Looking to the Future

Opinion: From deploying Vista to IBM's Infinity, much of today's news is about the future.

Most of the news these days is about the future. Deploying Windows Vista is a 2007 problem. Budgets are being hammered out to allocate 2007 spending. Some news is even more futuristic. IBM Research, always known for developing tomorrows technology today, has come up with a middleware prototype that will let mobile devices share data, Senior Editor Darryl F. Taft reports.

IBMs "Infinity" platform will enable mobile devices to search and analyze virtually any type of data, anywhere. It will also allow developers to create device- and network-agnostic applications and even ad hoc "mobile networks" among devices.

It sounds too good to be true, but Infinity is based on industry standards such as XML, HTTP, HTML, JavaScript and Bluetooth. The middleware is not ready yet but has been tested enough to show promise. "There are countless devices [not all of them mobile] roaming the enterprise," Voke analyst Theresa Lanowitz told Taft. "Having the ability to connect these devices, which are often seen as rogue, to the network via a variety of communication modes is the first step in really completing the enterprise supply chain."

For those with more pressing needs, especially companies contemplating Vista deployments, eWEEK Labs Technical Director Cameron Sturdevant reviews Microsofts BDD (Business Desktop Deployment) 2007 Beta 3. Sturdevants conclusion: Most enterprises should be able to upgrade to Vista more easily than they did with Windows XP.

Also this week, in Part 3 of our Midmarket Report series, eWEEK Labs discusses what its like to be a midmarket IT manager in a world where most big tech vendors are tailoring everything for smaller enterprises. But this isnt always a good thing. "[As] a midsize business, youre in this strange zone where you have a lot of the same complexities as your large enterprise cousins," said Tom Miller, senior director of IT for FoxHollow Technologies, in Redwood City, Calif. "But you dont have the large IT staff—the depth and breadth—to spread the risk and deal with the issues." To that end, Technology Editor Peter Coffee supplies a sample RFP template that includes all the questions SMBs must ask before making critical technology decisions—for today and tomorrow.

Contact eWEEK Editor Scot Petersen 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,...