoft and Intel, for Windows-Pentium 4; Red Hat/Novell and IBM, for Linux eServers. And the winner is Sun and AMD, whose recent gatherings remind us of that old Budweiser commercial where the guy says, “I love you, man!”
In the category of Recent Technology Mergers Most Likely to be Rocky. The nominees are Oracle-PeopleSoft, because thats one large integration job they have; Symantec-Veritas, because Wall Street is skeptical and Microsoft is planning to offer free security products; Telecom as a whole (Verizon-MCI, SBC-AT&T, Sprint-Nextel, Cingular-AT&T Wireless). And the winner is Telecom, because customers are going to lose out in confusion, higher prices and less choice.
In the category of Recently Ousted CEO Most Likely to Return to Run a Technology Company. The nominees are Craig Conway of PeopleSoft, Fiorina of HP, Sanjay Kumar of Computer Associates. And the winner is Conway, by default, because Fiorina, if she returns to head a company, likely wont try tech again, and Kumar will be battling the feds for a while.
In the category of Hot Technology Most Likely to Fade Away. The nominees are For-pay Wi-Fi services, a la Starbucks, because pretty soon everyone will have to give it away; Internet access in cars, because those surfing the Web while driving are likely to be killed in accidents; Clothes designed to hide your tech gadgets, because nobody needs to carry that much gear with them. And the winner is For-pay Wi-Fi services, because when whole cities are starting to offer it, the jig is up.
In the category of Most Absurd Rendering of Science and Technology on TV. The nominees are “24,” for Kiefer Sutherlands ability to zoom in on satellite photos indefinitely without degrading their resolution; “Alias,” because of Marshalls aptitude for breaking any strong encryption in 5 minutes or less with just a laptop; Those annoying, bored executives in IBM commercials swinging million-dollar deals on their PDAs in less than 30 seconds; SpongeBob SquarePants, for the ability to make fire underwater. And the winner is “24,” because I just dont like Kiefer Sutherland.
In the category of Cult Trend Most Likely to Become Established Technology. The nominees are Blogging, because as print space shrinks, established news outlets will find ways to expand their reach through blogs; Satellite radio, because, like cable TV, you cant beat hundreds of channels anytime, everywhere, not to mention ad-free music; Firefox browser, because Microsoft is running scared. And the winner is Satellite radio, but only if the hardware becomes more affordable.
In the category of Best Nontechnological Descriptions of Dell. The nominees are BusinessWeek, for “Dell is a force of nature”; Overheard in the LinuxWorld newsroom, “Dell is a bank”; Fiorina, for “Dell is a distribution company.” And the winner is “Dell is a bank,” because, well, “ka-ching!”
eWEEK Editor Scot Petersen can be reached at [email protected].