Gates, open source, Azure and the cloud

2008: Software stories of the year

2008: Software stories of the year

There have been some big changes in the software industry over the past year - with big changes at Microsoft and cloud computing starting to have a real impact. silicon.com takes a look back at these and a few of the other big stories in software that got the industry buzzing in 2008.

Bill Gates' legacy: A modern day Henry Ford
In June, Bill Gates stepped down as chairman of Microsoft - the company he founded and made into the juggernaut we know today - after more than thirty years. silicon.com's coverage included an analysis of Gates' impact on the world of technology and beyond that likened him to a modern-day Henry Ford.

Five ways Microsoft could change after Gates
Looking forward to the future, silicon.com considered five ways in which Microsoft could change following Gates' departure. These included a greater acceptance of open source and the web.

Microsoft's cloud has an Azure tinge
Sticking with Microsoft it soon broke new ground when it announced its internet–hosted Windows operating system, Azure, in October. Although there was a lot of interest around Windows 7, the successor to Vista, Azure could arguably be much more important for the future of the company.

Open source: 'World's largest software company'
But of course it's not just about the big proprietary software houses - research suggests open source is displacing proprietary applications in many large companies, eating into the revenues of traditional software vendors. Expect more of this in 2009.

Chrome arrives
Google launched its Chrome web browser in 2008 and silicon.com quickly found five ways in which the project might not make the big time - and in the interests of a balanced point of view, silicon.com also considered how Chrome could potentially take over the world.

In a busy year for Google it also launched the Android mobile phone operating system. silicon.com took a look at what made this such a big deal.

Salesforce.com teams up with web 2.0 titans
CEO and founder of software-as-a-service vendor salesforce.com, Marc Benioff made some big announcements at November's Dreamforce user conference in San Francisco. The company unveiled deals with Facebook and Amazon.

SAP CEO defends support price hike
SAP continued to get a hard time following its decision to raise prices for software support, forcing co-CEO Léo Apotheker to defend his company's decision to silicon.com. Many users were understandably unhappy at the move.

Artificial intelligence put to the Turing Test
silicon.com spoke to Hugh Loebner, the founder of a competition designed to find the first true example of artificial intelligence according to a definition set out by Alan Turing. In a fascinating interview, Loebner explained why he's so committed to the prize and what he thinks the future holds for artificial intelligence.