I have scoped out what I think were the five best products for businesses at the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco last week. Here they are:
1. Vidoop — The Vidoop authentication engine replaces passwords with a visual image recognition system. It is the biggest innovation in authentication technology in a long time.
2. Egnyte — Sharing Microsoft Office documents usually happens in e-mail and results in tons of inefficiency and wasted disk space. Egnyte provides an effective portal for sharing doc files and spreadsheets. You can view them in a version tree, which allows you to access any of the iterations of the doc or spreadsheet. It's a great innovation for file sharing and archiving, and there's a free version for up to 1 GB of data.
3. Nokia Widgets — Nokia launched a standards-based widget system for its S60 smartphone platform (based on Symbian). This includes the usual widgets you'd expect (news and weather), but the main business benefit is that it could provide an excellent platform for business applications. What really makes it work is the S60 Web browser, which is the most sophisticated and useful browser that I've seen in any phone.
4. G.ho.st — As a Flash-based OS-in-a-browser, G.ho.st can provide businesses with a way to allow users to access their personal mail and data in a sandbox that is separated from their work computer.
5. AppLogic — If you are running an Internet company or a business that demands a farm of public Web servers, then you probably have a colo or a managed services environment. 3Tera's AppLogic provides a virtual data center that is easier to manage than a colo and less expensive than managed services. My favorite aspects of AppLogic are 1.) it lets you build out your data center with a Web-based Visio-like tool, and 2.) you can build redundancy and fault tolerance without wasting hardware.
Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the book, Follow the Geeks.