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10 Best IT Products Of 2006 223

digihome writes " chooses the ten best new products of 2006, including the best development tools, server, notebook and storage device. Some of the choices may surprise you ... such as their choice for operating system of the year." From the article: "With Windows Vista, Microsoft has refreshed the user desktop experience. While debate rages over whether the five-year wait was worth it, the truth is Vista is pretty much the only game in town. One may question whether Vista should be bestowed with Product of the Year recognition in the operating system category. But the product unquestionably brings new features and capabilities to solution providers that in turn promise new revenue generation dialogues with end users."
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10 Best IT Products Of 2006

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  • Impressive! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @01:56PM (#17301892)
    But the product unquestionably brings new features and capabilities to solution providers that in turn promise new revenue generation dialogues with end users.

    Wow! It must be really cool if it does that!
    • Re:Impressive! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by polar red ( 215081 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @01:59PM (#17301950)
      It's when you read sentences like those, that you are sure the article is written by some marketing departement, and not by a technology specialist.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        that and terms like 'revenue stream' and 'value added'.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by evilmousse ( 798341 )
        Did you notice the relevance of your own sigline: "Attack the message, not the messenger."?

        • by thelexx ( 237096 )
          The marketing people are complicit with corporate directors in creating the exaggerated, misleading or outright false messages to begin with. The messengers would be the tv stations, magazines and newspapers that publish them.
        • And deducing the messenger from the message caracterizes as an attack against the message or the messenger?
      • Umm . . . considering that the site is aimed at "VARs and technology integrators," I'd say the wording is totally appropriate. As stated in the Wikipedia article on VARs [], these people are making money by offering services. For their audience, the idea that "the product unquestionably brings new features and capabilities to solution providers that in turn promise new revenue generation dialogues with end users" is one of the key measures of a good product . . . their audience is looking to make money, and
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by cgreuter ( 82182 )

          Umm . . . considering that the site is aimed at "VARs and technology

          integrators," I'd say the wording is totally appropriate.

          Bingo! This publication is aimed at people who resell technology products. That means that for a product to be of interest to them, it has to be a recognizable brand that can be resold at a markup. Open-source software or whitebox PCs are The Enemy to these people.

          I recall reading a best-of/worst-of list by either CRM on a similar publication. What I remember was that all of

        • by cyber-vandal ( 148830 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @04:37PM (#17304408) Homepage
          The mangling of the English language for no good reason really sucks though. Revenue generation dialogues indeed. Why don't these arseholes just disappear up their own arseholes and do us all a favour.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @02:12PM (#17302170)

      But the product unquestionably brings new features and capabilities to solution providers that in turn promise new revenue generation dialogues with end users.
      *head explodes*
    • Re:Impressive! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Amazing Quantum Man ( 458715 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @02:31PM (#17302492) Homepage
      in turn promise new revenue generation dialogues with end users.

      Yeah, I figure they mean this kind of dialogue:
      End User: Hi. I'm having a problem with $PRODUCT

      Tech Support: Hi. We need your credit card number. Tech Support is $45/hour.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gwayne ( 306174 )
      In other words, it's a popup window that says "Your computer is infected with spyware. Click here to buy our spyware remover!"
    • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )
      The key part is "new revenue generation dialogues with end uses."

      "Buy it."
      "Why? We don't need it."
      "Buy it or else."
      • by jbrader ( 697703 ) <> on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @03:07PM (#17303074)
        "Buy it."

        "Why? We don't need it."

        "sudo buy it"


        With apologies to xkcd

        • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )
          But Windows doesn't have sudo. Vista has some kind of similar authentication, doesn't it? Oh, but it was annoying so we turned it off.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by StarvingSE ( 875139 )
            Vista's new "security feature"

            (install "untrusted" software aka we didn't pay MS $500)
            run software
            Vista: whoa! are you sure you want this to run? click yes
            Vista: whoa! your software is accessing your HD, is this ok? click yes
            Vista: whoa..... you get the picture

            basically its going to be a pain in the ass to run open source software unless you turn this "feature" off, and then its just as insecure as any other windows. Vista security is just a bandaid, nothing more.
    • by Hoi Polloi ( 522990 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @03:57PM (#17303826) Journal
      That article really drove a value added decision process with this end user based on business intelligence marketing strategiums! Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres...
    • by bitt3n ( 941736 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @04:05PM (#17303966)
      My crowbar should get product of the year. I use it to engage in revenue generating dialogue with random people on the street.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        Well, not all of us are into that sort of stuff, it's a little kinky. Also, it's not extremely high tech, however innovative it may be.
  • by antifoidulus ( 807088 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @01:56PM (#17301910) Homepage Journal
    Tiger was released LAST year so it shouldn't be considered a winner for this year....oh wait, that ISN'T Tiger? Well I'll be damned....
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by tkw954 ( 709413 )
      Tiger was released LAST year so it shouldn't be considered a winner for this year....oh wait, that ISN'T Tiger? Well I'll be damned....

