2011 so far has been an 'exceptional' year for the technology industry. Till now, it has marked an era of sweeping and important technological developments.
Nearly all big players of tech industry have dominated the news circle for good or the bad reason.
At the halfway point of the year, let’s take a look at the top newsmakers, who have hit the headlines in technology realm.
Google launches Facebook competitor, Google+: The search giant took its biggest leap introducing a social networking service called Google+. The service was directly aimed at Facebook. The newly launched service allows users to upload interactive content, send and receive messages, post comments and share photos within a selected group of friends.
Microsoft forays into the clouds: Microsoft unveiled its Office 365 cloud service, a major move into the mobile, Internet-enabled world of cloud computing. The service was launched as an answer to Google Apps. Under the new service, Microsoft is moving its outdated applications such as Excel spreadsheets, SharePoint collaboration tools and Outlook email into an online set-up so that it is accessible to anyone, anywhere and on any device.
Google enters into OS game:Google forayed into the operating system business with Chrome OS; its browser-turned-operating system, and alternative to Windows, Mac OS and Linux. The first Chromebook debuted in June, from Acer.
Beware! Smartphones are spying on you: Google, Apple and Microsoft, all came under fire for tracking the location of users. It was revealed that iPhones, iPads and Android phones have software that store data about users' whereabouts. They were highly criticized for their action as they were violating the federal privacy law.
Browser war begins: Cloud computing brought the browser wars back. Microsoft, Mozilla and Google all introduced latest versions of their browsers. Google's Chrome 10 promised to offer more speed, a new settings interface, and a more secure Flash implementation. In addition, it supports password encryption and comes integrated with the latest Flash player.
Microsoft IE9 also brags about fast and responsive web experience, security and privacy enhancements, pinned sites, and enhanced support for HTML5. Mozilla Firefox 4 boasts some excellent synchronization features. It lets users sync their settings, passwords, bookmarks, and even open tabs across any other device running Firefox.
Big surprise: iPad 2 or Steve Jobs?: Steve Jobs made surprise returning to the spotlight, and unveiled sleeker and more powerful iPad 2. The iPad 2 is thinner and lighter than its predecessor. The tablet computer boasts two cameras to shoot pictures, record video, and be used for FaceTime video conferencing.
Apple founder and CEO, Steve Jobs launched iPad 2 despite being extremely ill.
Nokia embraces WP7: Microsoft and Nokia both have a lot to lose ..and gain. Nokia entered into strategic alliance with Microsoft to turn around the fortune of its smartphone business. The Finnish handset maker decided to dump its own platforms, Symbian and MeeGo for Windows Phone 7. It announced that upcoming Nokia handsets will use Windows software.
Google management shake-up: Google announced, in the beginning of year, a major shuffle in top management. Longtime CEO Eric Schmidt was to take the charge of Executive Chairman and co-founder Larry Page was roped in to manage the CEO reins all in the name of streamlining the company's top-level decision making.
CES tablet-mania: After Apple’s successful brush with iPad, CES witnessed nearly all top vendors joining the tablet bandwagon. Lenovo, NEC, Dell, Motorola, Acer and others unveiled Windows or Android based tablet computers. RIM showed off its PlayBook tablet and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer discussed his company's mobile plans.
One can easily say Google, Microsoft and Apple are the biggest newsmakers of 2011 so far and probably would continue to rule the headlines for rest of the year.
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