To put together this list of notable events for 2009, I went back over old issues to see what we were talking about. What struck me besides the fact that a lot of really great stuff actually happened was that you can almost hear a continuous whine through the copy (mostly mine)—I’m tired, I don’t want to do this any more, when is it going to get better? In the future, would you please tell me to just shut up and get on with it? I’d appreciate it.
The thing is, it really wasn’t such a bad year in terms of the work that was done. As has been noted throughout the year, money has been tight but development has continued. Just have a look:
- Carol Bartz joins Yahoo! and displays a facility with colorful language. So far, she’s raised the stock price and some blood pressures but the jury is still out.
- Apple pulls out of several major trade shows including MacWorld, NAB, and IBC. The focus is on iPhone and does it their way.
- Intel unleashes Atom and redefines the computer. Over the year, the Netbook will threaten conventional laptops until the market sorts itself out towards the end of the year.
- Nvidia introduces 3D Vision and gamers put their 3D glasses back on.
- ATI exists the mobile business, sells it off to Qualcomm and a bunch of worthy Finns discover the beauties of San Diego or they’ve started new enterprises including mobile software development teams at Lots, Draw Elements, and Ardites.
- Microsoft lays off 5,000 people in the largest company wide layoff of its history. Most of the wreckage is in the game groups. Aces Studio shut down and Flight Sim crashes to a fiery grave.
- Creative announces ZiiLabs, a new chip design house built form the 3DLabs and Creative design teams. They announced the ZMS-05 ARM-based SOC. Most recently the company announced a new 3.5G/4G smart phone platform in China.
- Microsoft introduces Windows Mobile 6.5 and nothing happens.
- Palm rolls out the Treo and gets a second chance.
- Steve Perlman launches OnLive at GDC, nay sayers shake their heads as nay sayers are wont to do. By the end of the year, OnLive is working, and Investor Autodesk is running major apps using the technology.
- Wide gamut color LED displays enter the market at the $2,000 range. HP leads the charge with Dream Color, Portrait Displays develops software to help users get “true” results.
- Twitter, Facebook, and Social Networking go mainstream, big time. (And, by the way, JPR has just introduced a report on the subject by industry veteran Brad DeGraf.
- Alioscopy introduces 3D monitors using lenticular technology that eliminates “stupid glasses.” The monitors, part of a French ecosystem that includes monitors, cameras, and software, arrive just as Philips leaves the field after deciding commercialization of lenticular technology will take too long. The French are concentrating on digital displays.
- The enchanting Coraline arrives from director Henry Selick, and redefines 3D animation, stop motion, and obsessive behavior by filmmakers. The movie, knocked out of the theaters by Jonas Brothers 3D, will go down in history because its short run underlined the desperate need for more 3D theaters if 3D movies are to thrive.
- Steve Jobs returns to Apple with a vengeance. New iPhones, iPods with video, new Macs, new iTV services, but the best is yet to come—the world spends 2009 speculating about new Apple tablet—the rebirth of Newton, according to some.
- Unprecedented numbers of startups in web 3D arrive including Animeeple, Evolver, and Youwalk. Khronos announces new Web3D standard for accelerated 3D on the web.
- Mental Images shows RealityServer on the job—realistic 3D renderings accessible online from any client.
- Rendering takes center stage at Siggraph 2009 as Larrabee and Caustic threaten to change the economies of scale. New allegiances evolve for Lightworks, mental images, and Luxology. In December, Intel throws a confusion bomb and backs away from Larrabee.
- ATI introduces EyeFinity, which enables up to six displays on one card thanks to the magic of high bandwidth DisplayPort and mini-DisplayPort connectors.
- Nvidia and Cuda define the early stages of HPC. Autodesk puts Cuda to work to optimize Moldflow, declaring that the gains in performance justify developing for Nvidia’s graphics
- New opportunities in embedded systems include eBooks. Adobe introduces eBook development tools and fosters an open market for non-Kindle eBooks. Marvell introduces the Armada platform for this market. Barnes and Nobel’s Nook arrives, followed by Spring Design’s Alex.