Well, NetWorld+Interop is out of the way (I'm writing this from my plush hotel room at the Atlanta Ritz) and I'm taking time out to consider the future.
Of course, one burning question is how much longer will Microsoft's dominance of the OS market continue? In the past few years we've seen challenges from Novell (failed), Sun's Java (failed?) and, most recently Linux (too early to say).
However, a source tells me it may be too early to write off Java, because Sun is about to deal with some issues that have previously held it back. In particular, Sun is trying hard to reconcile that age-old church/state issue. Because of this, expect to see at Sun's Java Strategy Day in early November, a further opening of Java into the public domain via such means as standardised extensions, open access to Enterprise Java reference technology, new Java business models, and a repositioning of the Java platform.
On the hardware side, I for one would like to see Compaq brought down a peg or two: it is definitely too big for its britches.
Let's just say the bosses in Houston always think big, with a little help from their ranch hands, Digital Equipment (DEC) and Tandem. In a week or so, the company is going to let loose its "Haleakala" project, which will feature a blizzard of new servers thrown together with a little secret sauce by way of DEC's clustering technology. I'm also wondering if the company has sidestepped Intel's confused development of a Xeon-based eight-way server, and will be launching a November surprise before Comdex.
Beyond this, Compaq has been very eager as of late to trumpet its use of DEC's processor-on-steroids, the very RISC-y Alpha. To think this is the Alpha processor that suffered so pitifully under the pre-Compaq DEC's inept marketing department.
On a final note, I hear MCI Systemhouse's future may not extend too far. Someone tells me that MCI WorldCom is considering whether to dump the systems integration arm. Gartner was recommending that people not do business with them and be worried if they have a contract.