Though skyline queries already have claimed their place in retrieval over central databases, their application in Web information systems up to now was impossible due to the distributed aspect of retrieval over Web sources. But due to the amount, variety and volatile nature of information accessible over the Internet extended query capabilities are crucial. We show how to efficiently perform distributed skyline queries and thus essentially extend the expressiveness of querying today’s Web information systems. Together with our innovative retrieval algorithm we also present useful heuristics to further speed up the retrieval in most practical cases paving the road towards meeting even the realtime challenges of on-line information services. We discuss performance evaluations and point to open problems in the concept and application of skylining in modern information systems. For the curse of dimensionality, an intrinsic problem in skyline queries, we propose a novel sampling scheme that allows to get an early impression of the skyline for subsequent query refinement.