      That didn't stop them from picking a product that won't be generally released until NEXT year...

  • by ReidMaynard ( 161608 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @01:58PM (#17301922) Homepage
    Thank You
    • by Shag ( 3737 )
      Oooog, yeah. Because of course VARs read /.

      Also known as 10 Best IT product press releases nobody here is actually going to care about. Bleah.

      Then again, it is CRN, so what else would we expect?
  • Hate these lists. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by WED Fan ( 911325 )

    Generally, I hate these lists. The usual response is, "But X isn't on it." Well, first thing on the list was a schnazzy little tool that I started using this year. Fantastic, awesome, Stylus Studio 2007. Rock on.

    • by eln ( 21727 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @02:04PM (#17302052)
      The big problem with this list is that it's mislabeled as the "10 Best IT Products of 2006," when it should be labeled "Ad Copy for the 10 IT Products whose sales force managed to sweet talk the analysts who wrote this thing enough to be included."

      I've read enough trade magazines to recognize that the blurbs on all of these products come pretty much verbatim from the sales office of the respective companies.

      This article is purely for VARs. None of the blurbs are anything close to actual reviews. Having worked for a company whose product looked cool but had major problems under the hood (due to feature creep and unrealistic deadlines primarily), but still managed to get great reviews from "analysts," I can tell you it's distressingly easy to get publications like this to give glowing reviews, even if what you're offering is either broken or primarily vapor.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I will never fully trust a gui to develop another gui.
  • 2006? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by onedobb ( 868860 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @02:01PM (#17301986)
    So a product that will be released in 2007 is the product of the year in 2006? Now I'd defend Microsoft to a point, but this is absolute bullshit. Vista should not win this at all. It's not even released to the mass market yet.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by polar red ( 215081 )
      well, ... technically the version on the list is already shipped. This means they could put the consumer version on the list NEXT year...
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by WED Fan ( 911325 )

      I have to agree with that.

      I've disliked the betas of Vista, and hate the marketing. But, I generally like MS. My personal thought is that Vista will be tepid, like Windows ME. I'm sticking with my XP Media Center, and won't upgrade my hardware for awhile, maybe the next OS will have something that will make me want to upgrade.

      That said, to have a product on the list that is not even in public use is a little bit of a stretch.

    • If it makes you feel better, the guys doing the technical review over at my school are getting good use out of Vista right now. The CDs still make great coasters. :D


  • Top 10... (Score:5, Informative)

    by _PimpDaddy7_ ( 415866 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @02:04PM (#17302046)
    Nice, they put them on ten pages...filled with wonderful ads and other Christmas goodies.

    Anyways, here's the top ten, Karma Whore, Beeeeatch!

    DataDirect Technologies Stylus Studio 2007

    Astaro Security Gateway

    Server Partners File Engine

    Intel SS4000-E

    Compuware DevPartner 8.0

    Minolta Magicolor 7450

    Hewlett-Packard Compaq NC6400

    Microsoft Exchange 2007

    Microsoft Vista Enterprise Edition

    SuperServer 5015M-MR
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by hey! ( 33014 )
      Ah, I see. They're from the Captain Louis Renault school of trade mag journalism.
    • ... and prices (Score:3, Informative)

      by Browzer ( 17971 )

      DataDirect Technologies Stylus Studio 2007
      "Stylus Studio 2007 XML Enterprise Suite is priced at $795. Oak Park, Calif.-based DataDirect offers average margins between 10 percent and 35 percent. Seasonal spifs also are offered."

      Astaro Security Gateway
      "Pricing is based on active users and concurrent connections. Configurations for as few as 10 users to unlimited users and connections are available. Suggested pricing for a sample configuration allowing 250 active users and
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by pmc ( 40532 )
        Astaro Security Gateway

        This is a firewall evaluated to EAL2 - are they completely insane? There are loads of EAL4 and EAL4+ firewalls that will give you much better protection than this. Not to mention a firewall running on a virtual machine - that is an extremely bad idea (I'm not sure if the product of the year is actually evaluated to EAL2 but the best they've got for any product seems to be that).

