2009: A year in review, July
As the summer months arrived, the tech world seemed to slow down a touch, but that didn't stop the rumours and releases coming in. Ebook readers had a bigger show than usual with information on two upcoming Sony Readers leaked, the launch of a Samsung device and the announcements that both Blackwells and Barnes & Noble would be getting in on the action too.
There was good news with the Kindle in that there was a price cut to come, but a terrible incident for Amazon as the company deleted copies of two George Orwell novels from people's readers automatically and without consent. Uproar ensued followed by a healthy serving of humble pie, all the trimmings and lashings of gravy.
3D was also the talk of the month with Sky promising to add the technology in 2010, YouTube offering it now and Fujifilm announced the launch of a 3D compact camera with two lenses and a lenticular printer to go with it.
The phone market was as busy as ever. The N97 mini came out in pics, LG teased and tested with media on the two new Chocolate handsets, the same company told us it had sold 5 million Cookies, it dated the watchphone and rivals Samsung decided to launch one of its own. At the same time, we got official pictures on the BlackBerry Curve 8520, the HTC Hero finally hit the shelves and the Toshiba TG01 arrived as a bit of a damp squib.
Meanwhile Apple celebrated the first birthday of the App Store, ordered a mass of camera modules - fuelling speculation over the upcoming iPods - and fought with Palm over the Pre's ability to sync with iTunes. There was also the first talk of O2 losing its UK exclusivity on the iPhone.
Attempting to prove it's not all about Apple, Microsoft launched the pre-order of Windows 7, giving it a 3 month lead, and talked up the arrival of the Marketplace on Windows Mobile. Google, of course, had mobile OS plans of its own and outlined details of Android updates Donut, Eclair and Flan as well as announcing the Wave beta for September and Chrome OS to hit desktops some time soon.
Of them all though, it was probably Mozilla who had the most to shout about as Firefox passed the 1bn downloads mark offering the company enough good cheer to share the first screen shots of version 4 of the browser with us.
In the world of hardware we had more seashells from Asus, a slew of Satellites from Toshiba and some comeback from Kodak with the Zi8 1080p pocket camcorder. Sony had some interesting business of its own with the CX505VE high-end video shooter, capable of image stabilisation in three planes, and if you could argue that the Vaio P wasn't a netbook then you had to admit that the Japanese company had finally folded with the launch of the W.
Elsewhere, Sam Raimi signed up as director for the WoW movie, the Queen continued her run of tech as the Royal Family hit Twitter, and Wikipedia got into trouble with the National Portrait Gallery.
Business was good for Archos with the launch of the 9 tablet, it was new for Tech Crunch as the Crunchpad Inc was formed, it was bad for Teletext as the service closed and it was promising for Spotify as the music streaming service started looking for staff in the US. July was also the month when you the Pocket-lint mobile version went live, but then you know that if you're reading on a smartphone.