2010: The year that brought no escape from the cloud

The software stories that made the headlines in 2010

The software stories that made the headlines in 2010

As we prepare to say goodbye to 2010, silicon.com takes a look back at the biggest software stories of the year.

Cloud computing dominated the headlines in 2010 with Microsoft, SAP and even the UK government investing in the technology.

Microsoft's cloud efforts focused on its Windows Azure cloud computing platform, which the company began charging for in February. In June silicon.com caught up with Microsoft president of server and tools Bob Muglia for an update on how take-up and development of the platform is going, in: Windows Azure: Inside Microsoft's cloud computing strategy.

Microsoft's cloud line-up expanded further in October, as the company announced a cloud version of its Office productivity suite, known as Office 365. Initially available as a beta, the full version of Office 365 will be launched in 2011: Office 365: Microsoft puts its Office suite in the cloud.

SAP was another software giant adopting the cloud. After a lengthy development programme, it launched its long-awaited on-demand ERP system Business ByDesign to all customers in the summer. The release was explored in Cheat Sheet: SAP Business ByDesign.

Software vendors weren't the only ones interested in cloud computing though. The government unveiled its G-Cloud project aimed at creating a secure cloud computing infrastructure for government services, aimed at slashing millions of pounds from public sector IT spending.

Government CIO John Suffolk explained the rationale behind the project and how it will work, in: Inside the G-Cloud: Whitehall's grand cloud computing plan unveiled.

Suffolk wasn't the only CIO banging the drum for the cloud. A CIO Jury poll on silicon.com found CIOs were also coming around to the idea of cloud computing with concerns about security and reliability becoming less of an obstacle to rollouts. Most respondents said cloud computing is now part of their IT strategy - a significant shift compared with a year earlier: Cloud computing wins over CIOs as deployments begin.

Social networking was yet again a hot topic in 2010 and silicon.com editor Steve Ranger pondered whether Facebook and Twitter are bringing people together or pushing them apart in: Is Facebook bad for your soul?

While cloud and social networking may have been the buzzwords of 2010, traditional on-premise software was alive and kicking as Windows 7 continued its march onto desktops.

Just six months after its launch, Microsoft said one in 10 PCs in the world was running Windows 7 with global licence sales hitting 240 million by October: Windows 7 now on one in 10 of world's PCs. In addition, a third of business users said they were planning to switch to the OS in 2010: Windows 7: One in three will upgrade this year.

Microsoft also launched the latest version of its Office software suite, Office 2010. The new software included new versions of the Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Access and SharePoint: Cheat Sheet: Office 2010.

Oracle also shed some light on its software plans in 2010, with CEO Larry Ellison announcing at Oracle OpenWorld that the company's Fusion Applications suite would be ready in 2011.

The Fusion Applications have been in development for several years and bring together much of the technology Oracle has acquired in recent years into a suite of applications built on a common middleware platform: Oracle Fusion Applications ready in 2011, says CEO Ellison.