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12/17/2010
02:25 PM
Alison Diana
Alison Diana
Slideshows

Top 10 Software Stories Of 2010

In any year, there are winners and losers, those that successfully rode--or shaped--the tide, and those smashed by the waves of change. As virtual battles raged on Xboxes, Kinects, and other platforms, software developers waged war over market share and steadily loosening budget dollars. Eagerly awaited new products and beta versions made their debuts, jockeying for position and sales. The past year was, of course, no exception. In the rapid-paced world of social media, granddaddy MySpace all-bu




This year marked the end of a lawsuit that began in 2007 when Oracle filed suit against TomorrowNow, a provider of maintenance and support services for Oracle solutions, and SAP, which acquired the provider back in 2005, for "inappropriate" downloads of Oracle support materials. SAP conceded, and a jury decided SAP should pay Oracle $1.3 billion. During the industrial espionage trial, Oracle attorney David Boies considered playing the videotaped deposition of former SAP CEO -- and current HP CEO -- Leo Apotheker, and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison sought the executive, publicly stating he had evidence Apotheker was complicit in the improper downloading of Oracle software. Former SAP co-CEO Henning Kagermann testified during the trial, and acknowledged some downloads were "inappropriate."

Open source also continued to gain adherents, as the government encouraged departments to investigate its use as a cost-effective alternative to pre-packaged, commercial applications. Public or private sector, saving money -- the concept of doing more with less -- was one of the main software-investment drivers for the year. Software spending was slated to grow 6.6% in the United States this year, reaching $568 billion, according to Forrester.

"We are entering a new six- to seven-year cycle of IT growth and innovation that Forrester calls Smart Computing," said Bartels. "New technologies of awareness married to advanced business intelligence analytics make computing smart. Smart Computing rests on new foundation technologies such as service-oriented architecture, server and storage virtualization, cloud computing, and unified communications. 2010 marks the beginning of this next phase of technology advancement."

SEE ALSO:

Jury Decides: SAP To Pay Oracle $1.3 Billion

SAP Admitting Infringement In Oracle Case

Oracle CEO Ellison Demands $4 Billion In Damages From SAP

Oracle-SAP Trial: Oracle Damage Expert Lands On $1.66 billion

Global CIO: Will The Oracle-HP Alliance Survive The Oracle-SAP Trial?

SAP CFO Werner Brandt Baffles Oracle As Trial Girds for Ellison

Oracle V. SAP: Writing Is On The Wall

SAP co-CEO McDermott co-Apologizes to Oracle

SAP Admitting Infringement In Oracle Case

Oracle-SAP Trial: Phillips Says SAP Owes "Billions," Oracle Can't Find Apotheker

Oracle v SAP Trial Begins With Bang

Oracle v. SAP: Daytime Drama


The once seemingly nonstop adds -- "I'm a PC and Windows 7 was my idea" -- apparently worked. Windows 7's rollout was a success, both at corporations and among home users. In December, the U.S. Air Force, for example, announced the fastest operating system upgrade in its history, as it moves PCs at Peterson Air Force Base from Vista to Windows 7. The software giant's latest OS helped propel its revenue in 2010 -- although an exclusive InformationWeek analysis found that Microsoft added revenue previously assigned to other groups to its OS division.

SEE ALSO:

Windows 7 Gives Microsoft Hope

Microsoft Altered Windows Sales Numbers

Microsoft Profits Soar 51%

10 Drivers For Microsoft Surge In 2010

Microsoft Looking Like An End-Stage Company


After almost two decades, CAD software developer Autodesk returned to the Macintosh with the release of AutoCAD for Mac. The developer also embraced Apple's other product lines, unveiling the AutoCAD WS mobile application for the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. AutoCAD for Mac is now available in the United States and Europe. The mobile app is available for free download via iTunes.

SEE ALSO:

AutoCAD Returns To Mac

HP Wields Blade Workstations For Mechanical CAD

Construction & Engineering: Building On A Strong Tech Foundation

Autodesk Aims for More China Licensees


The browser war became even more heated in 2010 as the leaders unveiled new betas and releases, battling it out for market share and user clicks. In November, Mozilla released the Firefox 4 beta for mobile, available in 10 languages for Android or Maemo devices. Firefox beta 4 steadily moves ahead, now featuring multi-touch support for Windows 7. Speaking of Windows, Microsoft unveiled the beta of Internet Explorer 9, positioning its latest iteration around speed, performance, interoperability, and graphics capabilities. For its part, in September Google took the wraps off Chrome 7, featuring new capabilities such as WebM video support, form auto fill support, and a simplified user interface. Not to be outdone, Operareleased beta 11 of its eponymous browser. In addition, startups such as RockMelt integrated the world of social media with browsers, entering the space with a new concept and product.

