Tech in 2008: Innovations vs. Economic Hardship
This year's tech innovations didn't just present themselves as a gadget battle, but as a deeper, quieter struggle for how users access and use the new toys. All this was colored by the economic downturn that began in earnest as summer turned to autumn.
2008 was also the Year of the Cloud, wherein various established companies wooed customers to web-based versions of traditionally-desktop things like word processing and data storage.
The Web 2.0 battleground remained not just a fight for users of services, but a fight for developers. Competing standards for online applications, media, identity, and social networks duked it out in 2008 and will continue to do so in 2009. Many of the battles put open-source standards--such as OpenID for identity--against "walled gardens" run by single companies.