The Top 10 Tech Stories of 2013
10. Blackberry's Death
After 3 years of being on the list with "Blackberry’s Almost Death", Blackberry has finally died. After Blackberry’s failed Blackberry 10 and Z10 launch, Thorstein Heins left Blackberry. The company then began looking for "Strategic Partners" and entertained the idea of a buyout from Fairfax Financial who, in return, made just a $1 billon investment.
9. Steam Machine
Ever since VALVE launched their digital game store "Steam", people have wondered when they would make the leap into the living room. This VALVE surprised us with not only a new console, but a controller unlike any other. Expect the Steam Machine to make a big splash during 2014.
8. Dell Goes Private
Michael Dell’s PC company became yet another victim in the mobile computing revolution. Dell share holders in September approved a $25 billion offer to make the company private with funding from Michael Dell and Silver Lake.
7. Twitter Goes Public
Twitter’s long awaited IPO caused a new wave of enthusiasm for social media investments. After Facebook’s failed IPO launch day with NASDAq, Twitter opted for the NYSE. With an opening bid of around $25 Twitter closed the first day at over $50 a share, and currently hovers around $60 a share.
6. Yahoo! Buys Tumblr.
One of the more surprising announcements of the year, Yahoo announced it was purchasing blogging service Tumblr for over $1 billion, promising not to "ruin it".
5. Ballmer Resigns
Steve Ballmers announcement after over three decades may have been an industry milestone, but did not come as a shock. Ballmer will depart within 12 months of the announcement. However, Microsoft’s languishing share price was a sign that investors lack confidence in the companies ability to innovate in a "post PC" era. Ballmer’s successor will have to be in for the long hall turning Microsoft into a new company for this new era.
4. Xbox One and PS4
After more then seven year of Wii, PS3, and Xbox 360, Microsoft and Sony decided 2013 was the year to start the 8th generation of video games. 2013 was full with news and controversy about the new consoles. Sony beat Microsoft to the punch with announcing the new console, and Microsoft made some controversial decisions about DRM and used games. It seemed Sony had the upper hand, and to make matters worse, in the middle of all of the controversy, Xbox head Don Mattrick left Microsoft for Zynga.
After all of the bad publicity, Microsoft made the (smart) decision to go back on the DRM and used games rules. As of now, it seems the sale are neck and neck for the new consoles.
3. Microsoft Buys Nokia
Software giant Microsoft saved the swedish ex-phone super power this year by buying out it’s phone business and licensing it patent protfolio for $7.2 billion.
2. T-Mobile's Un-Carrier
The two year wireless contract has become the standard for US wireless carriers. On the upside, you get a subsidized phone, but if at any point in your two year contract you have a change of mind, tough luck (or pay hefty early termination fees).
That is until T-Mobile turned the idea on it’s head this year with un-carrier. Customers no longer have a contract, and pay a small downpayment on a phone, and then pay for the rest of the phone month to month while paying considerably less for service. This and other moves caught the eyes of other wireless carriers proving competition works.
1. iOS 7
If there was one thing in the tech world that caused the most change, controversy, and talk in 2013, it’s iOS 7.
When Steve Jobs first introduced the iPhone back in 2007, people didn’t know how to use smartphones. To combat this, Apple made everything look like it was suppose to (i.e.: Legal Pad Notes, Leather Calendar, Felt Game Center.)
After people began to complain that the skeuomorphism was starting to look boring, along with the ousting of Scott Forstall and replacement with Jony Ive, Apple unveiled iOS 7.
The new iOS had a brand new design. Many people liked it. Many questioned it. However, if there was one tech topic that was discussed the most by the entire world in 2013, it’s iOS 7, which is why it got the number one spot.