SEE ALSO:

IE Bests Rival Browsers On Malware Security

Flock Refresh Trumps RockMelt

Clicking Through Opera 11 Browser Beta

RockMelt Social Web Browser Revealed

Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 Beta Revealed

Firefox 4 Speed Increases In Beta 7


With its release of Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud, Canonical enabled organizations to create their own clouds and, if desired, connect them to Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). The roll-out in November 2009 helped propel open source into the growing market for private clouds, an area ripe with opportunity in segments such as government.

"Ubuntu's Enterprise Cloud combines Ubuntu Linux with Eucalyptus and other cloud management tools. Red Hat Enterprise Linux and other Linux variants can also be used in combination with other open source programs to create cloud environments," said Michael Biddick, president and CTO of Fusion PPT, a consulting and IT services firm. , wrote in InformationWeek.

SEE ALSO:

Open Source Clouds On The Rise

How To Build Your Own Linux Cloud

Roll Your Own Ubuntu Private Cloud

Ubuntu 11 'Natty Narwhal' Alpha Released

Canonical Releases Ubuntu 10.10


When it was released to much acclaim in November, Call of Duty: Black Ops quickly shattered sales records, grossing more than $650 million worldwide in its first five days. The game, for Microsoft Xbox, easily surpassed the prior record-holder, "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2." Released Nov. 9 by publisher Activision, "Black Ops" brought in a record $360 million in sales during the first 24 hours.

Xbox, Black Ops Top U.S. Gaming Market

'Call Of Duty' Topples 5-Day Sales Record

COD Black Ops: Xbox Beats PlayStation

'Call Of Duty: Black Ops' Shatters Sales Record

Top 12 PC Games Of All Time


Having lost its lawsuit against Novell and IBM, SCO Group in September announced it would try to sell-off most of its Unix business, following bankruptcy court approval of the deal. In 2004, SCO sued Novell, claiming Novell owed it millions of dollars. The vendor also tried to add IBM to the mix, saying that SCO had rights to Unix code that had been used in open source code. The jury's ruling in favor of Novell was widely viewed as a ruling for open source. SCO filed an appeal.

SEE ALSO:

SCO Group To Sell Unix Business

Novell Wins Unix Case Against SCO

SCO Terminates CEO Darl McBride


Facebook came into its own, exploding to 500 million users -- and growing. Time named founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg its Person of the Year, "The Social Network" movie sealed his myth in celluloid, and the social media mover-and-shaker was immortalized on the Simpsons. The kudos continued when, in December, employees named Facebook the best place to work, according to Glassdoor.com, and gave Zuckerberg a 96 rating out of a possible 100. However, Facebook had its share of detractors, coming under fire for its frequent changes, many of which were criticized for putting users' privacy at risk.

SEE ALSO:

Facebook Ranked Best Place To Work

Facebook Rejected Microsoft's Acquisition Offer

Facebook Profiles Get Makeover

Facebook Gets Nod To Trademark 'Face'

Facebook Traffic Up 60%

Facebook Becoming Ultimate CRM System


After evaluating Google's Gmail, the University of California Davis opted to end the pilot program because faculty members doubted Google's ability to keep their correspondence private. In a letter, dated April 30, the UC Davis group cited Google's inclusion of Buzz, a social networking tool, as part of the reason for their decision. Buzz, however, was not part of the evaluation package at UC Davis, said Jeff Keltner, a business development manager in the Google Apps for Education group. The university continued its quest for "a more flexible and effective central email system."

SEE ALSO:

Exclusive: Gmail Ditched By Major University

Google's Privacy Practices Clouded By Lawsuit

Google Offers Exchange Insurance

Microsoft Calls Google Gmail 'Deficient'


The music was over for song-sharing site LimeWire after it lost a copyright-infringement case filed by the record industry. U.S. district judge Kimba Wood of New York then filed an injunction, effectively shuttering the company's doors after she disabled the "searching, downloading, uploading, file trading, and/or file distribution functionality." CEO George Searle said LimeWire remained open for business, was committed to the music industry, and was working on a new music service.

SEE ALSO:

LimeWire Ordered To Shut Down

LimeWire Liable For Music Copyright Infringement

Bill Would Ban P2P Use By Federal Employees

File Sharing Exposes Supreme Court Justice's Personal Information

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