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My Year In Review, And Yours

The end-of-the-year essay is pretty much unavoidable if you're a columnist. Some people write it as a best-of and worst-of list; others try to hand out new year's resolutions for the industry; others attempt to recap the most important points of the year's news. (See, for instance, my year-in-review columns for 2006, 2005 and 2004.)

This time around, I tried to think about what changes in 2007 would make the most difference in 2008. And in doing that, I realized they all had something in common--a newfound recognition by both consumers and producers of technology of the value of choice. That left me feeling more optimistic about this year than I thought I'd be (considering that most of my reviews seem to be negative).

So that's what I wrote... and, being a sometimes cynical type, I'm already wondering if I was altogether too positive about the outcome of these trends. Here's where you can tell me that.

But I'd also like to hear what you'd put in your own year-in-review assessment of 2007. What were your highlights of the year in technology? What were the low points? The comments are all yours...

By Rob Pegoraro  |  December 27, 2007; 7:07 AM ET
Categories:  The business we have chosen  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Unboxing Day
Next: Goodbye To 2007--And To Analog Cell Service


Maybe I'm in the minority but...I bought a new desktop and laptop this year. Both run Vista. Both worked ,with minimum effort, right out of the box. I remember all the tweaking I had to do on older systems just to get basic functions operating. Maybe I just have good mojo going on but I think computer manufacturers are doing a better job creating more stable systems.

Posted by: Tina | December 27, 2007 7:42 AM | Report abuse

The technology issue that I'm still working to comprehend was the media spectacle that was the iPhone. The press's reaction and hyping was just crazy. That level of excitement is reserved for the long-time Apple zealots.

FWIW, I've owned and used macs since the early 90s. So I'm generally an unquestioning supporter of the company, but somehow this product launch rubbed me the wrong way.

Posted by: Gman | December 27, 2007 8:01 AM | Report abuse

The technological highlight of my year: getting an iMac to replace my top-of-the-line Dell which expired after four years of light duty. I didn't want Vista because of its heavy-handed interference with music playback, and I definitely didn't want another Dell after an extremely negative experience with my first one.

I love the iMac, and the iWork and iLife productivity and creativity suites.

Second best gadget: my new Samsung cell phone offered through Verizon. It is a double-flip phone - vertical for number dialing, horizontal for texting. I text quite a bit and the QWERTY-based keyboard makes this easy and intuitive.

Posted by: NW DC | December 27, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Amazon's music download store is my favorite thing. It has almost everything available on iTunes, mostly cheaper, most with fewer restrictions. If Amazon would just develop a richer browsing interface for their MP3 download store (I still find myself browsing in iTunes and then heading over to Amazon to see if they have the same thing), they'd be golden.

Still waiting for Leopard to settle down a bit before upgrading, but if I can do that it'll be the biggest thing affecting me in 2008.

Posted by: Lindemann | December 27, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse


GMAIL -- It would sure be nice if Google didn't have to communicate with my computer several times a day TAKING WELL OVER A MINUTE EACH TIME.

If you have the Firefox browser, every time your [send] blue bar goes off in the lower right hand corner of your monitor [like it does when you send an e-mail] the left lower side of your monitor probably says something is occurring with GOOGLE after it. AND I DON'T EVEN HAVE THE ENHANCED VERSION OF THE BROSWER, i.e. translation services, etc.

Anyone else notice this ??? Don't think Internet Explorers browser shows this -- though it does show send for e-mail.


Anyone know how to get spell check for SeaMonkey ???

Posted by: | December 27, 2007 10:56 PM | Report abuse

It has been an Apple year. I got an iPhone for my birthday and it is a thing of joy, although the internet is not as fast as I would like it to be, either through WiFi or the AT&T network.
Got my daughter a third generation iPod Nano and she is thrilled with that, having had a 1st generation Nano.
Looking at a Mac Mini for the family. Always have been a PC person, but I think it is time to take a look at how the other half lives.

Posted by: Larry | December 28, 2007 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I think the US media mostly missed the bigger story behind the iPhone hype: that it's a ho-hum product in parts of Asia and Europe due to their superior networks which allow handhelds to function like an iPhone wishes it can perform here in the US. Few media outlets will examine why the US is technologically behind (or even acknowledge that the US is technologically retarded by comparison). Disclosure: I'm grateful for Apple Computers, er, Inc. every time I launch Final Cut Pro or sync my iPod to my iTunes. But maybe the Apple marketing is TOO good and stirs the product desire into a delirious frenzy which shadows the underlying infrastructure shortcomings. Which is a sexier (and easier) media story, early adopters waiting in line for the new iThing or governmental regulations enacted due to telecom lobbying?

Posted by: BoyHowdy | December 29, 2007 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Government regulations is always the more boring story.

Posted by: Lindemann | December 30, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

The hi-light of my year is occurring right now. I have received a very amusing "First Year Alexandria" commemorative stamp.

I'm forwarding it on as my way of saying thanks to you and your readers for all the technical advice written in a way that even I can understand it. As well as to put in a plug for "The First year Alexandria" New Year's gala.

Posted by: Boyd | December 31, 2007 2:39 AM | Report abuse

2007 was the year that HP personal computer sales really took off. In IDC's latest quarterly results, HP had a 19.6% worldwide market share, with 33.0% growth.

(Apple/Mac's worldwide market share is in the Others category, behind at least five other companies.) is now the best legal source of music, offering a choice of either CDs or DRM-free MP3s. As an added bonus, AmazonMP3 recently added Warner Music Group music to their MP3 offerings.

iPhone got the 2007 hype, but Nokia and Blackberry continue to be the industry leaders.

Last quarter alone, Nokia sold 111.7 million cell phone, according to IDC.

As for RIM/Blackberry:

"Revenue for the third quarter of fiscal 2008 was $1.67 billion, up 22% from $1.37 billion in the previous quarter and up 100% from $835.1 million in the same quarter of last year... Approximately 1.65 million BlackBerry(R) subscriber accounts were added in the quarter and over 3.9 million devices were shipped. The total BlackBerry subscriber account base at the end of the third quarter was approximately 12 million." -Bloomberg

Posted by: JohnJ | December 31, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone else look at Boyd's comment? I got hysterical after opening the picture. If any of my comments helped you Boyd, you more than repaid me. Thanks I needed the laugh.


Posted by: Larry | December 31, 2007 10:09 PM | Report abuse

I think one of the biggest flops of the last year had to be that even with Web 2.0 and Mobile 2.0, nobody had the two talking together. The iPhone made an okay attempt to provide "real web" experience on your cellphone, but they failed to provide a convenient way to push content except for their type-pad; and if you had chubby fingers, you spent more time hitting backspace than typing what you wanted.

Some developers thought that individual widgets would be the cure-all to our inability to access information on the Web. But very few mobile operators picked up these widgets on their carrier-decks, so consumers were left without accessibility.

I thought the point of the Mobile 2.0 revolution was to have easier access to multimedia, create more user-generated content, and have the ability to post that UGC to your favorite places.

There were a few shining spots within this paradox, like Ontela's PicDeck where I can send pictures anywhere I want from my camera phone as soon as I capture the image. Or Helio's MySpace widget, where I can update all of my voyeuristic friends on my daily activities.

Nonetheless, with the few successes, this was the year for little cross-connectivity in the 2.0 revolutions. Maybe we can hope for better in 2008, but until then, I can expect to use both my phone and laptop and not just one device.

Posted by: George S | January 2, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Very good year! Vista on the increase, Apple losing ground!

Posted by: stevenBallmer | January 3, 2008 9:17 AM | Report abuse

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