Information Week

As a former freelancer, I have watched the slow demise of the printed IT Trade Press first with alarm (fewer assignments), then regret(even fewer and farther between stories) and then alarm again (the IT Trade Press turned a blind eye to Redmonds attempts to stifle/thwart Web development by not updating IE and its other Web software for 6 years – and continues to go slow on reaching DOM/CSS/HTML/JavaScript standards from 1997). I started to despair and really used such websites as BusinessWeek, PhotoshopPlugins, NYTimes-Technology, LinuxDesktop, etc or just going directly to providers like Adobe, IBM, MySQL, Oracle, etc as Tech info sources.

But now Information Week has done mission impossible – returned me to being a regular reader. And even better, the website is good but the printed magazine is even better. Take the February 18th , 2008 issue – it is chock full of great material:
Research Reports Analytics page – great links to stories on Tech Talent, SOA and Virtualization, APM Reviews
Start-Up City – a capsule review of how a startup is doing, like People in Time magazine
News Filter Page – Microsoft shuffles the Deck and Web is tied closer to Vista/Windows
News FilterPage – Dispaches from the Mobile World, Android is for real, Symbian is dying
News Filter page – RIM has problem scaling up its server based Push email services
News Filter Page – Dells move into SaaS and Services
News Filter Page – The search for Jim Gray, a year later (I really like follow up stories)
News Filter Page – Sun unveiling Web 2.0 + Developers strategy. Another top notch Charles Babock article
News Filter page – WalMart and other In-Store clinics will accelerate use of e_Health records/systems. This is a huge development. Maybe bottom up clinics use (Wal-Mart intends to have 2000 clinics by 2014) will be the tipping point for eHealth systems-demoing how if used properly they can really drive down costs.

Feature Stories
I, Network – is a superb review of the move to ever smarter network devices and what will this mean for a)net neutrailty, b)non-proprietary nature of the Web backbone becoming more specialized and proprietary and c)the big impact in backroom and server applications as Router APIs are made availabe to server software. Kudo to Andy Dornan for this story
Ready to Launch ? – is another top notch review by J. Nicholas Hoover on the BigServerBang scheduled for the end of the February by Microsoft. Server 2008, SQLServer 2008, and Visual Studio 2008 are to be released to the public – but in fact only Visual Studio 2008 is ready. Server 2008 needs performance tuning ( shows Windows Server 2008 powered website is:”Slow (67% of sites are faster, Avg Load Time 3.3 Seconds) ” and Hyper-V which along with SQL Server 2008 has been delayed at least 3 months. Hoover is balanced in his reporting highlighting major improvements to each of the Servers but also assessing the downside risks candidly.
Cream of the APM Crop – Michael Biddick concludes an impreesive look at APM -Application Performance Management software. Think of APM as the ITIL side of deployment finally getting the bucks as corporates realize that managing the size and scale of their operations is as important as development.
Down to Busines is the final word by Rob Preston, editor in chief , who has managed to put this all together. He certainly has seemed to reward good writers like Babcock, Hoover, McGee, and Dornan with meaty stories that so far seem to be like the best part of the Feature Stories – a no holds barred, frank Benefits vs Risks analysis in a very informative Impact Assessment. Kudos to Preston and writers. I certainly hope they can keep this high standard up.