Best of the Rest

So many stories so little time. While these stories may not have made our top 10 they each caused a huge stir in 2011.

Google
Google finally launched its Facebook rival, but while its privacy controls gained early support it has been losing traction fast. The trouble is it cannot afford to fail.

iPhone 4S
To a world expecting an iPhone 5, the release of the iPhone 4S was initially a disappointment, but it still broke sales records on release.  The iPhone 5, due out in 2012, is said to be Steve Jobs' final product.

Chaos at HP

The company was a farcical soap opera in 2011. It was going to sell webOS and abandon PC manufacturing then after months of speculation it didn't. webOS was made open source and PC making will continue, for now.

Duke Nukem Forever
In development since 1996, the game that had become synonymous with vapourware was finally released in June 2011. Many questioned if it could be any good after such a lengthy time to market, it wasn't.

Kindle Fire
Unveiled in September, Amazon's alternative to the Apple iPad is the first tablet which looks capable of stepping out of its immense shadow. Early reviews are mixed, but sales have been high with the combination of bargain pricing and tight integration with Amazon's huge media store proving a hit. The Fire will be launched in the UK in January.

The Death of Flash
Not technically, but Adobe's decision to stop mobile development of the controversial platform in November to make way for HTML5 is the beginning of the end. We should all be thankful, but respectful.

Spotify Hits the Big Time
2011 was the year Spotify hit the big time. A landmark deal with Facebook and the release of its own app store have shown it is determined to stand toe-to-toe with Apple and Amazon who continue to rely on Cloud Locker alternatives. Premium subscribers leapt from 1m to 2.5m, controversy rose and 2012 will be massive.

Microsoft Buys Skype
Announced in May, the $8.5bn price tag was huge, but Skype will prove key to the VoIP future of Microsoft's handsets while also uniting all its platforms from Xbox to Windows 8 with a universal communication system.

Blocking Newzbin

Overlooked by many, BT's decision to ban access to the controversial Usenet indexing site in July set a dangerous precedent of web censorship in the UK in 2011. Worse still politicians were falling over themselves to applaud the decision showing their digital education still has a long way to go. In its own way as tragic as 2010's Digital Economy Bill, we hope many will start 2012 by embracing the alternative viewpoint: Tragic Irony: The Lost Opportunity In Blocking Newzbin.

 
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