        Intel SS4000-E - The SS4000-E is available as a barebones unit with no hard drives for $550 or fully loaded
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by SageMusings ( 463344 )
      You know,

      I'm kind of interested in the DevPartner title but I just did a quick Google search and saw the licensing varies from $2-6K/seat. That's a bit steep for a debugging tool. I doubt I get a copy where I work.

      I guess they don't count on selling too many copies.
    • Can't say that I've heard of any of these apart from Vista but how on earth can Microsoft Exchange 2007 be a top 10 product for 2006?
  • If I cared (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @02:04PM (#17302054)
    the truth is Vista is pretty much the only game in town

    If I still cared I'd throw a fit at that comment. Instead I'll happily continue to use Ubuntu on my laptop and OSX on my Desktop. Vista who?
    • by PingSpike ( 947548 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @02:54PM (#17302856)
      That sentence was a should have read "..the only game in town willing to pay for a spot on our shitty list."
    • I'll just put my personal favourite in Ubuntu Dapper Drake, Edgy is a little too edgy but dapper was the linux version that made it possible to move away from windows and I'm sure i am not alone in that.

      So Dapper for being a real alternative to the microsoft options.

      hardware wise I think the thing most people have been thinking about is dual core processors...

      any more nominations?
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by mandelbr0t ( 1015855 )
        Security Software: OpenBSD 3.9. I upgraded from 3.5 this year without too much effort. Guess what? It still works, and it's still the most secure OS on the planet. Cost: $0.

        Web Development Tool: Eclipse+Webtools. Webtools has incorporated the best features from JBoss-IDE and combined them with their already tres cool Webtools. Now I can get a vendor-neutral Web Development Tool whose features match or exceed anything out there. Cost: $0.

        Application Software: Evolution 2.2. All of the features that everyone
  • Well, duh. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @02:08PM (#17302114)
    This is a VAR mag, i.e. for resellers.

    Every "best product" description includes suggested pricing, margin and contact details.

    Of course in that respect Vista is THE product for 2007.
  • I personally wouldn't trust a server with a single hard drive - it's asking for trouble...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...of a high school book report? FTA:
    "That simplicity continues through to wireless networking capability, which allows users to quickly and securely join both public and private wireless networks with click-and-play simplicity."
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @02:12PM (#17302176)
    CRN = Computer Reseller News. Of course they're going to love Vista!-- rolling out Vista will be a boon to computer resellers everywhere, because few businesses are going to bother upgrading the vast majority of their existing machines, they're going to replace them with hardware beefy enough to run Vista with most of its bells and whistles.

    This is hardly an award given for technical merit. Vista represents a full trough for all the revenue-hungry pigs to crowd around.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      I can't wait to buy all those non-Vista compatible machines for cheap!! If people really do adopt, it will be great fun for me. Cluster anyone?
      • by jmorris42 ( 1458 ) *
        > I can't wait to buy all those non-Vista compatible machines for cheap!!

        Good thought. Guess I should probably carry by butt to Dallas next year and hit 1st Saturday for some bargains. I remember when corporate america was tossing all of their perfectly good CRTs because they had to buy crappy 1st generation LCD panels to keep up appearances. Lots of good deals for about a year.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rudeboy1 ( 516023 )
      Post non-AC next time. Believe it or not, you have something valid to say.

      I would be willing to lay down money, matter of fact, I might, if they're taking bets on such a thing in Vegas, that Apple is just waiting for the not-quite-as-technical-as /. public gets a hold of Vista and cries out a collective WTF. I would be sitting on the king of all ad campaigns. This, to me, seems like the first time MS has shown it's underbelly, and Apple is sitting in a strong enough position to grab a MUCH
    • by Omnifarious ( 11933 ) * <> on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @03:13PM (#17303170) Homepage Journal

      Yes that was my thought after reading a few of the blurbs. The thing I was most amused by though is the percentage of their top-ten products that are basically special purpose Linux boxes. Which OS is really making more money for VARs? :-)

  • by gEvil (beta) ( 945888 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @02:13PM (#17302196)
    From their Media Kit page: []

    Mission Statement

    CRN drives sales by empowering VARs and technology integrators with the vital news and technology information they need to generate demand and grow revenue. CRN is the newspaper of record for the channel. For 24 years, VARs, Solution Providers, technology integrators and IT consultants have turned to CRN first each week for immediate and actionable information.

