I have taken a lot of shots at Microsoft for their general cluelessness in the SOA space. An article in CIO confirms what we already believe to be true: Ballmer is the key to SOA at Microsoft. The article is worth a read as it looks into how the Ballmer/Gates philosophies affect SOA at Microsoft.
From SQL server 2008: 'In SQL Server 2008, SQL Server native SOAP has been deprecated and will be removed in a future SQL Server release ... Avoid use of SQL server native SOAP in new development work, and plan to modify applications that currently use it." SOAP doesn't belong in the DB but applications looking to upgrade should be aware of this issue.
KPI highly encourages its clients to adopt SOA governance. In fact, we believe SOA implementations without governance will fail long term. Springboard Research has published a report showing that SOA investments will increase 60-90% in Asia over the next couple years. This will force SOA vendors to invest more in their governance tools (investment by vendors is lacking currently). 40% of SOA adopters are now making governance a requirement, a percentage we find to low. Start governance from the beginning of your project -- do not wait until the end.
VOXWare sells SOA based software that processes orders using speech recognition. By the few accounts out there, it has been a success. But their customers aren't talking -- probably because SOA gives them a huge competitive advantage. Even CIO is having trouble getting details. This is what KPI has found on SOA implementations. They have high upfront costs and a learning curve, but the end result of a good implementation is a large competitive advantage (due to the flexibility, especially in the event of an acquisition).
Amazon, as you might know, has EC2 for on-demand computing and S3 for on-demand storage.   A huge problem was that EC2 storage was non-persistent, forcing you to use S3 for storage.  There were workarounds such as RightScale and PersistentFS.    That has changed with Amazon's introduction of EBS (Elastic Block Store).  Volumes from 1 GB to 1 TB can be mounted -- read this post on GeekZone for more details.
KPI has found many customers looking to use SOA as a wrapper to their legacy systems.  But would you use SOA as a startup, as suggested by Mike Davis in CIO?   I have been the earliest memeber of a startup and know that startups have to focus on their core technology.   I found myself scratching my head while reading this article; this sentence is particularly nonsensical: "But when it comes time to deliver reliable production versions, startups should consider implementing a light weight SOA to achieve the long term benefits of reuse, agility, and flexibility".  You don't need SOA to deliver reliable production versions.
Services need identities too is the major point made by IBM's Raj Nagaratnam on SOA security.   Few organizations understand that SOA is a more complicated technology than a straight J2EE application.  Given that services are loosely coupled, security becomes more complicated.   Raj states people are thinking about individual services how to reuse them but they’re moving to where it’s a model where multiple services could be composed to traditionally security measures that oriented towards a single application or a service. But then, we compose these multiple technology services into business services and policies need to be managed at a very high level and not just at technology like a web service level but holistic business service level." I encourage you to read the full article.
Joe McKendrick writes that SOA governance must improve in ZDNet. Interestingly, McKendrick states that some do not like the word governance itself.  But SOA really does need governance, especially when it comes to versioning, SLA, etc.  Without governance, your SOA can quickly become an unnavigable mess.   KPI has experience with a number of SOA governance tools, including AmberPoint, WSRR, Actional, and Systinet.   None complete the total solution, but AmberPoint seems to be the most dedicated to governance.
The Peter's Principle generally applies to managers who focus on a knowledge of specific tools or framework, instead of focusing on a good person with applicable skills.   It is a major error made consistently in IT.   David Linthicum presents a real world example that KPI Global Technologies finds all the time:  a company or recruiter calls KPI and asks, for example: "does your organization have at least one year experience in WSRR?"   What they should be asking is: "How much experience do you have in SOA governance."  The tool is secondary.   SOA governance is about people and process.  Many organizations fail to get this simple point -- and is one reason why so many IT projects fail.
Paul O'Connor gives JaxView a good review in SOA World, stating it's a good tool for budget conscious organizations looking for a web service monitoring solution.  The UI is basic and will not give you the impressive visuals that Mercury can give, for example.  But JaxView is straight forward to install and will give you the metrics you need, in addition to an API  to develop your own active monitors.
