The Network MVP of the year is . . .

Because of the vagaries of the calendar - and publishing schedules - I need to do some tidying up a bit early this year. Today, I want to look back at my predictions for 2005 and hand out another Network MVP award. First, the prognosticating.

Last January, I made the following predictions:

1) Novell's Open Enterprise Server will surpass sales expectations.

2) Microsoft will hammer heavily on licensing issues (looking very much like subscriptions) to try to even out the revenue stream.

3) As the economy picks up, so will merger-and-acquisition activity, especially in the identitymanagement market.

4) Linux on the desktop finally will become a reasonable alternative to Windows for mainline business organizations.

On a scale of 1 to 5, I'd give myself a 4 for No. 1, a 3 for No. 2, a 5 for No. 3 and a 4 for No. 4. That's a grand total of 16 out of 20. Not too shabby, I'd say!

The Network MVP award, like the MVP award in sports, is given to the person or persons who, in my estimation, have done the most to further their organization's network agenda during the previous year. Sometimes it's a large organization, sometimes a small one. This year it's an enormous one - the behemoth of Redmond itself, Microsoft.

The award goes to a man who, as the Hollywood story goes, toiled hard for many years to become an "overnight" success. He's toiled for Bill Gates ever since he (and his company) were acquired in 1999. But this year he broke forth when he came down from the mountain with a set of laws.

Kim Cameron and his Seven Laws of Identity have done more to stimulate talk about Identity Services than even the federal government and its Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and other regulatory fiats. That alone would get Cameron consideration for MVP, but there's more.

The Seven Laws and Cameron's work on Microsoft's InfoCard technology have gone a long way toward repairing the damage that Redmond's "HailStorm" fiasco created. It also got people interested in talking to Microsoft.

A year earlier, the company would have run away kicking and screaming. Some (such as Doc Searls, editor of Linux Journal) defended Microsoft and Cameron from attacks by the fringe members of the Linux and open-source community. The MVP is well deserved. Sainthood is under consideration.

Tip of the week

Previous winners of the Wired Windows' Network MVP award have been Novell's Jack Messman, HP's Carly Fiorina, Radiant Logic's Michel Prompt (DocFinder: 9935), Bowstreet's Frank Moss and Jack Serfass, Directory Enabled Networks co-chairs John Strassner and Steven Judd and Novell's Eric Schmidt.

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