Top 10 stories of 2007: Age of realignment

The big fish get bigger, Apple redefines a market again, the rise of the botnets and more.

Google's "Gphone" morphs into Android

Google's anticipated "Gphone" announcement in November was both less, and more, than what had been long expected. For almost a year, rumors circulated that the online search giant was going to offer an actual phone. Google and its partners ended up unveiling not a device but a Linux-based open software platform, called Android, upon which mobile phones can be built. The idea is that a common platform will allow developers to build applications that can run on devices from many manufacturers on many networks, reducing complexity for both developers and consumers alike. Skeptics were quick to point out that Android might instead add complexity, since developers will have to build applications for it as well as existing platforms. Android-based phones, due out in mid-2008, will face entrenched platforms such as Symbian and Windows Mobile.

Viacom vs. Google: User-generated content hits speed bump

When media giant Viacom sued Google in March for US$1 billion, citing unauthorized uploading of TV and movie clips to Google's YouTube site, it underscored a fundamental problem for user-generated content on the Web: How do sites ensure that submissions meet certain standards, or are in fact legal? The dilemma is a problem of scale: Viacom charged that as of March, YouTube users uploaded nearly 160,000 video clips for which it owned copyrights, and that these clips had been viewed more than 1.5 billion times. One answer to the problem may be systems like Video Identification, which Google unveiled in October. It matches user-uploaded clips with a repository of legitimate videos, allowing the company to flag and remove, if necessary, copyright-infringing material. With the cost of legal wrangling and monitoring systems growing, it is clear that user-generated content is not truly "free" after all.

Facebook controversy: Social networking hits prime time

Facebook's decision in October to sell a US$240 million minority stake to Microsoft, which had been battling Google for the prize, solidified social networking's central place in technology. The stake values Facebook at US$15 billion total, even before it has truly figured out how to monetize its traffic. While social networking has been a growing trend for years, Facebook offers interactive features and a development platform that has Google, the social networking site MySpace and others playing catch-up. But the problem of monetization has been compounded by privacy issues. The ability of Facebook's Beacon ad system to track user actions has whipped up a controversy that won't go away soon.

Barcelona: AMD's Waterloo?

AMD was hoping that the launch of its Barcelona quad-core chips would press a perceived technology advantage it had built up against archrival Intel beginning in 2003, the year the smaller company launched Opteron chips for 64-bit applications. As Intel stumbled, AMD gained market share. But Intel cut prices and launched new 64-bit and quad-core processors. The release of Barcelona, delayed until September, may end up being a counterpunch that was too little, too late. Dragged down by shrinking margins and costs from last year's acquisition of ATI, AMD in October announced its fourth-straight quarter of losses and this month said it has delayed volume shipments of Barcelona to fine-tune the chip.

Vista hoopla fizzles: Death of the big-bang upgrade?

Microsoft launched the consumer version of Vista in January after making it available to businesses last November. Microsoft officials hyped it as the biggest launch in the company's history and now say adoption is on a normal trajectory for new operating systems. In November it said that 88 million copies have been sold. But a range of market-analysis reports show that users, especially corporate professionals, have concerns about stability and compatibility and hesitate to upgrade. Though Bill Gates has said that big marketing events will always accompany major product releases, Vista may yet prove to be the last of the old-school upgrades in a world where users, on their own timetable, download incremental updates.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Marc Ferranti

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?