This eWEEK

I recently got a pitch from a PR person asking me to consider a "Semantic Web" product for a future story or review. As luck would have it—and as we get dozens of pitches a day to evaluate and Ill take help wherever I can get it—Chief Technology Analyst Jim Rapoza had just wrapped up a feature on the state of the Semantic Web, complete with an interview with the creator of the original Web and the visionary behind the Semantic Web, Tim Berners-Lee.

Jim cast his usual care­­ful and experienced eye over the description of the product and surmised that it was probably one of many trying to catch a ride on the marketing hype currently surrounding the Semantic Web—a danger to the still-evolving technology, as Jim reports in his feature starting on Page 31.

The Semantic Web is, put simply, the Web as database, allowing for more intuitive information gathering, sharing and use. The pieces are finally coming into place for the Semantic Web to be more than just a vision, and Jim explains what this means for businesses and users going forward (and how to spot those bogus "Semantic Web" offerings).

For Jims slide show of the Semantic Web in action, as well as additional information about the Semantic Web, go to

Jims specialty is emerging technology, and another emerging tech that, well, emerged recently was Microsofts Surface.

In its present form factor, Surface is a 30-inch table display that users interact with via touch or objects. For example, T-Mobile USA, one of the early adopters of the technology, may allow customers to place a phone on Surface, which will recognize the device and provide relevant information, such as pricing or available options. Microsoft Watch Editor Joe Wilcox goes beneath the surface in an analysis that starts on Page 16.

Speaking of going beneath the surface, senior editors Darryl K. Taft and Paula Musich also do just that this week. On Page 11, Darryl delves into the origins and evolution of Microsofts Silverlight development platform, and on Page 18, Paula gets to the bottom of the rumors that have been flying around Avaya of late.