The year started with civil revolutions happening in Egypt, where a lot of credit (sometimes unfairly) was heaped on the role played by social media. By the end of the year Facebook had competition, Steve Jobs was no longer around and companies like Skype and Motorola had new owners.
Here are the 10 most interesting moments in technology in 2011.
#1. Egypt’s Revolution
The year started with Facebook being used to organize protests against the then government in Egypt. The world itself did not pay much attention until Egypt decided to block internet access to all its country.
The internet community started supporting the protests on social media websites and Egyptian protests intensified finally getting rid of its undemocratic government. The best tribute to Facebook came with ordinary Egyptians carrying posters thanking its role in the revolution.
#2. Steve Jobs presents iPad 2
Steve Jobs was ill and was already on leave from regular CEO duties at Apple. Jobs did show up one last time, at a keynote event for Apple and introduced iPad 2 to a rousing reception.
iPad 2 has been a blockbuster hit for Apple in 2011 and rumours are that Apple is scrambling to release iPad 3 on Steve Jobs birth anniversary.
#3. Google has a new CEO
Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin decided to hire a professional as a CEO. His name was Eric Schmidt. Schmidt managed to look after Google quite well for over 10 years but 2011 was the year the passing of the torch was done. Larry Page took over as CEO of Google in April 2011.
Larry Page has now presided over shutting down the not so popular Google services and also the introducing Google Plus.
#4. Google’s New Baby: Google+
Google had been working on a new social network for many months. It finally unveiled the new weapon against Facebook. The name was Google+ and it sort of borrowed ideas from Twitter and Facebook.
It did race to 10 million users in 2 weeks, but it has hardly dented Facebook as the undisputed king of social media. But it will be interesting to see how Google keeps tweaking and improving Google+ to match up to Facebook.
#5. Google Buys Motorola
Android OS never had its own hardware for optimal performance. This is what probably prompted Google in buying Motorola for $12.5 Billion. Motorola is an iconic company in the cell phone market but it had been losing out to Nokia, Samsung and Apple over the past few years.
We should expect to see a lot of new great products from Motorola in 2012.
#6. Apple Rise to top
Apple overtook Microsoft in terms of profit. It had defeated its arch-nemesis in terms of profits. Apple rose to become the most valued company in 2011, with stock prices going through the roof. It apparently has more cash reserves than the US does as country. It will be interesting to see how Apple conducts itself now that it is no longer the underdog.
#7. Microsoft Buys Skype
Skype is one of the most used messenger for video chatting. Microsoft bought the company for a cool $8 Billion. This was Microsoft biggest acquisition but even months later, it is unclear how Microsoft will leverage Skype. Maybe with Windows 8 release in 2012, it might bring about something interesting.
#8. Steve Jobs Passes Away
The magician at Apple, finally succumbed to cancer on October 05, 2011. Apple fans across the world were in mourning after Steve Jobs passed away. Tributes showered in from heads of states, politicians and his contemporaries in the technology world.
#9. Facebook’s Reacts to Google+ with Timelines
As Google+ rose to prominence, Facebook felt the heat. Facebook could take its user for granted for a long time but with Google+ around they had to pick up their game.
They introduced a massive re-design change called Timelines. Timelines has be received with mixed reviews and many are unhappy about it being so easy for other to look up their old Facebook updates. Timelines is still being unveiled slowly and the jury is still out on whether Facebook has come up with a winner.
#10. BlackBerry Outage
If you were a blackberry user, you probably were a victim of this outage. Blackberry’s messaging network had a downtime which lasted not for hours but for days. The outage was fixed but it will take some time to repair the damage done to BlackBerry’s reputation.
The year 2011 was full of ups and downs in the tech world. Famous technologists died, big companies and services flopped while newer names came into prominence. The year 2012 will probably be full of stories with its origins in this year.
Hope you enjoyed our coverage over the past year and let me wish all our readers a Happy New Year.