At the beginning of a new year, it’s good to reflect and muse over the stories that made the previous year. The highlights and lowlights that inundated our RSS feeds, impacted our work and caused a hubbub in our daily lives. Here’s our list of the top seven technology and IT stories that shaped 2011.
1.) That white, puffy thing
Oh the cloud. It was certainly important to say your piece about the cloud in 2011. Though with stumbling blocks aplenty, cloud technology’s ability to scale and low upfront costs make it an important consideration for any business just starting up. This year will likely bring more talk about, and adoption of, cloud computing.
2.) No games for you
If you’re a gamer, or know a gamer, the spring of 2011 was a dark time when a hack on Sony’s online networks took PlayStation offline for much of late April and early May. The hack, which was linked to the online group Anonymous, was just one of many splashes for Anonymous, who beat up everyone from Facebook to those against Wikileaks.
3.) R.I.P Steve Jobs
No matter what words you used to describe the news of Steve Jobs’ death on October 5, the overwhelming feelings of the people I talked with were of shock and sadness. Jobs’ impact on technology and the lack of his vision heading into 2012 will most certainly change the industry in ways that are near impossible to predict.
4.) Goodbye, Flash
Adobe finally admitting that the company had got it wrong by dropping mobile Flash in November was certainly one of the biggest stories for the development community in 2011. Flash’s lost is HTML5’s gain and the momentum surrounding HTML5 is bound to carry the technology into the upper echelon of 2012.
5.) Tablets, tablets everywhere
In late 2011 the tablet market exploded, and tablet sales are only expected to grow, with a 126% increase to 158 million in 2012. Thirty-five percent of people who have tablets spend two or more hours a day using them, and an additional 30% spend one to two hours a day. The release of the Kindle Fire in late 2011 as a high-quality, low-cost alternative to the iPad 2 was a turning point for the industry, with 2012 (hopefully) promising more low cost options.
6.) Hello, mobile
Take one second to think about this stat: The number of mobile phone subscriptions has reached 5.9 billion…in a world of 7 billion people. It’s crazy to think about how much mobile technology integrated itself into our daily lives last year. On the platform side, 2011 marked the meteoric rise of Android and the equally meteoric fall of RIM. Next year, “R.I.P RIM” will probably be a headline on this list.
7.) Oh yeah, and Congress tried to break the internet — No big deal…
You’re heard of the two versions of the Internet blacklist bill (Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act) that’s currently working its way through Congress and will allow government-mandated DNS filtering. The bill is bad news for the internet and could pummel startups in the social and online search space, so we certainly hope it’s defeated in 2012.