2011 Year in Review
So another year goes by, the last sun of 2011 has risen and gone down. 2011, what a year it has been personally, I think this has probably been the most eventful year of them all year. The Americans finally got their man, Gaddafi and Kim Jong II bit the dust while riots raged across Britain. On the tech things haven’t been different either so in this post we look back at all the events that got our heart pulse racing. Below are the top 10 events that made 2011 such a memorable one.
10. RIM’s migraines:
RIM suffered a lot of problems this year with its newly released “Playbook” tablet not making as many sells as hoped, and the sold playbooks facing the need to be recalled due to a problem in the device’s software. Moreover, the company’s music sharing software was made belittled, while the company’s largest network outage caused its market share in the US to shrink, and the company’s website was hacked after it offered its co-operation with the UK government in the aftermath of the riots and havoc in London. Talk about having a bad year eh?
9. Android And Apple Win The Mobile Internet:
The Giants were at it again and this time the stakes were high- the future of computing, which is mobile. Apple and Android emerged as the two superpowers of the mobile Internet (with 76 percent combined mobile OS share in the U.S.). RIM is in shambles. Windows Phone is still nowhere to be seen and well good old Nokia’s Symbian has been a lost cause for quite some time now. Things on the tablet front aren’t quite different either tablets are all iPad with the rest being quite irrelevant, but somewhere in the horizon the Kindle Fire is coming out punching to become a serious contender.
8. The Patent Wars Get Ugly:
2011 made one thing very clear to us all- The patent system is broken. Patents are increasingly used to block innovation in courtrooms rather than create innovations in the marketplace, and we saw this problem reach epic proportions in 2011. The patent wars spilled over to the major industry players themselves as everyone decided to have a right go at Android. In July, Google as it turned out didn’t take all this patent stuff seriously and failed to win a bid for more than 6,000 of Nortel’s patents, which went to an anti-Google consortium for $4.5 billion. Google then got its act together by buying patent-rich Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. Microsoft started demanding patent licensing fees from Android handset manufacturers, which led to a very public tussle with Google which never seemed to end. And Apple, the ever so opportunist did its part by continuing to sue Android manufacturers, including HTC and Samsung, for patent infringement.
7. Google Buys Motorola, Microsoft Buys Skype, And Other Big Deals:
2011 was a great time to watch the big boys shop. While the biggest tech deal of the year, AT&T’s proposed $39 billion merger with T-Mobile, was squashed by the government on antitrust grounds, some of the biggest tech deals of the last decade did go through. Google bought Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, Microsoft called in Skype for $8.5 billion, and eBay acquired GSICommerce for $2.4 billion. Other notable large deals included HP-Autonomy ($10.2 billion), RightNow-Oracle $1.5 billion), PopCap-Electronic Arts ($1.3 billion).
6. Social media helped the world become a better place:
We have always known that social media sites were a powerfull bunch and boy did 2011 verify this for us. Social media sites such as Facebook helped Egyptians come together and revolt against the 30-year rule of a dictator, Hosni Mubarak. As a result, the government blocked the website leading to some creative dudes on twitter calling E-gypt as just gypt, while some natives found work-around it and used the website as a platform to express themselves. By the time the website came back online, Egyptians were celebrating the end of Mubarak’s reign, and Facebook was rained with praises.
5. Hacking galore:
Hackers were out in force this year. Sony was hacked twice this year with the first event leaving 70 million gamers in the lurch, and the second event making people question the credibility of its security system. Hacker collectives Anonymous and LulzSec staged attacks against websites that ranged from belonging to the CIA and US defense contractors to child pornography and MasterCard and gaming websites. Moreover, they played pranks, defacing various other websites and are still wanted by Interpol and cybercrime authorities all over the world.
4. iPhone 4S unveiled:
Apple calls it the best iphone yet and so it looks. This year apple unleashed its latest product in the iphone series called iPhone 4S. The slim shiny device captivated people all around the world with its high end technology and a personal voice-activated assistant called Siri. The iOS5 was the major highlight of the device with all its new features.
3. The Kindle Lights A Fire:
Amazon finally got into the tablet race with the Kindle Fire. The tablet which runs on Android that serves as a window into all the digital media Amazon is trying to sell us—books, movies, music, apps. With a mode price tag of $200 the company has sold more than 4 million total Kindles over the holidays (including the E-Ink versions). Look out Apple
2. Google decides to socialize:
Google ventured in to the social networking domain with Google+, which issued private invites for the launch of its beta version, but receiving a limited edition invite soon became a popular thing and everybody wanted one. The guys at google then decided to make Google+ available to everybody, and Buzz (which had privacy-related concerns and problems) had to go away so that people would focus on the new social networking site. It was a bit different from other social media sites as it incorporated the concepts of categorizing friends into “circles” and a group video chat feature called “hangouts”. Even though it had a strong early following it started to fetter out towards the year end. Still a long way to go before it comes close to Facebook.
1. End Of An Era: Steve Jobs Passes Away
The defining moment of 2011 for which the year will forever be remembered was the passing of Steve Jobs. Jobs was at the height of his powers and his work was far from finished when he sadly passed away. He had pulled the tech industry into the post-PC era with the iPhone and iPad leading the charge, and the rest of the industry following. A true visionary and an inspirational leader he had tributes flowing in from all over the world on his passing with the President of the United States of America Barack Obama quoted as saying, “He changed the way each of us sees the world.”
And so these are the moments that defined 2011. As they say, in with the new and out with the old, we embrace 2012 with the same vigor and gusto as we did with 2011. Happy New year to you all.
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