Welcome to the new InfoWorld

For 35 years, InfoWorld has brought you authentic technology insight. Now we're doubling down with a fresh, new design as we dive deeper into enterprise tech

Welcome to InfoWorld

The new InfoWorld website you see before you was created with one goal in mind: to give you a better experience as you consume InfoWorld's trademark mix of enterprise technology analysis, product reviews, and thought leadership. The content is the same high-grade stuff you've come to rely on, but we've worked long and hard to develop a vastly improved presentation.

Over the past six months, a dedicated team of designers, developers, and editors has simplified navigation, crafted a sharp new graphical design, and improved access to content that -- as regular readers realize -- gets under the hood of tech rather than skimming the surface. All of us at InfoWorld are thrilled to present the results of these efforts.

This reboot couldn’t come at a better time. Over the past few years, enterprise technology development has kicked into high gear, from new databases to the Internet of things to devops to software-defined everything. InfoWorld's new website, backed by a new content management system, is a truly modern platform where we can unpack these advances and offer expert commentary in an engaging new UI.

A site for sore eyes

Part of the fabric of tech culture, InfoWorld has long enjoyed a reputation for identifying important trends early. Making our signature content easier to find and absorb -- and opening our Web pages to a wider range of expert contributors -- are key organizing principles behind the new site.

A few changes you'll notice right off the bat. A new "trending" bar at the top of every page offers a persistent way for us to highlight the topics we think are most important, while a complete navigation menu, accessible by clicking the three-line icon to the left of the InfoWorld logo, provides quick access to every corner of the site.

After extensive user testing, we've also chosen a new font for body text that we hope you'll find easier on the eyes. Plus, because you've told us you don't like to page through articles, all stories except the very longest now fit on a single big page. You'll find our slideshow player more pleasant to use as well.

Exposing the obvious

Regular InfoWorld readers have heard us brag about our deep content -- and wondered where we were hiding it. Our home page now clearly highlights two key types: InfoWorld product reviews and Insider content.

A point of pride for InfoWorld is that we continue to invest in thorough, balanced, and accurate enterprise product reviews written by experienced contributors and staffers. Going forward, we'll be highlighting a half-dozen of our most recent reviews on the home page, with links to a comprehensive index of the reviews we've posted in the past, from an eval of the latest Red Hat Enterprise Linux to a comparison of CloudFoundry and OpenShift. And yes, we still review enterprise hardware, too.

Since 2009, InfoWorld has published long-form content in PDF format known as Deep Dives and Digital Spotlights. At this point, we've posted and updated dozens of 'em -- which are now part of our Insider program, so that a single registration enables you to access a huge library of in-depth content from InfoWorld and our sister publications CIO, CSO, Computerworld, and Network World. InfoWorld Deep Dives in particular feature comprehensive material created to help you choose the best solutions and implement the right technology strategies.

Most important of all is the crew of contributors and staffers that create InfoWorld's content. At the bottom of the home page, you'll find a carousel full of InfoWorld bloggers -- many of whom also write our most-read feature articles and reviews. This extended family of contributors, who have the expertise to put today's rush of emerging tech in context, is the secret to InfoWorld's special brand of technology journalism.

The founders would approve

Outsized personalities go all the way back to InfoWorld's beginnings, when Jim Warren, founder of the West Coast Computer Faire, started Intelligent Machines Journal in 1978. According to the late Pat McGovern, founder of IDG (InfoWorld's parent company), Warren arrived at their first meeting on a pair of roller skates and happily engaged in a discussion about selling the publication. The transaction was completed in 1979, and Intelligent Machines Journal was soon renamed InfoWorld.

The formula established by InfoWorld's first editor in chief, Maggie Canon, was simple: Set up a news operation on the edge of Silicon Valley, apply standard journalistic practice, and throw in a large helping of advocacy for technology buyers. This quickly yielded one of the biggest scoops in tech journalism history: In 1981, an unnamed source slipped InfoWorld the schematics for the first IBM PC, which the magazine published in advance of IBM's official rollout.

By the mid-1980s, thanks largely to the efforts of publisher Jonathan Sacks, InfoWorld had established itself as the leading industry trade publication. That era also gave birth to one of the most durable personalities in tech: Robert X. Cringely, whose gonzo ruminations continue unabated.

Building tech cred

Sacks was succeeded by none other than the inventor of Ethernet, Bob Metcalfe, who was CEO, publisher, and a regular InfoWorld columnist for most of the 1990s. During that time, even as InfoWorld pursued breaking news, it became best known for its technical expertise and hard-hitting reviews. A major milestone was InfoWorld's deep testing of the Pentium processor in the wake of mathematician Thomas Nicely's discovery of the infamous floating-point flaw.

In 1995, InfoWorld launched InfoWorld Electric, one of the first tech-focused online publications. Like the rest of the industry, InfoWorld rode the roller coaster of the dot-com boom and bust, but kept its focus on the underlying technology. That period saw InfoWorld recruit some of the industry's most technically savvy voices, including Brian Chee, Chad Dickerson, Roger Grimes, Martin Heller, Oliver Rist, John Udell, Paul Venezia, and Tom Yager.

