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The INQUIRER review of the year

Fri Dec 23 2011, 08:00

In May Microsoft delighted us and IT users by announcing that it would release Windows Phone 7 this year, and Windows 8 next year. The Redmond firm also bought Skype for $, which sounded altogether less delightful.

Things weren't so rosy at Apple as a Foxconn factory explosion gave it the sort of headlines it could live without, particularly while the Iphone 5 rumour mill was still so well attended and when Samsung was bothering it for hard copies of the hardware.

Meanwhile just about everyone on earth was reminded by they have something to fear in Stuxnet.

In grubbier news, it wasn't a particularly good time to be using Twitter, or indeed, looking at the internet if you were Ryan Giggs or any other celebrity with a gag order.

Predictably, a lot of scam and spam messages were looking to exploit the death of Osama Bin Laden.

Lulzsec had a busy month of hacking including the UK's Census report, US Senate and the US CIA. In a security packed month the RSA admitted to a hacking attack at Lockheed Martin and vowed to replace its Secure ID tokens. AMD showed off, for the first time, a 32 core Bulldozer server using its next generation Opteron processor. Steve Jobs took a break from medical retirement to announce the Apple Icloud service at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference.

Famous newspaper The News of The World (NOTW) was closed down following mobile phone hacking scandals and its ex-editor Andy Coulson was arrested. In what seemed like a scene from an old silent movie, Rupert Murdoch was hit with a foam pie at a Parliament inquiry regarding the hacking.

Apple took a second stab at rival HTC by filing a complaint to the US International Trade Commission (ITC). The cappuccino company went on to launch its OS X Lion operating system (OS) for its line of fruit themed laptops and PCs, which came with fancier scrolling and screens of apps reminiscent of the firm's mobile OS, plus some features from Windows 3.1.

Mid way through the month HP launch its Touchpad tablet with its own WebOS operating system. We quite liked the device when we reviewed and for a couple of reasons the Touchpad is probably the tablet we've written most stories about this year.

More NOTW related news cropped up in hacking by Lulzsec which gained access to the newspaper's emails along with those of The Sun. The group was set to publish the emails but backed out. However, it did post a fake article on The Sun's web site saying that Rupert Murdoch had died.

In early August, news was dominated by the widespread rioting and looting that affected parts of London and other cities in the UK including Birmingham and Manchester.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron said he was considering a ban on social media during times of social unrest, and Tottenham MP David Lammy called for a ban on Blackberry Messenger, the service many suspected to have been used by the rioters to organise.

Meanwhile, HP made a shock move to ditch the WebOS operating system and its Touchpad tablets, and fire sales began across the US and the UK, with Touchpad devices going for around $100.

It was also a big month for mobile, after Google announced its acquisition of beleaguered mobile firm Motorola Mobility.

Meanwhile, the World Wide Web celebrated its 20th birthday and it was the 30th anniversary of the IBM PC, as well as the 10th anniversary of Windows XP.


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