2010: A year in review, October

After the IFA-fuelled mayhem that was September, we thought perhaps that there may be a bit of a lull in the tech industry whilst we all tried to catch our breath after the Berlin blitz. But no, the major players all had other plans with huge launches from arguably the three biggest names in tech - Apple, Google and Microsoft - all taking place within the month.

It all kicked off in relatively low-key fashion however, although the Android assault showed no signs of letting up. October was the month that saw the number of apps in the Android Market hit 100,000 - a five fold increase within a year, and it was also the month where the budget Android tablets started to arrive...en masse.

First to the table in October were Disgo with its Tablet 6000, that offered Android action for just £180 - the same price that Next (yes, the same place you bought your Dad his Christmas socks) also put on sale its cr-app filled Android tablet. A more likely contender, PC World, weighed in with its two efforts not long after - the Advent Vega and the Advent Amico, two tablets that cost £249.99 and £129.99 respectively.

It wasn't just a cheapo month for Android devices though, October also saw the very, very not-cheap Samsung Galaxy Tab get priced up at a whopping £599.99, although the Carphone Warehouse would soon slash £70 off of this.

The first big launch event of the month came courtesy of Logitech, who went a week earlier than Sony in declaring its Google TV armoury. The star of the show at the Logitech event in New York was undoubtedly the Revue set top box that transforms your HDTV into an all singing, all dancing internet-powered media station, but there were a few other little launches that were definitely worth a mention.

Sony's Google TV efforts revolved around a system built directly into a TV (in four different sizes), and also a Google TV powered Blu-ray player, which we took for a spin.

The day before the Sony announcements, Pocket-lint was invited to the official Windows Phone 7 launch event by Microsoft, where we were detailed on all of the WP7 handsets that would be coming our way. 10 days after this the devices went on sale and we went down to the Orange shop at the crack of dawn to see two men and a dog queuing. Hardly the big event that Microsoft had in mind. Still, the handsets received some good coverage in our comprehensive reviews, which can all be found in our Windows Phone 7 section.

Not to be outdone by its big rivals having high profile launches, Apple bods, including Mr Turtle Neck himself - Steve Jobs - took to the stage on the 20th for its Back to the Mac event. Despite missing a trick with the event's name (has nobody in Cupertino heard of Mark Morrison?) Apple didn't let us down when it came to the big announcements. It was a jam packed evening, with Jobs and the gang showing off the forthcoming Mac OS X Lion, announcing the arrival of the Mac App Store, FaceTime on the Mac and also iLife 11.

But the most exciting launch was left until last, when the latest generation MacBook Air models were shown off. Two new machines were announced, both featuring "instant on" and ditching hard and optical drives in favour of SSDs. Pocket-lint got its hands on the super-slim machine and got a comprehensive review up within days of it becoming available. Sadly though, it didn't impress us enough to earn the coveted "Hot Product" tag.

Apart from the ongoing Android evolution and the big launches from Apple, Google and Microsoft, there was plenty of other stuff going on in the month the Czechs like to call Října.

October was also the month where Pocket-lint went one-on-one with David Haye, the Heavyweight Champion of the World, took the world's first truly practical mass-produced 100 per cent electric vehicle - the Nissan Leaf - for a spin, went goo-goo for Rovio's Angry Birds plush toys, as well as being treated to some new Halloween levels on the massively popular mobile game.

And whilst we're talking Halloween, we simply have to remind you of our absolutely brilliant 50 Great Geek Pumpkins feature. The best? A tough call, but we're gonna go for the incredibly detailed Death Star effort.

For a closer look at these events and the rest of October take a look at our weekly round-ups from the month or head straight to the archive itself.



>