As we get ready to close out 2011 I wanted to do a recap of memorable moments from the last year. These are by no means the top 9 events. Just 9 moments that stick out to me.
- The passing of Steve Jobs. With his final resignation from Apple in August we all knew it was coming. That did nothing to lessen the shock though when every news outlet reported that Steve Jobs, the face behind Apple, was gone.
- AT&T buys out T-Mobile. Or maybe not. It was interesting to see the change in T-Mobile commercials upon the announcement of the possible buyout. They were rivals with T-Mobile constantly promoting the disadvantages of being an AT&T commercial. And then all of a sudden they stopped. Wouldn't want to upset the parent company, huh? This deal had the potential to make AT&T the #1 player in the wireless game and brought upon fears of a monopoly. In the end that fear caused the FCC and Department of Justice to oppose it.
- iPhone 4S is released. With rumors swirling about an iPhone 5 being released this summer, Apple released an upgrade to the iPhone 4. Sure you could buy a white iPhone now and have access to the wonder that is Siri. But in the end it's just an upgrade.
- Kindle Fire is released. Amazon hit the small tablet market with the release of the Kindle Fire just in time for the winter holidays. Amazon hasn't released exact figures but estimates say that roughly 2 million may have been sold so far. It's more than an e-reader and not quite an iPad but for many consumers this middle ground is exactly what they are looking for.
- Netflix splits services and increases rates. This summer Netflix decreed that their pricing structure was changing and the streaming and DVD by mail services (newly named Qwikster) would be separate. Qwikster was quickly cancelled and the service returned under the Netflix name. The pricing changes remained.
- GoDaddy loses customers over SOPA. As the list of supporters for the Stop Online Privacy Act was released it was noticed that one of of the major players in domain name registration, GoDaddy, was among them. A large backlash resulted. An internet petition was created and signed by many that claimed they would transfer all of their domains from GoDaddy by Dec 29th. On Dec 24th GoDaddy released a statement saying that they had removed their support from the current legislation but many are still transferring due to this and past GoDaddy actions.
- Playstation Network is hacked. As a PSN account holder this one affected my household a lot. The hacker group Anonymous broke into the PSN and accessed user accounts. PSN was shut down but users were told that it was a network glitch that was being worked on. A PR nightmare ensued because users weren't told the real deal until weeks later.
- Blackberry outage. What started as a problem in Europe, Africa and Asia soon swept over to North America. For three days the Blackberry system was rendered useless. No emails, internet or messaging. As a result, I think it's safe to say that many BB owners started making plans to move to Android or iPhone.
- Google+. Google launched a new social networking platform, and rival to Facebook, with field testing in June and beta testing in September. Google+ has been an interesting experiment. It's easier to use and navigate than Facebook. The downside it that users are so entrenched in Facebook that only time will tell if Google+ can really be a "Facebook killer."
So, what are your memorable tech moments of 2011?