2011: The year in news

We take a look back at a year which saw corporate carnage, industry in-fighting and the passing of an industry legend.

It has been a momentous year. The past 12 months have seen uprisings against oppressive regimes, a royal wedding, Bin Laden killed, Kim Jong-Il dead, the Iraq war officially over, panic on the streets of London and all other kinds of pandemonium. It's been manic to say the least.

The tech sector has been no exception. Industry big guns have fallen, CEOs have been thrown out of board rooms, there's been bitching and mega-buck acquisitions, and one of the most significant deaths the industry has ever seen.

Advertisement - Article continues below

We take a look back at what went down in the IT industry in 2011

A lotta litigation

Let's start with the most insufferably depressing theme of the year: the never-ending patent wars. Recent charts resembling many-tentacled sea creatures have appeared online highlighting who is suing who and the utter absurdity of it all.

The main target appears to be Android. It's rather obvious why, considering the operating system's stratospheric growth in 2011. The OS became too popular for its own good in 2011, attracting litigation after litigation, leaving Android looking like the bullied school child.

Yet Google wasn't involved in the most serious legal war threatening Android. Apple and Samsung spent all of 2011 trying to ban each others' products, with the iPhone maker even gaining some success along the way with a number of Galaxy products banned in Europe.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The OS became too popular for its own good in 2011, attracting litigation after litigation, leaving Android looking like the bullied school child.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Microsoft took a different route to targeting Android, deciding to sign license agreements with manufacturers using the OS. By the middle of the year it claimed to have agreements with companies responsible for producing half of all Android devices.

That hasn't stopped it suing others though, and it recently won a little skirmish with Motorola Mobility. No doubt it is hoping Windows 8 will take tablet market share away from others, meanwhile, and it would love Windows Phone 7 to have the same levels of popularity as Android.

BT even joined the mass of companies claiming Android has infringed on its IP, which also includes Oracle who are seeking billions from their court case. So much for festive cheer and good will to all men then

Google retaliated with a surprising public outburst earlier in the year, which amounted to the internet giant essentially having a whinge that the bigger boys had ganged up on Android.

Advertisement - Article continues below

As 2011 comes to a close, hundreds of patent cases are still raging on and, even though they have provided us with a modicum of mirth, they've left a bitter taste too. Not only are the cases nightmarishly complex in their scope and detail, as if Kafka had rewritten Bleak House and it had magically become reality, but ultimately they only lead to harm for businesses and consumers alike.

Amongst the consequences of these costly legal battles are lost innovation and less competition if products are banned. So thanks guys for damaging the tech industry with all your petty squabbling.

Featured Resources

Top 5 challenges of migrating applications to the cloud

Explore how VMware Cloud on AWS helps to address common cloud migration challenges

Download now

3 reasons why now is the time to rethink your network

Changing requirements call for new solutions

Download now

All-flash buyer’s guide

Tips for evaluating Solid-State Arrays

Download now

Enabling enterprise machine and deep learning with intelligent storage

The power of AI can only be realised through efficient and performant delivery of data

Download now

Most Popular


Zoom kills Facebook integration after data transfer backlash

30 Mar 2020
Server & storage

HPE warns of 'critical' bug that destroys SSDs after 40,000 hours

26 Mar 2020

These are the companies offering free software during the coronavirus crisis

25 Mar 2020
high-performance computing (HPC)

IBM dedicates supercomputing power to coronavirus research

24 Mar 2020