10 technological announcements that shook us in 2009By Partho, Gaea News Network
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Programming today is a race between software engineers striving to build bigger and better idiot-proof programs, and the Universe trying to produce bigger and better idiots. So far, the Universe is winning.
The year 2009 started on a high-note with some ground breaking revelations in CES 2009. In a keynote address, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced the availability of its long awaited, next-gen OS - Windows 7 beta. Following the suit, next big thing in the line of Linux OS was Fedora 11 Leonidas. While Apple chief Steve Jobs took his first break after a decade, blogs were flooded with iPhone 3G S leaks, out as the new avtar in mobile market long before it floored on the Apple store - enough noise to overwhelm Steven Spielberg’s next project with Tintin as protagonist. Palm one the other end was looking to recover its lost glory in mobile phone market with the launch of its smartphone Pre. In the turn of events, Google created ripples in the enterprise market with its new tool for communication and collaboration on the web - Google waves. Google co-ounder Sergey Brin was highly apprehensive of Microsoft ad-hyped search engine Bing’s launch this season, of course for no good reason. Microsoft plans to take gaming experience on Xbox 360 to the next level with controller-free gaming under the Project Natal.
Not just these but there was much more happening in the tech world that took let jaws drop. We went on an exhaustive search to break out the top tech adventures that shook the tech world in 2009
1. Windows 7
People say that if you play Microsoft CD’s backwards, you hear satanic things, but that’s nothing, because if you play them forwards, they install Windows.
At the first impression, Windows 7 seems a revolutionary product. It came as a relief after the bug-prone and half-baked Windows Vista. Windows 7 was based on people feedback including some cool upgrades. With a new look, Windows 7 features improved taskbar, full screen previews, jump list, Desktop enhancements, faster Windows search, better device management, Viewable Available Network (VAN) etc. Well, to sum up for Windows 7 you’ll have less waiting, fewer clicks and less complexity. Meanwhile, we were working on some Windows 7 hacks to make your life easier with the new OS. Now you have the Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) and know its limitations too It carries the changes and fixes made after the Windows 7 Beta test.
Read our Windows 7 series
2. Apple iPhone 3G S
With Apple you can start thinking differently.
There are long queues and short supply at Apple and AT&T stores for Apple’s latest sensation - iPhone 3G S. Long long before its release the blogs and news portals were flooded with anticipations about the next-gen iPhones and the new OS 3.0.
Externally the 3G S is a clone of its predecessor. With the S for speed suffixed the smartphone has undergone a world of difference with a beefed-up CPU, new internal compass, larger capacities for storage, better battery and improved optics for its camera (3.2 megapixel). The release of 3G S comes with the launch of updates for iPhone OS 3.0. The new OS adds the most sought-after features such as cut, copy, and paste, stereo Bluetooth, MMS, tethering, video recording, landscape keyboard options for more applications, and an iPhone version of Spotlight. AT&T won’t be providing MMS and tethering.
Microsoft after acknowledging its shortcomings in its search engine market, planned for better web search tool Kumo. With Microsoft all set to draw the first blood, the company planned to launch a massive ad campaign re-branding its search engine as Bing. Although Bing is at par with Google for most of the casual results. Obviously, it has narrowed the gap between Google and Live Search. But, its far from Google’s accuracy. What’s driving Bing is the massive ad campaign. A likely comparisons between the two could be that Bing seems better for ads than Google. Now the Bing is surging ahead in the search market, its remains to see whether it can give Google a run for its money.
Read our series of articles on Bing
4. Palm Pre
Palm Pre is the new buzzkid in the smartphone market, It appears that Palm deliberately scheduled the touch screen smartphone a few days ahead of the next-gen iPhone. According to the gadget gurus the mobile devices might be a challenge to the highly appreciated iPhone. Pre boasts of some cool features that include the webOS that allows the users to run multiple applications at once. With a 3.1 inches screen, 3 MP camera, notifications Wi-Fi, Global Positioning System and an online store for applications, Pre might scoop out some of iPhone’s market share. Moreover, the phone allows syncing with Facebook and Google.
Read: Palm Pre review
5. Google Wave
I would love to change the world, but they won’t give me the source code
Google seems all set to catch up with Web 3.0. This was evident with the release of Google Wave at Google Developers’ conference at San Fransisco. It is one of the most ambitious and future-centric projects ever launched by Google.
