2009: Top 10 technology stories

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2009: Top 10 technology stories
Windows 7, Chrome, Twitter, Microsoft-Yahoo deal made another busy year in technology.

Although global economic crisis cast a shadow on all sectors of the economy in 2009, IT fared better than most.

Acquisitions among big vendors continued to reshape the market. Microblogging became a powerful source of real-time information, and Net-connected devices was stronger than ever.

Here, in no particular order, is the pick of the top 10 technology stories of 2009.

1. Microsoft launches Windows 7
Microsoft Corporation launched Windows 7 in its most important release for more than a decade, aiming to win back customers after the disappointing Vista and strengthen its grip on the PC market.

Vista damaged Microsoft's reputation: Ballmer

The new system comes almost three years after the launch of Vista, whose complexity frustrated many home users. Windows 7 is faster and has new touch-screen features also.

2. Microsoft-Yahoo deal
Microsoft Corporation and Yahoo announced the most awaited partnership deal intended to create a stronger rival to the industry powerhouse Google.

The agreement details of the Yahoo-Microsoft deal
The companies agreed to a revenue-sharing deal calling for Microsoft's Bing to run Yahoo's search site and for Yahoo to sell premium search advertising services for both companies.

3. Google unveils Chromos OS
Google unveiled its Chrome OS operating system, a streamlined Linux kernel booting straight into the Chrome web browser.

Google to launch Chrome Operating System

The Chrome OS replaces the traditional software stack on computers with a more lightweight one, all made possible because it can only run web applications.

4. Microblogging and social networking revolution
The year saw major changes at sites like Facebook and Twitter as millions of non-technical users became regular users of social networks.

Twitter stepped in as a major communication tool, providing real-time information around the world.

The re-election of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over challenger Mir Hussein Moussavi caused chaos in Iran.

'Nobel Peace Prize should go to Twitter'

With journalists booted out of the country, local Twitter users stepped in, sending out a stream of Twitter messages that helped the world follow events as protesters marched.

Twitter has also been used to broadcast information by eyewitnesses at many other news events this year.

5. EU slams Intel with record $1.45 billion fine
Intel Corp. was fined a record $1.45 billion by the European Union on for using strong-arm sales tactics in the computer chip market.

Q2: Intel posts loss, blames EU's anti-trust fine

Advanced Micro Devices Inc or AMD sued Intel and lobbied regulators around the world for the past five years, complaining that Intel was penalizing PC makers in the US and abroad for doing business with AMD.

6. Oracle 'acquires' Sun Microsystems
The deal hasn't yet been finalized, but it appears Oracle is close to clearing the last hurdles in its $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems.

Oracle agreed to purchase or rescue Sun after negotiations between Sun and IBM broke down.

The deal was being held up by the European Union over concerns about whether Oracle would continue to support the MySQL database.

7. Obama administration includes tech in stimulus bill
Barack Obama took office with an agenda that included putting IT in the stimulus bill.

The House of Representatives passed a stimulus package including $7.2 billion for broadband deployment, $17 billion for incentives to adopt electronic health records and $11 billion to hook up the electricity grid to the Internet.

Obama, an avid BlackBerry user, had put tech, notably social networking and business intelligence, to work in his campaign.

8. Steve Jobs comes back, again
Apple's CEO Steve Jobs makes a comeback again.

He was on medical leave from Apple Inc since Jan 2009 to treat an undisclosed medical condition.

Apple's Jobs back with a bang, Twitter goes down

He received a liver transplant and came back to work. A pancreatic cancer survivor, he is an example of the bionic man.

9. IBM gets webtop from eyeOS
IBM teamed up with eyeOS, the maker of an open-source, web-based operating system.

IBM will offer eyeOS 2.0, available in Jan 2010, to all customers who buy IBM's System Z mainframe servers.

This is a huge win for eyeOS, making it one of Google's biggest competitors in the web OS or 'webtop' space.

IBM has a huge channel for distributing eyeOS, which will better position the Barcelona-based company in the enterprise market.

10. Google introduces landmarks on India maps
Google India has introduced the feature of 'landmarks' in Google Maps to help users with navigation by providing better and easier driving directions.

India gets 'landmarks' on Google Map

With this new feature, finding a place becomes a lot easier as Google will be using landmarks commonly used by people to navigate from place to place.

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