2001: The Year in Review - Page 2

 By Drew Bird
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Also new on the OS front was the release of Mac OS X. Built on a Unix based foundation and sporting a new front end that had people ooh'ing and aah'ing from the beginning, OS X delivered the promise of great things to come with over 20,000 applications being under development at the time of release.

Still in the PC arena, early in September the PC industry appeared to be caught off guard when Hewlett Packard announced that it was to buy PC making rival Compaq for $25 billion in shares. The merger, which is now being vigorously discouraged by members of the Hewlett family, would make for a formidable force in the PC market. The proposed merger was an interesting diversion for the PC industry, which had one of its worst years in memory. Sales were down across the board and the prices of new PC's dropped in an effort to compensate. This was good news for the consumers who were able to get their hands on desktops and laptops for prices they never thought they see, but shareholders looked on in desperation for exactly the same reason.

The drop in price most likely had a hand in the increasing sales of laptop systems, which once again gained throughout the year on their deskbound counterparts. The increasing sales of portables is a recurring trend which, research suggests, will see one in four PC sales being a notebook within just a few short years.

Another major happening was the release back in May of Intel's new Itanium processor. The 64-bit processor heralded a new era in personal computing. Not surprisingly, AMD are not far behind and will not be too upset at the fact that the Itanium is having some, shall we say, momentum problems at this point. The lack of compatible 64-bit OSs has done little to spur interest in the Itanium to date, but upcoming releases and a brighter economy might remedy some of the Intel's problems.

In October, Novell released NetWare 6 to the world, though in typical Novell style, the only ones who actually got to hear about it was their PR agency and the Novell technical community - in other words the very people who didn't need to be told. Still, the revamped OS picked up its fair share of awards within the first few months including a 'Best of Comdex award', won at a more low-key event than in many years. The accolades heaped on NetWare 6 displeased some at Microsoft who thought they had tamed that shrew, and so they started poking holes in it. Novell's reaction was to launch a campaign called why they lie. According to Novell, Microsoft's claims were not truthful. Interesting.

Drew Bird (MCT, MCNI) is a freelance instructor and technical writer. He has been working in the IT industry for 13 years and currently lives in Kelowna, BC., Canada..

This article was originally published on Dec 31, 2001
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