2010: A Review - PC Retail

2010: A Review

A look at some of the tech stories that made headlines this year
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JANUARY

*The year starts as it goes on, and on, and on – with industry buzz focusing on Apple’s rumoured tablet. The month kicks off with speculation about the ‘iSlate’, and Steve Jobs finally unveils the iPad later in the month.

*Meanwhile, 3D is the key trend at CES, with most major vendors announcing new products featuring the technology.

    FEBRUARY

    *Google is again rumoured to be investigating the possibilities of branded mobile PCs.

    *Research by a UK gift retailer shows that IT workers are the most thoughtful when it comes to buying gifts for their loved ones.

    *Microsoft reveals its new Windows Phone 7 Series mobile operating system.

    *European and US regulators approve Microsoft’s search engine partnership with Yahoo, paving the way for the firms to take on Google.

    *Intel rolls out its biggest product launch in ten years with the 2010 Core family of chips.

      MARCH

      *Apple announces that the iPad will be available in the UK from late April.

      *Sony and Intel join forces with Google to bring a new generation of internet TVs and set top boxes to marktet, in a project called Google TV.

      *An Apple fan moulds the head of Steve Jobs from mozzarella and posts the results to a cookery website. Ken, the creator of the ‘Steve Jobs Cheese Head’, has also created a recipe for ‘Spicy Steve Nachos Supreme’.

      *DSGi powers ahead with its revamp plans, choosing 60 sites to become combined Currys and PC World stores.

      *HP faces another round of strikes in the UK, as the row between management and union employees continues over jobs and pay cuts.

      *The third PCR Awards take place at Kensington’s Royal Garden Hotel, with Microsoft picking up Software Publisher and Campaign of the Year, as well as the prestigious Grand Prix. EntaTech cleans up in the distribution category, taking home the Sales Team and Distributor of the Year prizes.

        APRIL

        *Craft retailers should start stocking software alongside items such as knitting needles and glitter pens, a Serif exec says, bizarrely. She adds that getting these retailers onboard is “a challenge”. Hardly surprising…

        *HP signs an agreement that will see it acquire smartphone vendor Palm.

        *Best Buy’s flagship UK store opens its doors in Thurrock, bringing the US retailer its biggest opening day sales ever.

          MAY

          *Microsoft claims to be “quietly confident” about the imminent launch of Office 2010, after clocking millions of beta downloads and receiving positive feedback from retail and reseller partners.

          *Channel Expo makes its London debut, filling Olympia’s National Hall with 94 exhibitors and 3,400 visitors.

          *Apple delays the UK launch of iPad due to overwhelming demand in the US. The device eventually hits British stores at the tail-end of May, with many retailers opening early and consumers queuing to buy the device.

          *Foxconn says that it is looking to change the way it operates its factories, following a spate of suicides at its Shenzhen site. Apple, HP and Dell reveal that they are investigating conditions at the plant.

          *Apple’s market value overtakes that of Microsoft for the first time ever. At the close of business at the New York Stock Exchange on May 27th, Apple’s market value was $222 billion, while Microsoft stood at $219bn.

            JUNE

            *Asus becomes the latest vendor to take on the iPad, lining up its rival Eee Pad.

            *HP reveals that it will cut 9,000 jobs worldwide over the next few years.

            *Toshiba announces that it will launch the world’s first 3D Blu-ray laptop in July in Japan.

            *Heralded as the biggest leap since Apple’s original smartphone, the iPhone 4 is unveiled to huge cheers at the Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco.

            *TVs that can talk to their owners are now a reality, thanks to British firm Ocean Blue Software, whose text-to-speech technology is being built into set-top boxes.

            *Microsoft unveils a slimmer, quieter version of its Xbox console.

            *At the same time, Microsoft Office 2010 officially goes on sale.

            *DSGi rebrands itself Dixons Retail.

              JULY

              *HP is set to make redundant 934 of its UK employees as part of its plans to cut 9,000 jobs worldwide.

