YEAR IN REVIEW: March 2009

In the month of March, Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniak made his television dancing debut on Dancing With The Stars, alongside better-known Hollywood celebrities.


But on a more serious note, Rogers Communications named Nadir Mohamed the new CEO following the death of founder Ted Rogers in December 2008. A chartered accountant, Mohamed was president of Rogers’ communications group and had taken the helm of Rogers Wireless in 2000.


The federal government granted new wireless market entrant Globalive Wireless its cellular licenses, after paying Industry Canada $442 million for the wireless spectrum it won in the AWS auction in 2008. Controversy centred on the company having a high amount of foreign investment.


Reports surfaced ahead of an official announcement scheduled for May from Nortel Networks that the company was seeking buyers for its wireless equipment and enterprise telecom businesses 

Not to be left out by Apple Inc.’s iTunes App Store, Research in Motion launched App World, an online applications catalog where BlackBerry developers can showcase their applications and BlackBerry users can buy them. 

Canadians were left out in the rain when Skype Technologies made its debut on the iPhone across several countries except Canada, blaming a patent license issue.  

Continuing the leap frog rivalry with AMD Inc., Intel Corp. launched its Xeon 5500 processor series, calling it the most significant server launch since its Pentium Pro processor in well over a decade.


University of Toronto researchers uncover GhostNet, a cyberspying network based in China with possible government involvement, that infected more than 1,295 computers in 103 countries. China later denied running the network.


A once-secret six-page Open Cloud Manifesto signed by a length list of vendors in support of cloud-computing interoperability surfaced after Microsoft Corp. leaked it on a blog prior to official release. Microsoft, not one of the listed vendors, slammed the document, and Cloud Computing Interoperability Forum dropped out.


Reports surfaced that Sun Microsystems could be acquired by IBM Corp. whose lawyers were examining documents as part of a due diligence process. Sun had been experienced financial woes and shareholder discontent for some time. But it was still business as usual as Sun announced Sun Open Cloud Platform, a new cloud initiative based on Java, MySQL, OpenSolaris and Open Storage.


Microsoft released Internet Explorer 8 touting performance improvements and better support for Web technology standards. In the rich internet application (RIA) arena, the company also released Silverlight 3.0 beta, its RIA development tool.


The bad economy continued to hit hard. Nokia announced plans to lay off 1,700 staff, after asking 1,000 of its workers to voluntary quit.


Expanding into new territory, Cisco Systems made its foray into the server market with the launch of its Unified Computing System, after decades of offering connectivity equipment.


Obama named the U.S.’ first ever chief information officer. Vivek Kundra, formerly chief technology officer of the District of Columbia, was tasked with managing the country’s US$71 billion IT budget and technology interoperability between agencies.


The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) celebrated the World Wide Web twentieth anniversary, amid varying opinions as to when the Web was actually created.


Botnet ringleader John Schiefer was sentenced to four years in prison for using a botnet to steal PayPal and banking passwords. He pled guilty in 2007 to stealing user names, financial data and passwords from more than 250,000 machines.


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