YEAR IN REVIEW: April 2009

One of the biggest stories in March continued to play out as April rolled in, with speculation of a Sun-IBM deal reaching a fever pitch.


Some analysts weighed in on how well recent initiatives such as Sun Cloud and Open Cloud Platform would fit in with IBM Corp.’s need to offer on-demand cloud services, while others speculated that many of Sun’s products (including the company’s ambitious Project Blackbox) were on a bridge to nowhere.


Of course, all of this speculation flew out the window on Apr. 19 when Oracle Corp. signed a deal worth US7.4 billion to purchase Sun Microsystems Inc. CEO Larry Ellison listed Java and Solaris as two of the biggest motivating factors behind the agreement.


Other acquisition speculation involved Google Inc.’s rumoured purchase of micro-blogging site Twitter.


On the heels of U.S. President Barack Obama appointment of its first CIO, Vivek Kundra, ComputerWorld Canada broke the news that Canada would be appointing a new federal technology czar in May. Corinne Charette left her role as CIO at Montreal-based Transat A.T. Inc., to fill the vacant federal CIO role with the Treasury Board Secretariat.


Also in Ottawa, the federal government introduced The Electronic Commerce Protection Act, which it claimed will protect consumers and businesses from the most dangerous and damaging forms of malware.


In the security world, the Conficker scare continued as IBM suggested that tens of millions of machines might be infected with the worm, while Twitter experienced a trio of worm attacks from a 17-year-old hacker.


Also on the security front, Trend Micro Inc. decided to expand into the Canadian market and ramp up its virtualization security portfolio by purchasing Ottawa-based security firm Third Brigade Inc.


While job cuts didn’t dominate the headline as much as it did earlier in the year, Yahoo Inc. CEO Carol Bartz made news by announcing her company was axing another 700 jobs.


In an effort to keep the headlines filled with Windows 7 news, Microsoft Corp. said it would provide free or discounted Windows 7 upgrades not only to users who buy Vista PCs between June 2009 and January 2010, but also to people who buy a system that’s been factory-downgraded to Windows XP.


At the annual IT360 conference, Michael Calce — better known as Mafiaboy, the Montreal teen hacker who was the subject of a global manhunt in 2000 after hacking, Dell Inc., CNN and other major Web sites — made a rare public appearance and delivered on his promise to provide insight into underground hacker communities.


In cloud computing news, Novell Inc. announced its service-driven data centre plan, which encourages customers to combine the company’s SUSE Linux Enterprise and Platespin Workload Management platforms with Novell’s newly created Business Service Manager product suite.


VMware Inc. decided to upgrade and rename its Virtual Infrastructure 3 platform, launching the vSphere operating system. CEO Paul Maritz said the move — which might have rebranded VMware from a virtualization company into a cloud computing company — was designed to get companies to aggregate all virtual data centre resources into one pool or what he called “a single giant computer.”

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