Year in review: August 2011

Still smarting from criticism of the webOS software used for its TouchPad tablet, Hewlett-Packard Co. tries to get a fresh start by announcing new version webOS 3.0.2. The upgrade, said HP, would substantially increase its tablet’s speed and performance. 

Microsoft Corp.’s XP operating system falls below a 50 per cent usage share for the first time. The company urges users to dump the 10-year-old operating system.

The Ontario Telehealth Network (OTN)  announces a huge expansion after integrating Vidyo Inc. software. The telemedicine leader says it will add thousands of people to its network over the next few months.

The federal government creates Shared Services Canada in a bid to streamline networks, consolidate e-mail systems and sharply reduce the number of data centres across government. Doing so, it says, will help it cut IT spending by five to 10 per cent over the next three years.

Apple Inc.’s much-awaited iCloud service is opened to developers. Developers enrolled in Apple’s Developer Program got the ability to transfer their MobileMe accounts. The general public were still waiting impatiently to make the transition.

Google Inc. buys Motorola Mobility for close to $12.5 billion. With a major hardware manufacturer now in its pocket, Google improves its ability to develop its Android operating system for mobile phones.

The Government of Ontario’s first CIO and privacy officer passed away on Aug. 12. Dr. Mark Vale was instrumental in establishing standards for managing and providing access to government data, as well as securing sensitive information held by the Ontario Public Service since 2006.

The Government of Ontario and Cisco Systems Inc. sign a deal to invest nearly a half-billion in R&D dollars over the next five years. The networking giant says the agreement will create more than 300 jobs in Ottawa and Toronto.

After a major frontal attack on the tablet market with its new TouchPad, Hewlett-Packard suddenly kills the device’s operating system. In a big reversal, HP announces the demise of webOS and says it may acquire analytics software company Autonomy. 

Dell breaks the under-$10,000 barrier with its new EqualLogic storage system model. The upgraded storage arrays incorporated in the PS4100 and PS6100 storage area networks (SANs) offer significantly improved performance and storage capacity, the company says.

Apple icon Steve Jobs steps down as CEO of the company, handing the reins to COO Tim Cook. “I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come,” Jobs told his employees.

Montreal-based iCongo e-commerce firm started playing in the international big leagues as it merged with Germany’s Hybris Software. The merged company would operate under the Hybris Software banner and have its international headquarters in Munich, Germany.

Wind Mobile challenged the CRTC’s decision that Rogers Communications Inc. had done nothing wrong by restricting Wind wireless clients’ activity on its network. The startup firm rejected the CRTC’s finding of insufficient evidence and called on the regulatory body to reverse its decision. 

In the summer’s latest example of government intervention into big IT transactions, the U.S. Department of Justice announces it will block AT&T’s acquisition of T-Mobile. The DoJ said the $39 billion sale would be bad news for competition and innovation, and could drive up prices. AT&T, for its part, promised to fight back.

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