This year's winners are...

The Windows Middle East Awards ceremony took place at Dubai's prestigious Fairmont Hotel on October 18th, the eve of Gitex 2003. We chose 23 awards, based on our November issue's Top 100 list of products, plus some special awards, recognising some outstanding contributions to the IT world, the very best of the best...

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By  Simon Duddy Published  November 10, 2003

INTRODUCTION|~||~||~|What a year it's been! In the past year, the Windows Middle East team has reviewed more products than ever before, with every single product being tested locally and every single product being available here in the Middle East region.

The November issue of Windows Middle East contained the Windows Top 100, the best products of the year in ten categories. However, as ever, we wanted to recognise the very best of the best, those products that stood out even in such rarified company. Hence, this special supplement for the Windows Awards 2003.

When it came to selecting those special products, there was considerable argument amongst the Windows team as to just what products should be awarded. The easiest thing would have been to just hand out gongs to the top performers in each category (well, perhaps not that easy, we saw so much great kit in each category!). But we decided ultimately to recognise top performers in a few areas, as well as looking more closely at market segments we believe have developed in the past year. So while multifunction devices didn't receive any plaudits last year, this year we felt two products worthy of attention, clear acknowledgement of how all-in-ones have progressed.

Other prizes don't need any explanation with Windows once again recognising the very best products in the market today. Some awards reflect the importance of the product, such as Office 2003 (now badged Office System). Others have simply gone to the very best products in their categories. This year we also wanted to do something a little different and recognise the achievements of those people who have helped to bring all these fantastic products to this region. We have two such award winners this year, and congratulations to them both.

Amr Hassan, general manager for the Imaging & Printing Group, HP Middle East, won the IT Business Manager of the Year award. However, as he was quick to point out, such an award is really a reflection of the team as much as it is the man. Lifetime achievement award went to Gilbert Lacroix, President, Middle East North Africa region for Intel. "As I look out on this room, I see many Intel partners, and you all have a lot to do with this award now," he said. Finally, I would like to say that lifetime achievement doesn't mean I'm stopping today!"

||**||IT COMPANY OF THE YEAR|~||~||~|IT COMPANY OF THE YEAR

SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS

In the past year Samsung has made major strides towards its vision of digital convergence: pushing high-tech products beyond their individual limits to converge into a family of connected devices, which can be accessed through a single window, from anywhere in the world. This vision underpins all product development for Samsung.

As an active player in the Middle East for more than 20 years, Samsung has played a key role in the development of the consumer electronics, telecommunications and IT industries here. Its product lineup ranges from mobile phones to semiconductors.

||**||IT BUSINESS MANAGER OF THE YEAR|~||~||~|IT BUSINESS MANAGER OF THE YEAR

AMR HASSAN
GENERAL MANAGER IPG GROUP
HP MIDDLE EAST

Amr Hassan has led HP's Imaging and Printing Group in the Middle East through its successful merger with Compaq to its current status as the region's largest provider of printing and imaging solutions for the consumer and business markets.

Prior to the merger, Hassan was the consumer business manager for HP Middle East, where he was responsible for the entire range of hardware and supplies. Hassan launched HP's consumer business in the region when he joined the company in 2000 as retail account manager.

||**||WINDOWS LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD|~||~||~|WINDOWS LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

GILBERT LACROIX
PRESIDENT, MIDDLE EAST NORTH AFRICA
INTEL

A special award for a special man, Gilbert Lacroix has made a major impact on the Middle East's IT community in his time here. He has established Intel's regional HQ in Dubai, UAE. His work has ensured that products such as Centrino are launched in this region at the same time as they are launched elsewhere in the world.

The French Prime Minister awarded Lacroix the honour of "Chevalier Des Palmes Academiques" in 1997 for his special contribution in the field of education.
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