                *11 million tablet devices will be sold by the end of 2010, according to findings from ABI Research. The report suggests that Apple’s iPad will comprise the vast majority of sales.

                *More bad news for Foxconn employees, as it emerges that the company has inadvertently poisoned 250 Indian workers, following a pesticide spray at a plant in Chennai.


                AUGUST

                *Amazon starts selling its Kindle e-reader in the UK.

                *HP CEO Mark Hurd resigns following claims of sexual harrassment. The investigation finds that Hurd filed improper expense claims and did not disclose his personal relationship with a contractor hired by the company.

                *A gaggle of hardcore Apple fanboys brave the unpredictable British weather to camp overnight outside the firm’s new Covent Garden store.

                *Research conducted by a dating site finds that iPhone users have had more sexual partners than other smartphone owners.

                *Intel agrees to acquire security specialist McAfee in a deal worth $7.68 billion.

                *Sharp reveals that it will launch an e-reader, which it claims will rival the iPad.

                *Tesco launches a dedicated website for its tech support service, highlighting its increasing ambitions in the sector.

                *Orange is reported to be working on an own-branded tablet that significantly undercuts the price of the iPad.

                  *Hanspree is to enter the Android tablet market with the introduction of a 10-inch.


                  SEPTEMBER

                  *Archos launches five new Android tablets, with screen sizes ranging from 4.3 to 10.1 inches, and prices starting from £99.

                  *Samsung launches the Galaxy Tab – its first tablet.

                  *Philips and Dutch firm Dimenco showcase glasses-free 3D technology at IFA, promising consumer TVs by 2013.

                  *Sony uses the event to celebrate 3D and demonstrate the capabilities of its prototype 3D Vaio laptop.

                  *ViewSonic unveils a new ten-inch tablet, which it claims is the first to run dual operating systems.

                  *Intel reveals that it will release a hardware-based security product in 2011, following its acquisition of McAfee.

                  *Fujifilm launches a new camera that can create both still photos and movies in 3D.

                  *Comet unveils a rebranding plan, including a new logo, tagline and in-store appearance.

                    *Designer sunglasses brand Oakley announces that it has created new 3D glasses which supposedly optimise the technology used in 3D cinema.

                    *RIM launches a new seven-inch tablet called the BlackBerry Playbook.


                    OCTOBER

                    *Stephen Fry makes a surprise appearance at Microsoft’s official Windows Phone 7 launch event in London. Six smartphones running the new operating system are unveiled.

                    *Toshiba unveils what it claims are the world’s first LCD TVs that let viewers watch 3D content without special glasses.

                    *Despite their name, laptops should not be left on your lap for too long, doctors warn. Two Swiss docs publish a paper describing ten cases of rashes caused by notebooks. The (made-up) condition even has a name – erythema ab igne.

                    *HP is to cut another 1,300 jobs in the UK and move production overseas. The news is branded as ‘butchery’ by the Unite union.

                    *Sony reveals a new line of internet-enabled TVs, complete with Google TV software.

                    *The Technology Channels Assocation merges with US trade body CompTIA.

                      *HP finally launches its first Windows-based tablet, the Slate 500.

                      NOVEMBER

                      *Asus asks users to share their motherboard stories in a global competition to find people who “have done amazing things with their motherboard”.

                      *Prime Minister David Cameron announces plans to create a technological business hub in London’s East End, to rival Silicon Valley in the US.

                      *The Queen joins the social networking revolution via the British Monarchy Facebook page.

                      *Retailers hold special midnight openings for the UK launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops. The game shifts 1.4m units in one day, notching up £58m in revenue for retail.

                      *Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Kinect device goes on sale in the UK.

                      *Hannspree opens a 1,483 square foot store in London’s Westfield shopping centre.

                      *PCR launches iPhone and iPad apps.

                      *Facebook rolls out a new email and messaging system, dubbed Facebook Messages.

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