Top tech moments of the decade

We look at the biggest moments of tech from the past 10 years - from Google, to the dotcom bubble, to the arrival of World of Warcraft.

It took three years, but in November 2004 World of Warcraft was released, linking players the world over into one world of gaming. The level of interaction was unrivalled and brought a whole new social element to gaming which had not been seen before.

Since then, the game has had two extension packs released, with a third in the making, and currently holds the record for the most monthly subscriptions for any MMORPG, standing currently at 11.5 million - breaking the Guinness World Record.

Plenty of other online games have tried to take that title, such as Lord of the Rings, EverQuest and Eve Online, and now the console market is getting in on the act with the likes of Xbox Live linking up all its players.

It seems the future holds more social gaming for us all, be it through your PC or on a console, and it has definitely made the world of gaming more acceptable to the masses.

YouTube whets the appetite for streaming video May 2005

YouTube

Back in 2005, it wasn't easy to share video online. So a trio of ex-PayPal employees banded together to create YouTube. A beta went live in May 2005, but the first video of one of the founder's trip to the zoo went up at the end of April.

While much of the content posted onto the massive video repository has been of similarly dubious quality, the ability to watch video online without having to download it first whetted our appetites for more.

And how did we deal with it? We illegally uploaded clips from our favourite shows, kicking off a copyright controversy and getting YouTube sued by some very big companies. And that got Google in trouble too, as it picked up the video site in October 2006.

Now, YouTube offers legal content from some of those big content producers, while other streaming video sites, such as iPlayer and Hulu, have similar success. Who knows, with a bit of luck, it may even make some money this year...

Amazon introduces cloud computing to the masses August 2006

clouds

There doesn't seem to be anywhere in the world of tech where you can hide from the words 'cloud computing', but this is only a recent occurrence.

As the decade comes to a close, there are still arguments as to the definition of cloud computing but one company seems to be widely accepted as the prime example and that is Amazon.

Back in 2006 the company, known mostly for its online retail success, launched a public beta of its Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud or EC2 under the brand of Amazon Web Services. It essentially enabled users to rent public computer space to run applications.

As well as being scalable, a new pay structure was introduced allowing customers to pay for as little as an hour of usage.

Now more and more companies are considering the idea, offering various clouds to host applications, store data or even provide email services.

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