Year in Review: January 2011

Intel Corp. opened the year by pulling back the proverbial curtain on its second-generation Core processors, previously known by the codename “Sandy Bridge.” The new CPUs were built on a brand new microarchitecture, and featured a number of enhancements, including improved integrated graphics performance.
Meanwhile, Asustek Computer jumped on the burgeoning tablet bandwagon, announcing two, including one with a slide-out keyboard, at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Toshiba also previewed the then-unnamed tablet that would become the Folio. And  Lenovo showed off its new tablet offering, the LePad.

In addition to its Xoom tablet, Motorola also debuted its unique 4G Atrix smart phone, which shipped with a laptop dock.

And, of course, Waterloo, Ont.-based Research In Motion unveiled its PlayBook tablet, whose lukewarm reviews would start rumblings that are still shaking RIM’s foundations today.
Microsoft Corp.’s Windows 7  had cracked the 20 per cent share a little over a year after its launch, according to statistics provided by Net Applications. That’s a milestone its troubled predecessor, Vista, never reached. Vista peaked at 18.8 per cent in October 2009, the same month that Microsoft launched Windows 7.
Analysts at Chicago-based Applied Finance Group and a New Jersey consultancy called Great Numbers knocked Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer down 65 places in their CEO Wealth Creation Index, which plots the degree to which a company makes money above and beyond its risk-adjusted cost of capital. Apple Inc.’s Steve Jobs climbed 31 spots to No. 4. Ballmer was ranked 74th.
Security firm PandaLabs noted in a study that a third of all the malware in history had been created in 2010.
The standards body responsible for making the Internet work, the Internet Engineering Task Force, turned 25 in January.
Google Inc. patched 16 vulnerabilities in its Chrome browser, awarding a then-record bounty of $3,313 to researcher Sergey Glazunov, who discovered a stale pointer bug in the browser’s code.
RIM caused a privacy furor when it allowed the Indian government access to messages from consumers’ BlackBerry messaging and e-mail services, though the company said it wasn’t possible to intercept data from users on encrypted BlackBerry Enterprise Servers.
Andree Toonk, network architect at BCNET, a research network in British Columbia, lauded the announcement of a worldwide IPv6 Day, to be held in June, saying it would increasing awareness of IPv6. The trial would also give carriers and content providers high-volume experience with the new protocol.
A U.S. judged granted a subpoena to the Department of Justice demanding that Twitter turn over the account information of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and his supporters after a series of embarrassing leaks of government information.  The FBI would execute 40 search warrants over the month, and arrests would follow.
Three Manitoba universities, the University of Winnipeg, Brandon University and University College of the North, which is based in The Pas, officially unveiled a network linking the trio, which uses a room at each institution equipped with Cisco Systems Inc.’s three-screen TelePresence systems.
Google CEO Eric Schmidt announced he was stepping aside and handing the reins over to co-founder Larry Page in April. Schmidt would stay with the company as chairman.
In other C-suite news, Hewlett-Packard Co. ordered an investigation by external lawyers into the multi-million-dollar buyout paid to Mark Hurd after he resigned as CEO in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal. And server chief Robert Muglia parted ways with Microsoft under murky circumstances. SAP AG named a former president of its Canadian operations, Robert Couteau, head of its North American operations.
Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. opened a Canadian headquarters in Markham, Ont., and announced a project with Bell Canada Enterprises Inc. and Telus Corp. to build a joint innovation centre.
Todd Bradley, executive vice-president of HP’s personal systems group, hinted at a big future for the WebOS mobile platform the company picked up when it bought Palm Inc., not only in smart phones, where it originated, but also in “other potentially large-screen devices.” Only a few months later, HP would announce it was spinning off its its personal systems group, leaving WebOS in limbo.

As protests against Egypt’s authoritarian rule began to take hold, the government ordered all ISPs to cut international Internet links. The Internet would soon play a role in organizing further Arab Spring protests in the region.

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Dave Webb
Dave Webb
Dave Webb is a freelance editor and writer. A veteran journalist of more than 20 years' experience (15 of them in technology), he has held senior editorial positions with a number of technology publications. He was honoured with an Andersen Consulting Award for Excellence in Business Journalism in 2000, and several Canadian Online Publishing Awards as part of the ComputerWorld Canada team.

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