In the 2000s, InfoWorld dove deeper into enterprise tech, with milestone reviews of Linux, 10g Ethernet switches, blade servers, XML databases, virtualization software, and identity management software. InfoWorld also explored in great detail the potential of Web services and service-oriented architecture -- the promise of which is just now bearing fruit in the cloud era.

Setting new benchmarks

In the past decade, InfoWorld has been first to analyze the important enterprise tech trends, including SaaS (software as a service), virtualization, cloud computing, the consumerization of IT, HTML5, SSDs (solid-state drives), NoSQL databases, devops, Hadoop, configuration management, cloud file sharing, and SDN (software-defined networking). For a look at InfoWorld's recent product recommendations, check out our Technology of the Year Awards and Best of Open Source Software Awards.

We've also had fun with tech culture. Our classic "Stupid user tricks" and "Dirty IT jobs" series of articles together attracted millions of readers. In a few cases, we've been able to predict major industry events, too, such as Sun's purchase of Oracle.

Through the years, InfoWorld has never lost its spirit of advocacy. In 2008, executive editor Galen Gruman launched a petition that gathered more than 210,000 signatures to pressure Microsoft to keep Windows XP alive instead of pushing all users to Vista. Later that same year, when Terry Childs -- a network admin for the city of San Francisco -- went "rogue," contributing editor Paul Venezia uncovered the real backstory in a classic series of articles. In 2012, InfoWorld published "A fundamental Oracle flaw revealed," which exposed a major database defect that prompted the release of a patch from Oracle. More recently, in June 2013, InfoWorld launched Windows Red, a serious proposal to fix Windows 8 -- whose recommendations parallel rumors about what we might expect to see in Windows 9.

Rather than simply report the news, InfoWorld weighs in on key issues, speculates on where enterprise tech is heading, and explains how to get the most out of the latest advances.

Power to the user

So what lies ahead? The biggest change in enterprise computing is change itself. Despite the regular emergence of new technology, major shifts in enterprise tech once proceeded at glacial pace compared with that of the consumer market. But a few years ago, someone hit the fast-forward button, and InfoWorld has jumped on the opportunity to analyze an unprecedented flood of emerging tech ever since.

The mashup of consumer and enterprise technologies is probably the most obvious trend. It all started when mobile consumer devices began slipping into the enterprise -- but also, just as important, when departments started adopting SaaS applications without the blessing of IT. Already we're into phase two of that collision, as personal clouds, smartphones, tablets, and wearables like the Apple Watch enable seamless workflows among personal devices -- a trend InfoWorld has dubbed "liquid computing." The new interoperability features embedded in iOS 8 provide an important clue to what will unfold in the near future.

The triumph of code

From a completely different angle, open source's shift to the center of innovation has been equally dramatic. Since executive editor Doug Dineley launched the Bossie Awards a decade ago, we've offered our annual selection of the best open source projects. But today, open source is leading the way all over the place, from OpenStack to Hadoop to MongoDB to Apache Spark to Docker to innumerable JavaScript frameworks. You'll find a very large helping of open source product reviews and analysis on InfoWorld, along with two of the most respected open source voices: Matt Asay and Simon Phipps.

The triumph of open source and consumerization speak to a similar empowerment. For users, the ability to choose devices and cloud services has raised productivity to such an extent, IT departments have no choice but to relinquish the control they once held. Similarly, open source vastly reduces the risk of trying new solutions -- which means that developers have become pivotal players as they download and evaluate code and assess potential competitive value for the business. Gone are the days of monolithic, top-down buying decisions.

We celebrate the rise of the developer at InfoWorld and invest a major part of our resources in covering languages, frameworks, methodologies, platforms, and development environments. That content takes the form of news analysis and reviews, but also provocative commentary, as readers Andrew Oliver's Strategic Developer blog already know.

Developer empowerment extends to another trend: devops. Software, to quote Marc Andreessen, is eating the world, and devops-related technology provides the means to build it faster -- and better, because devops and agile development encourage greater interaction between stakeholders and programmers. Devops tools include conventional software such as application lifecycle management, automated testing tools, and application performance monitoring. But ultimately, the foundation of devops is the cloud.

The cloud and beyond

No wonder. Cloud computing is becoming the new "hardware" for much of enterprise computing. We're entering an era where servers, storage, and networking equipment are beginning to behave like one big machine, in which applications can assume massive scalability and the entire infrastructure is virtualized and centrally controllable -- that is, software-defined. Ultimately this trend goes beyond SDN to include every system in the data center, all the way to HVAC. Advanced software control schemes pioneered by such public cloud providers as Google and Amazon will continue to trickle down to the enterprise.

These are profound changes, but they only scratch the surface of the technology shifts churning beneath the surface today. It's our job to sort them out. InfoWorld is all about enterprise tech, but we realize that each discipline is its own domain, which puts the responsibility on us to deliver quality content produced by experienced practitioners in each subject area.

With our investment in InfoWorld's new design and content management system, we're doubling down on that commitment. We hope you enjoy the new graphical framework -- and stick with us as we explore the future of enterprise tech.

Oh, and about the purple. We call it "pinot." We hope you like it as much as we do.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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