2010: A year in review, February
February might be a small month as far as the calendar goes but in tech world it’s a big ‘un. With the mobile phone one of the hottest gadgets out there these days, Barcelona took centre stage in 2010 as it does every year when Mobile World Congress busies itself up for some of the most important headline news.
The stars of the show were the launches of golden generation of Android handsets from HTC in the shape of the Legend and the Desire but Google's wasn't the only mobile operating system to be making waves. All that way back at the beginning of the year, we finally got the first glances of the software destined to lift Microsoft from the doldrums - Windows Phone 7.
Aside the the slew of other bits of telephone kit announced, there was also a small but significant bit of app news which later went on to cause chaos for at least a few months. The BBC's launch of mobile phone software for the iPhone went down as well with the likes of Sky as it did non-Apple users and even the BBC Trust as well.
Away from MWC, there was still plenty to chat about in the mobile space. Nokia, of course, does its own thing in September but, to keep up with the Joneses, we got an early glimpse of what Symbian^4 was going to look like along with a slightly painful admission from a company vice president that the N97 had been a "tremendous disappointment". So was that going to mean that we'd see something much more impressive from Nokia later in the year?
More dramatic were the goings on in Sunnyvale, California though where a tremendous disappointment would have been a picnic compared to the quicksand that Palm found itself in. Revenues were finally announced and it became clearly rather quickly that the Pre and Pixi bubble had well and truly burst and, if the results weren't evidence enough, the letter from the CEO to his employees telling them not to panic was sure enough sign that they and the shareholders should all be doing exactly that. So, who was going to come along and save the day?
It wasn't just Palm who'd been making the wrong moves in the mobile phone space either. With Google's Nexus One quietly building up a fan club, troubled Sony Ericsson admitted that it had been asked if it would build the handset instead of HTC who used it as a springboard into the Android advance. As for the networks, there was only one piece of major news and that was the bit that most of the others in the UK had dreaded. The competition commission in Europe said yes to the T-Mo/Orange merger. Oh, and just in case anyone hadn't caught on as to what that big software trend was all about, we thought we'd explain nice and clearly exactly what is an app.
In February, it's often hard to remember mobile phones are just one of the gadgets we cover here at Pocket-lint but no one had told the other hardware brands that they wouldn't be taking centre stage that month. We snapped some lovely photos of all sorts of other products including the Nintendo DSi XL and the Philips 21:9 3D TV - later to make a rather big splash at the Pocket-lint Awards. There was also sight of the Notion Ink Adam tablet that we'd first heard about at CES, news that the Samsung 3D LED TVs were on their way, the first glances of Sony's take on Micro Four Thirds with concept pictures of the NEX cameras and fighting talk from Amazon that they'd some day launch a Kindle to rival the iPad.
In gaming, the hugely anticipated Bioshock 2 went straight into the charts at number one and there was an admission of a little less success from Sony as the company had to relaunch the non-disk carrying Sony PSP Go. Fortunately, it wasn't just them who fluffed up a big product. February 2010 saw the arrival of Google Buzz. The tumbleweed has not stopped rolling since.
Apple, of course, is an entity unto itself and February doesn't usually mark a big moment in the company's calendar. All the same it was the 10 billionth download from the iTunes Store that brought the non-fruit corporation into the limelight along with a ban on boobs and sex in general. Elsewhere, Google very kindly donated a spare couple of million to Wikipedia, Sky showed its first football game in 3D and Sonic the Hedgehog made his return.
Finally, the month wouldn't be anything without its collection of the amusing and truly bizarre which came in quite a few fascinating forms back in Feb. The good people of Derby decided to name their ring road Lara Croft Way proving you should never ask the public for an opinion, the infamous domain sex.com went up for auction with a $1m starting price, T-Mobile released 100 geese onto the streets of central London for some precarious link to their success and sausage sales went through the roof in South Korea as it turns out they mimic the effect of human fingers as far as a capacitive touchscreen is concerned.
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