Google Wave allows the users to communicate and collaborate on the web. Essentially the wave is an equal parts conversation and document in which the users can almost instantly communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more. It is also a rich set of open APIs that allow the developers to embed waves in other web services and to build extensions that would work with the web. To be more precise its a communication tool that consolidates features from email, instant messaging, blogging, multimedia management , document sharing and wiki.
Read our reivew on Google Wave
6. Project natal
This is Microsoft’s most futuristic projects for gaming world announced in Electronic Entertainment Expo, 2009. It deserves a whew! Codenamed as Project Natal, it aims at providing a controller-free gaming and entertainment experience for the Xbox 360 video game platform. Depending on the console Project Natal would allow the users to control and interact with Xbox 360 without having to touch a game controller. The gamers will be able to use their gestures, spoken commands, or presented objects and images for gaming. The Project Natal device features a depth sensor, RGB camera, multi-array microphone, and custom processor running proprietary software.
Project Natal can be best judged by Forrester principal analyst Paul Jackson, who said
it is likely to remove that final barrier between you sitting in your room and…what’s on your screen.
7. Sun Open Cloud
Sun Microsystems unleashed its open cloud computing infrastructure at the CommunityOne developer event in New York this March. They are not the first to enter cloud computing, but what provides Sun an edge is that their system is equipped with industry-leading software technologies that includes Java, MySQL, OpenSolaris and Open Storage. Sun’s open cloud system is aimed at serving developers, students as well as start ups. Sun expects to generate a world of clouds, public as well as private, that will be open and interoperable.
The core components of the Open Cloud includes Sun Cloud Storage Service and The Sun Cloud Compute Service. The former supports WebDAV for easy file access and object store APIs that are compatible with Amazon’s S3 APIs. The later provides everything the developers need to build and operate a data center in the cloud.
According to Sun they are interested in generating a mechanism that makes it possible for the people to build the equivalent of a physical datacenter in the cloud. This would enable the users to treat their cloud computing resources more effectively.
Read our detailed article on Sun Open CLoud
8. Fedora 11 Leonidas
The box said ‘Requires Windows 95 or better’. So I installed LINUX.
It’s was the latest Linux efforts by the Red Hat community this year. For some this optimized release is a Spartan Linux, as the codename Leonidas has been derived from Spartan origins.
The Linux system offers faster performance as well as highly-appreciable virtualization, security, desktop and server. The virtualization feature includes improved console, better input support and more. The system takes as low as 20 seconds to Boot-up. It features a GNOME 2.26, integrated Thunderbird 3, OpenChange, eclipse Profiling Tool and more. One of the most significant updates to Fedora 11 leonidas is the Netbeans 6.5. Possibly it’s a forecast in some respect of the features that the next version of Red Hat Linux might offer.
However, it still remains that Fedora 11 doesn’t have the potential to impress the next generation crowd.
Read our article on Fedora 11 Leonidas
9. Apple MacBook Pro
This was the secondary sensation next to iPhone 3G S in Apple WWDC 2009. Apple added a 13″ MacBook Pro to the MacBook family. It seems that the 13″ MacBook has received a face-lift and feature-lift to turn out into 13″ unibody MacBook Pro. It features a 2.13GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 2 GB of DDR2 memory and 160GB hard drive standard. In addition it also includes an integrated Nvidia GeForce 9400M Graphics. The notebook has an expandable 4GB of RAM and can be upgraded to 500 GB hard drive through the Apple Store. The other ranges of notebooks include the 15-inch, and 17 inch MacBook.
Read our article on Apple Macbook covered on WWDC 2009
10. Microsoft FREE antivirus
If at first you don’t succeed; call it version 1.0
Microsoft’s Windows is the most virus affected OS in the world. The Redmond company has decided to call it a day for viruses with the announcement of Morro. The antivirus (beta version) would be equipped with basic features to fight wide range of viruses. This would put Microsoft in a direct tussle with the lower end consumers products from Symantec and McAfee that are priced at $40 per year. Let’s see if Microsoft could make its OS virus free. We thought of including it in the list because, Microsoft launching FREE products is as big as Steve Jobs making ugly iPhone, well reversibly true.
Tags: Apple MacBook Pro, apple store, Bing, CES 2009, eclipse, Fedora 11 Leonidas, Google wave, Microsoft FREE antivirus, New York, Palm Pre, Phone, Project natal, Sun Open Cloud, Tech world, Things, Top tech announcements 2009