Progress is on a roll.  They acquired Mindreef, an SOA QA and validation company, two weeks ago.  Now they are acquiring IONA, a leader in CORBA technology for the last 15 years.  This move helps Sonic win customers looking to integrate their C++ based systems into the SOA world.  Progress now has Actional, Mindreef, and IONA.   Sonic has lost a huge amount of market share to IBM and Oracle, but these acquisitions strengthen their position in the market.  
CIO has a nice article on the SOA sales pitch from vendors.  Vendors are being more realistic (and honest) in their sales pitches.  The article also details a strategy for buyers: "There are other price negotiating advantages that can be leveraged by savvy buyers. "Start with the vendors you already work with," advises Kennedy. "You might not have to buy as much to make SOA happen for you. Take, for example, enterprise service buses: Tell your vendors, 'I have problems making your widget work with my SOA plan, so get in here and help me fix it.'"
An article by Ty Anderson of CIO.com compares SOA to The Total Gym.  The crucial point -- one which must be understood by organizations thinking about SOA -- is when Anderson states"Adopting SOA is lifestyle change that has to become integrated into all aspects of your culture, including business processes, software requirements development, software architecture, software development lifecycle, project management, and hardware and software purchases."
NetworkWorld has a nice article on starting a SOA initiative.  NetworkWorld's last piece of advice might be the most important: do not try the "big bang" approach.  It is not recommended by vendors and will cost you a lot of money.  In addition, the importantce of a good SOA architect should be emphasized.  KPI highly recommends organizations to spend the $150/hr on a good SOA architect.   Given the amount of money companies are losing on SOA, a good SOA architect at $150/hr is cheap (and has a much higher ROI than spending $150/hr on two SOA folks).
Page 2 of this article in CIO gives the state of the union for leading SOA vendors (and also briefly discusses handling vendor consolidation).
We have heard about Microsoft's BizTalk Services which brings orchestration into the mix.  Microsoft is lagging far behind the competition on SOA, but they have recently been taking more initiative on the SOA front.
A failure in a SOA system at Heathrow resulted in a $3.2 mil one week loss.   Public gaffes such as this bring testing to the forefront.  How do you test SOA orchestration, load, and performance?  An SOA system could have layers of transactions, making testing complicated.  And as engineers know, testing is usually substandard on the easiest of systems.   KPI suggests that the testing begin at the same time of development.  Do not, under any circumstance, leave it to the end.   Computerworld has a SOA Testing primer online.
Amazon is an industry leader in Web Services.  Check out Animoto.  It analyzes your music and creates a custom video.
Yahoo! is taking their search SOA according to this article.  This is a good move by Yahoo!  Amazon's web services have been hugely successful.  From Yahoo!'s business perspective, anything to retain or increase market share is a good thing.
Traversing the SOA jargon can be difficult. Beware of vendors are sticking the SOA label on old products.   Companies are beginning to tune in to this trick, however.  Read this article in PC World about vendor politics. 
Should we call them Big Blue Cloud?  I am an original developer of IBM WebSphere, back to the beta days, when there were about 20 developers total on the project.  Turn the clock ahead 11 years and IBM is now building a building a $360 MIL cloud computing center in a rehabbed building in RTP. 200 full time researchers will be on the project. With DataPower, Process Server, WSRR, and initiatives such as this, IBM should remain on the forefront of SOA.
Linthicum offers nine steps on when to hit the SOA reset button.  He correctly notes the pattens of success involve: an accepting culture, smart people, good leadership, and enough resources to do the job.  His reset methodology is simplistic.  In the case of an unaccepting culture, a good SOA implementation will need a change at the C-level and elsewhere for any chance of success.  This is extremely important on projects that use an ESB to bridge to a mainframe.  As an example, take a mainframe company attempting to use Sonic as their ESB to the mainframe world.   KPI has turned down several such initatives because we deemed that they were doomed to fail:  poor leadership, poor understanding of ESB, and engineers stuck in mainframe mode.
A lot of press currently about the failure rate of SOA.  Here's another article, asking if SOA = "You're Fired" to CIOs.  KPI stresses to our customers that SOA can give you a competitive advantage, however, you that you will bleed money if you do not understand that SOA is a paradigm shift for most organizations.  If you are looking for a model to follow, look no further than Amazon.