Some of the items are even more abstract. They made the list because they're more than software packages -- they're political causes. Scala, the programming language, earned a spot on the list because it's both a practical tool used to build sophisticated websites and a standard-bearer for the functional programming movement. As they say at the podium, this award goes to more than Scala itself. It goes to everyone who believes in the idea that programs are better expressed as functions without messy, bug-inducing side effects.
We couldn't mention all 35 of our winning things and not-things here, but those we glossed over are no less relevant. Take a tour through our winners slideshow, and we promise you'll find something useful. It might be something you can touch, or something you have to grasp through a browser. Even if we can't see or touch many of the things themselves, we know they're wonderful to use and they're amazing. That's a definition of "real," right?
This story, "Technology of the Year 2014: The best hardware, software, and cloud services," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in application development, data center, and cloud computing at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.