The year in IT news

Google, Microsoft and the economy: all the top stories from the past year in tech and business news.

October

Head honcho at Microsoft Steve Ballmer kicked off the month by announcing a cloud computing operating system.

The Home Office and Met Police finally teamed up on an e-crime unit. Nokia joined the touchscreen crowd with the phone formerly known as the Tube the 5800 XpressMusic.

But the big news was the economy. The US banking industry came near collapse, leading to trouble in the City here. In addition, eBay cut 10 per cent of staff and HP slashed 3,300 UK jobs. Unsurprisingly, a survey suggested IT execs are afraid of job cuts.

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Possibly with the flagging economy in mind, Apple cut prices on its MacBook lineup as it launches a new aluminium encased laptop. The Google Android-based T-Mobile hit the shelves at the end of the month.

The netbook revolution continued, as Apricot is resurected to release the PicoBook Pro. Such netbooks help Acer steal the EMEA crown from HP for the first time.

And Microsoft's Professional Developers' Conference closed out the month with news of a new cloud OS and Windows 7, releasing a pre-beta of the latter.

November

The Gary McKinnon battle continued, with MPs bringing up his possible extradition in parliament. The US elects Barack Obama its next president, leading to stories about whether he'll be able to use his BlackBerry as Commander in Chief.

The Google-Yahoo deal fizzles after antitrust attention, and now Yahoo is considering a deal with Microsoft[a/] though the software giant says it's out.

But maybe that will change now that Yahoo's chief executive has resigned

Bletchley Park won some of the funding it needs, and TfL replaced its Oyster contract.

The inventor of the DNS system said he'll look into the flaw, while a virus of the computer sort shuts down three London hospitals.

The job cuts continue as BT slashed 10,000 from its workforce. And the government started to roll out the first set of ID cards.

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December

Apple started a fuss by saying its users need anti-virus, and then in an about turn said they don't.

In another u-turn, the Internet Watch Foundation blocks a page on Wikipedia for showing a naked image of a child, but after pressure reverses the decision.

Nokia unveils its N97, but warns that the market is stagnating. The Yahoo-Microsoft saga continues, as investor Carl Ichan begs for the web firm not be sold off in pieces.

Google's Chrome comes out of beta one heck of a lot faster than Gmail did. Unsurprisingly perhaps, Google then dropped Mozilla's Firefox as its browser of choice, opting to push its own instead.

In other browser news, several versions of Internet Explorer feature major flaws, which take a week to fix. [a href="https://www.itpro.co.uk/609237/virgin-media-unveils-50mbps-broadband"]Virgin Media shows off its new[/a] 50Mb/sec broadband, but it doesn't come cheap.

And, to round it all off, Apple's Steve Jobs is to ditch out on MacWorld this year is it because of his health and Apple won't be attending anymore

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