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August 2011: The Month that Rocked Technology

  
  
  
fissureWhen we look back in the history of technology, this month may well be remembered as a turning point. When you think about the news over the last two weeks, it's enough to make your head spin.

Last Tuesday, Google announced it was buying Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion, then on Thursday HP announced it was killing the TouchPad and webOS, getting out of the PC business, buying Autonomy for $10 billion and recasting itself as a software/services/consulting company.

While we were all getting our arms around those monumental decisions, Steve Jobs dropped the next bomb when he released a brief statement last night that he was resigning as CEO of Apple.

Wow, that's quite a month and there's still a few days left for Microsoft or Facebook to do something to shake things up a little more.

From the perspective of an IT pro or developer--the people we consider a key part of our audience in this blog--it has to be disorienting. After all, these three companies (along with Facebook and Microsoft) represent what I have always called the Titans of Technology.

They are constantly clashing, trying to get the upper hand on one another while forcing their competitors to innovate to keep up. It's always been a healthy competition for us as consumers, but when this much change happens this quickly, it's hard to digest.

These companies after all represent the creme de la creme of tech brands. For all their faults -- and there are many criticisms we can level at each of these companies-- they still are the elite brands in our business and when they make big moves like this, we justifiably get nervous.

Steve Jobs may be one of the most important CEOs ever -- and that's not just hyperbole speaking. HP has been one of our most stalwart hardware companies and suddenly it wants out of the business. Google has for the most part been a cloud and mobile software company and quite unexpectedly it wants to be a handset manufacturer.

We seem to be at a cross-roads for these major brands and that this happened all at once is really an amazing coincidence. It's not often we see such a confluence of enormous change in a single industry in such a short period of time -- yet we are experiencing that this month.

Nobody has a crystal ball, so none of us can realistically predict what all of this change means, but we can be reasonably sure that there will be some fall-out as a result.

And when we look back in years to come at August, 2011 we will certainly remember it as a time our industry experienced great change, and when some of the brands we have come to trust the most left us wondering what would happen next.
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