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16 journalist tech highlights of 2009

Posted by Danny Whatmough on 15th December 2009

As another year comes to an end, we’ve asked the great and the good of tech journalism to review the year.

From netbooks and cloud computing to green IT and social media, here’s what they had to say:

[You can also read their predictions for 2010 here]

Charles Arthur, Technology Editor, the Guardian

1. Cloud computing – all over the place
2. Apple’s upward trend v Microsoft’s decline – the iPhone has become iconic and defined its sector; Microsoft has become less and less relevant to anything, though it still makes lots of money

Peter Judge, Editor eWeek Europe

3. Small level, netbooks getting too big for their boots
4. Big level, green data kit with a not so green sales pitch – bin your old servers and save money on electricity. Yes, but what about the environmental cost of the binned kit?

Sean Hannam, online editor, ERT

5. The year of the netbook – or the mini-notebook, with consumers snapping up these small, portable products that are designed for surfing the web. It is likely to be the fastest growing PC sector this year
6. iPod docks sector continued to be massive – with the iPod still being the consumer’s preferred choice of MP3 player – and the iPhone becoming more popular – the iPod docks market outperformed any other audio sector

Paul Carr, TechCrunch, Freelance

7. Apps that turn breaching our own privacy into fun game – Foursquare! Location-based Twittering!
8. People are finally paying for non-porn content – annoyingly what they’re paying for is social gaming. I mean, seriously? Farmville? Fucking hell

Chris Lake, Editor in Chief, Econsultancy

9. Increased usage of social media channels to complain about brands – it’s a lot easier to let off steam on the likes of Twitter and Facebook, compared with the pain of telephoning a customer ‘service’ centre. This tells us that customer services is broken, and in many cases it is
10. User centric web strategies FTW – more and more companies are putting consumers at the very heart of their plans. It’s the most obvious no-brainer in business. We’re seeing a firm commitment to the user experience, with increased spend on internal and external usability resources. That said, many firms still need to fix the ‘beautiful basics’ on their websites, as far as usability goes

Jim Martin, Deputy Editor, Computer Shopper

11.    IPTV – BBC’s iPlayer has become massive this year, and lots of other similar services from ITV, Five and Channel 4. Even YouTube now has full-length shows to watch. The days of scheduled programming (and the concept of channels) is beginning to fade
12.    GPS everywhere – We saw just about every kind of device get satnav, from phones to netbooks. Plus, cheap standalone satnavs mean that almost everyone has a satnav in their car now

Sean Hargrave, freelance

13.    The promotion of what ‘people like me think’ alongside search engines –  I think the only rival to Google long term is links and tips through social media. Think back more than a year ago and compare your discovery online to today and you’ll notice far more clicking on links and discovering info through Facebook and Twitter, and others
14.    Sales started to become a major part of marketing – as the recession bit, companies realised it doesn’t matter how many ‘hits’ they get, it’s all about sales. Yet I’m still stunned at how few brands take the time to de-duplicate restults and stop cannibalising their customers by, for example, spraying vouchers all over the web for people to use

Gareth Beavis, Tech Radar

15.    Thinner TVs – everyone was looking to see what would be the next big thing in TVs, and making them razor thin and LED backlit has meant that the OLED revolution has become a little less interesting to a number of people
16.    Blu-ray finally won the war, and it was full steam ahead for HD content. This, coupled with Sky HD becoming more prominent, meant that hi-def is quickly moving into the mainstream, which is a great thing

Danny Whatmough