Microsoft showed off its upcoming operating system Windows 8 today and released it for a consumer preview. It offers a completely different user experience than what most are familiar with (read: no traditional task bar on the desktop–although the option still is available to run existing programs). Utilizing a dramatic new look and feel than previous versions of Windows, it sports the sleek “Metro” interface that’s already on Microsoft’s mobile platform. Just as on phones and tablets, navigating through menus and apps can be done through swiping and selecting tiles.
Alongside the bright high-flying technology moments in 2011 were those companies who stumbled, tumbled and fell.
1. Steve Jobs’ prescient letter about Flash in 2010 came true as Adobe turned out the lights on Mobile Flash. Adobe also joined Apple and threw its support behind HTML5. The future of HTML5 brightens as more companies move in its direction.
2. A worldwide outage for Research in Motion added to its woes as Blackberry devices lost more ground to Apple and Google. In a shift in strategy, RIM decided to support the management of iOS and Android devices.
3. RSA, the stalwart of Internet security experienced insecurity when the SecurID authentication scheme was hacked. As a result, Lockheed Martin was attacked by duplicated SecurID tokens. RSA offered to replace nearly all SecurIDs in use by customers worldwide.
4. HP gave up on WebOS, then gave up on its PC business, and finally gave up on its CEO. It found another CEO, reclaimed it’s PC business, and gave away WebOS.
Research firm Strategy Analytics is projecting HTML5 powered smartphones to rise from 335 million this year to 1 billion in 2013. Along with expanding the mobile App landscape, HTML5 is expected to become a significant technology behind smartphones, tablets, PCs, TVs, and cars utilizing cloud services.
HP has decided to contribute webOS to the open source software community. The move establishes an alternative mobile platform to Android for device manufactures to leverage. HP will continue to fund and develop the platform. Ongoing development will be a collaborative effort with the open source software community and interested parties.
It appears Microsoft is readying a version of it’s Office software for the iPad. Office for iPad would compete against Apple’s productivity suite (Numbers, Pages, and Keynote). More to the point, Office for the iPad will provide another incentive for businesses to move from PCs to Tablets.
What makes a PC a PC? The processor? The OS? The applications it runs? This is the debate emerging around the the iPad and tablets. Is the Tablet a post-PC device or part of the PCs evolution? The debate may be moot because Apple is selling millions of iPads. So many in fact, when combined with Mac sales Apple is poised to overtake HP as the number #1 PC vendor in 2012.
This weeks iTunes update (10.5.1) enabled the anticipated Match feature. Once you activate Match, iTunes attempts to, well, match the music in your library against copies in the iTunes Cloud. When your song is “matched” it’s immediately available via iCloud from any registered Apple device. Now your music library is available to you anytime and anywhere. Enjoy the music!
Yesterday Apple launched iCloud. In response DropBox and Box.net enhanced their offerings. This means more storage for everyone. The bottom line, 50GB of cloud storage will cost zero or one hundred dollars a year. Let the battle for the bits begin!