    This has nothing to do with "best of breed" or anything like that. It's purely about MAXIMIZING REVENUE by doing as little as possible.
    • Absolutely! It's all about the Benjamins for this article, as evidenced by the Mission Statement. My favorite part of the article is "promise new revenue generation dialogues with end users." This isn't about helping or empowering the end user, this article is about items that will help you, the Value Added Resaler, to make money. These products are their picks to help you do that. And, having played with Vista some already, it will surely help generate revenue opportunities for this articles target audienc
  • Vista? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sasserstyl ( 973208 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @02:13PM (#17302200)
    Any such list that includes Windows Vista as the "Best Operating System" loses all credibility.

    I have been running Vista for a few weeks now and it is nothing more than an incremental improvement on Windows XP/Server 2k3.

    Given the resources of Microsoft, the worldwide importance of the OS and the time taken for development, Vista is a disgrace.
  • by twifosp ( 532320 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @02:14PM (#17302212)
    With advertisements becomming harder and harder to shove down people's throats, CRN has a solution for you. Clevery disguised as a top 10 list, we will include your product, written by your own marketing department, for a nominal fee. Be sure to include plenty of buzzwords and acronyms about how it will transform your life, but try not to include any real technical information on why this product is the best!

    -- Jeff P. Realname

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by brxndxn ( 461473 )
      You got it exactly right..

      CRN should be reported to whoever that government agency was that was investigating viral marketing. The 'Top 10 IT products' seem to be little more than advertisements.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @02:16PM (#17302232)

    Adblock Plus blocked 44 out of 90 objects on each page (not including referrer links or sponsor links!)

    so >50% of each page is adverts and then the "article" (if i can call it that) is spread over 10 pages, i guess there is no dignity on that site

    adding content must be so inconvenient them, at what point does a site go from providing a quality service to becoming a spam linkfarm ?

    thank goodness for adblock and a hostsfile, good example of how to piss off a visitor

  • by hypermanng ( 155858 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @02:16PM (#17302236) Homepage
    I mean, in the sense that they've been mucking about with it for at least that long. Isn't it Cairo, finally arrived? Something like that, anyway.

    Of course, it won't really be all there until next year, so perhaps they're being premature in including it on the list. Also, it will indisputably be the product of the year next year in terms of money.

    One almost wonders if it made the list this year so they can omit it from next year, when other OSes might embarrass it. Not to name any names.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by SoulRider ( 148285 )
      No, No, No. Vista is not the product of the decade, its the product that took a decade.
    • No, Vista is not Cairo... Vista would be Cairo if MS didn't take everything out of it (again) to actualy make a release.
  • What, are you kidding me? The intel iMac and MacBook are far and away the best new products of the year.
  • God Damnit Zonk.!!! (Score:2, Informative)

    by ColdCoffee ( 664886 )
    I want my 5 minutes back!!! Sheesh.
  • "new revenue generation dialogues with end users."

    Ahhh yes, increased support calls and service contracts. Exactly why an IT admin would lovingly bestow such wonderful products upon those he is paid to help.
  • by Dzimas ( 547818 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @02:30PM (#17302472)
    This is thinly disguised link-bait from a site I've never heard of. Is there any special reason that it was deemed /. worthy, apart from the fact that their inclusion of Vista will incite a vicious troll war? To make things even worse, each of the 10 "winners" appears on a separate page to pump up ad impressions.
  • On the Notebook (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MrCrassic ( 994046 ) <deprecated AT ema DOT il> on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @02:33PM (#17302522) Journal

    I actually own the workstation edition of this laptop (the model from last year, nw8240). I think that while the specs (at that time) were top notch and could not be beat in a smaller package, the build quality of the computer is kind of bad. The casing is quite easy to break and is easier to look "beat up." The screen is also questionable, as mine had dead pixels and "yellow" spots after less than six months of use. The service department of my school replaced that computer's motherboard two times in the last year alone, and I am not one to put my computers through the rough.

    Why aren't any of IBM/Lenovo's Thinkpad offerings on that list? I see that computer used more often than the high-end HP's in business anyway, which is well deserved because they are rock solid and last a really long time. I had their 760L from 10 years ago working until 2 years ago when someone took the computer and smashed it to the floor. And even after that it still worked! The same went for my Thinkpad 600.

    If my computer's internals hadn't been replaced, the thing would have been gone in less than six months, which is unacceptable to me.

  • and no-names...

    That sums up what they listed there, and it's pretty sad, when, of the stuff I do recognize, Vista is in the lead.

    Laserjets? Sorry, waxjet offset has been out for longer, and looks better. You can get one from Xerox for $500 less and it will out perform what they have.

    HP/Compaq? *cringe*, Never again. Those are some of the buggiest computers I've seen, and the tech support is second only to Apple in terms of bad experiences for me.

