Sarah's Year in Review: 2005

Dennis Faas's picture

As I reminisce about the year gone by, I realize that there was a lot going on. What really stands out for me as the top tech stories of 2005 are as follows:

1. Google. Google becomes a powerhouse company, rolling out beta after beta. Some bomb (Web Accelerator); some are so fantastic I wonder how I lived without them (Gmail/Gmail Mobile), and some just confuse (GoogleBase). Still, Google makes it known they are a force to be reckoned with. Watch out for Google's online office suite in 2006. You know it's coming.

2. Tagging. Everyone is tagging now. Tag photos on flickr. Tag bookmarks on Tag blog posts on Technorati. Tagging is Web 2.0 and the future of organizing information on the web.

3. Everyone who is anyone (and under 30) has a MySpace profile. The MySpace music scene explodes. MySpace breaks news artists online, releases an album, starts a label, and basically thumbs their nose at the traditional music industry.

4. The rise of AJAX. Not a technology, but a new way of bringing technologies together, Ajax makes the web look new again. And it's everywhere. For example: use Ajax to drag and drop items on your Google Personalized Home page, spy on stories at (the Web 2.0 slashdot), use free online office software, IM without an app, and much more.

5. The end of free-for-all file sharing. P2P Networks get shut down. 12 year olds are sued by the RIAA. Meanwhile, those who want legal content have more options than ever. iTunes starts offering TV shows for $1.99. Movielink offers hundreds of major releases. AOL announces In2TV. Tivo joins forces with Yahoo! to allow users to schedule recordings via the web.

6. The rise of podcasts. Podcasts are hotter than ever. Free content on a variety of topics is appealing to many. Plus, easy access via iTunes takes podcasts' popularity to the next level. Almost everyone with an mp3 player subscribes to a few. Podcasters have an expo. Advertisers get on board. Corporate podcasts show up, hoping to jump on the bandwagon. Expect to see more offerings in 2006, and expect the most popular to find ways to monetize their shows.

7. The XBox 360. Everyone wants one. No one can get one. People who do get them report crashing, but it doesn't diminish the demand. Frustration sets in as millions of kids are disappointed on Christmas day.

8. DVRs are in more homes than ever. Nielson realizes they need to start counting who records shows, not just who watches them live in order to get true ratings. Fast-forwarding through commercials means more blantant product placement within shows. Networks force you to upgrade to a DVR by pitting their most popular shows against each other.

9. Apple innovation. iPods with color screens play videos. TV available for download at iTunes. Apple makes what is essentially a flash drive (the Shuffle) sexy. And most shockingly of all: Macs are to have 'Intel inside' very soon.

10. XML. Every blog, every site has a feed. Feeds can be added to your homepage, be it MSN, Yahoo, or Google. Feed reeders as free-standing apps decline in popularity as online feed readers/reader services and browsers with feed reading built-in get popular.

Last, but not least: FIREFOX

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