Before retiring to my hotel room to finalise my WITF presentation this afternoon, I sat through Tom Inman's keynote and Kareem Yusuf's pitch on the evolution of WebSphere.
Kareem's presentation, in particular, was excellent. He outlined the history of WebSphere from its earliest beginnings to its current position as IBM's middleware brand - i.e. it is an entire software platform and not an App Server any longer. He used this to explain clearly to the audience where we are going and where we are focussing our efforts (short answer: consumability, open standards, etc, etc)
I was taken by his frankness in describing the internal IBM thinking in this space and how he carefully set the scene for future evolution of the platform without descending into the usual nuanced tip-toeing that we so often see presenters getting themselves into. It was easy to see why his scaling of the IBM ladder has been so swift :-)