    Oh Supermicro is on there, too, I gues they are OK, though I p
  • by SwedishPenguin ( 1035756 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @02:40PM (#17302642)
    or the year before that.
    So it seems to me that this new "best operating system" category was tailor-made for Vista. Add to that the fact that Vista is being named product of the year for a year where it's been available for companies for less than a month, hardly enough time for companies to migrate, and it looks to me like a marketing puff piece written, or funded, by Microsoft.
  • by huckda ( 398277 )
    nothing there was glamorous or would likely make any REAL IT person's top 50 list let alone top 10.
    IT shouldn't give a damn about a .NET programming IDE for example...
    and can bet your sweet @$$ IT folk are NOT putting that in their top 10 list!
    Microsoft Vista Enterprise Edition

    *Feels a sudden disturbance in the force. As if a million slashdotters cried out it horror, and then their frickin heads exploded.*
  • by owlnation ( 858981 ) on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @02:58PM (#17302936)
    This CMP lot are part of the United Business Media Group []. This is a very well connected little organization. The Directors' biographies read like a who's who of British Industry. Fingers into AOL, fingers into banks and big insurance companies, fingers into major Indian outsourcing companies etc etc etc.

    Of course their reviews may be neutral and may uphold journalistic principles.

    Adjust your tinfoil hats to maximum shield strength folks this publication looks like the Illuminati UK Branch IT Monthly.
  • by Infonaut ( 96956 ) <> on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @03:29PM (#17303430) Homepage Journal
    1. They arbitrarily set the list at 10 entries, even though there may be only 3 quality products, or 52 quality products
    2. They encourage lazy thinking, by comparing apples to oranges
    3. They have become so common that any one top 10 list becomes indistinguishable from any other top 10 list
    4. They almost never include any sort of ranking criteria, so readers don't know if the decisions were made on the basis of *cough* advertising dollars or a more rigorous standard
    5. They smell funny
  • by spun ( 1352 ) <loverevolutionar ... m ['oo.' in gap]> on Tuesday December 19, 2006 @03:31PM (#17303476) Journal
    Wow, who would have thought that you could cram 5 single processor dual core 1U boxes into the space that you could cram 16 quad processor quad core blades into? This is simply AMAZING!

    Yes, for the pedantic nitwit lurking out there ready to pounce, IBM does not recommend this without some serious upgrades to the BladeCenter power supply and a very good external cooling system. Seriously though, generic dual core 1u servers are so two years ago.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Agreed. Reading the server pick was insulting to my intelligence. I see the picture, and it's not too impressive. Looks like a 1U standard server from a company I've never heard of. I start reading the overview and they state why it's so great: "It's small! Only 1U but has dual processors!" This is where I step back and say, but that's nothing new, and what about blades. If you want to talk small, you better be talking blades. Oh but they have an answer for that. "Blades are expensive and you can f
  • Read through the list, and you find all the 6 other 9 are Linux-based products or who where selected in part because of the quality of their Linux support. Among Vista's features that put in it the top 10:

    "...brings new features and capabilities to solution providers that in turn promise new revenue generation dialogues with end users."

    " OS that brings enhanced stability to the desktop should shepherd a plethora of upgrades and opportunities for the channel through the coming year."

    So, apparently, it's
  • And yet... Storage, security and networking winners are based on Linux. Discounting Vista itself, that is 30%.

    Just something to think about.

  • From the 'Best OS' category:
    "But the product unquestionably brings new features and capabilities to solution providers that in turn promise new revenue generation dialogues with end users."

    Holy corporate shilling batman.
    This list seems to have been written by marketing droids, I wouldn't put too much stock in their determinations of the relative merit of this year's tech products.
  • And yet this article [] from the same website concludes that Vista is in fact not the only game in town.
  • I got to #7 and had to stop reading. The suspense of 8-10 is not killing, injuring...heck there is no suspense. What a horrible list. Admittedly I didn't use all seven of these items, but I'm at least familiar enough with them to find it very difficult to believe that the majority should make any sort of top-ten list. Some of them (File Engine) is just a big pile of crap that shouldn't even make the 'Top-Ten Doorstops of 2006' list. How about the Intel SS4000-E. Not that there is anything in particula
  • ... of everything you never really cared about time of the year.
  • I receive CRN magazine which is an ad engine/fluff rag for Channel managers.
    Number One criteria for 'Top Product' is potential for 'profit maximization'.
    Need I say more.

    Vista will make channels a barrel of money which history has proven does not a good OS make.

  • that read that as 10 Base T products of 2006?

Last yeer I kudn't spel Engineer. Now I are won.