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Top wireless and mobile tech stories of 2010

Apple, Google and Microsoft among those dominating the wireless technology headlines

By Network World staff, Network World
May 10, 2010 11:21 AM ET

Network World - The year in wireless networks and mobility started with a bang at CES 2010 in Las Vegas and the pace has only accelerated, with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Research in Motion, Verizon and the rest one-upping each other seemingly every other day. Here's a recap of the year's top stories, as covered by Network World and its sister publications within IDG:

January

AT&T branches out beyond the iPhone: The carrier announced plans for its first phones based on Google Android as well as plans for Palm WebOS-based smartphones.

Google Nexus One debuts: Yes, Google really is selling its own Android-based touchscreen smartphone, though technically it is manufactured by HTC. The phone was welcomed with mostly favorable reviews, though sales hadn't exactly skyrocketed during the first third of the year.

Apple, HP and Microsoft bring you the Year of the Tablet: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer used his CES keynote address to show off three Windows 7 tablet computers, including the HP Slate that during the spring of 2010 became the center of speculation that HP might ditch Windows 7 on the device and go with WebOS instead. During CES some wondered why Ballmer didn't discuss the rumored Microsoft Courier tablet, but by April that was clear: Microsoft confirmed the project had been axed. Separately, Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the iPad tablet computer, more than 1 million of which were sold in less than a month.  

Lawsuits and more lawsuits: The family of author Philip K. Dick sued Google over its use of the names "Android" and "Nexus One"; Kodak filed suit with the U.S. International Trade Commission against Apple and RIM for allegedly infringing on patents related to digital imaging technology; and patent litigation between Motorola and RIM heated up in January, with Motorola filing a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission alleging that RIM engages in unfair trade practices by importing and selling products that infringe five Motorola patents. Nokia and Apple also were at each other's throats in the courtroom.

February

Symbian goes open source: Symbian completed the process of open sourcing its entire code base four months in advance of its June deadline, a process set in motion by Nokia's buyout of Symbian in 2008. This sets up a battle vs. open source competitor Android.

Mobile operators unite: AT&T, Verizon and a slew of international carriers join forces via the Wholesale Applications Community in an effort to deliver an open marketplace for mobile applications -- and a competitor to Apple's App Store. But can they really all get along?

Nokia, Intel merge their mobile operating systems: Intel's Moblin and Nokia's Maemo come together in a Linux-based mobile operating system for everything from smartphones to netbooks.

Microsoft airs Windows Phone 7: Microsoft gives mobile networking one more try with the introduction of Windows Phone 7 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the company's radically redesigned follow-on to Windows Mobile. One interesting twist with Windows Phone 7 is that no native apps will run on the new operating system. 

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