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Top Tech Stories of 2011 for Developers and IT Pros

iStock 000017275233XSmallAs we approach the end of 2011, it seems appropriate to look back at some of the stories that had the biggest impact on developers and IT pros. And there was plenty of news, that's for sure. Much of it had to do with the introduction of new products, the end of some familiar ones and others that were for all intents and purposes put out to pasture as open source projects.

It was certainly an interesting year for developers and IT Pros as you had to learn to navigate a constantly shifting landscape and figure out how to proceed. It was not an easy task and the speed of change continues to accelerate.

With that in mind, let's look at some of the big stories from this year:

Adobe Ends Mobile Flash & Open Sources Flex

Without a doubt, one of the biggest stories for mobile developers this year was Adobe's decision to end mobile Flash. After much haranguing from the late Steve Jobs, it seems that even Adobe realized it could make more money developing tools for HTML5, then it could fighting it out with mobile Flash.

One of the implications of this move was the effective end of Flex, Adobe's Flash development environment, which Adobe released as an open source tool.

HP Dumps the TouchPad & Open Sources webOS

In a move that sounds eerily familiar, HP spent months developing the TouchPad tablet, only to pull it from the market after 6 weeks, leaving the developer community in disarray and most of the tech world shaking its collective head.

More recently, HP decided to open source webOS, but for what purpose wasn't clear. Without any clear hardware vendor supporting it, it's hard to imagine that the project will go anywhere.

Big Data Takes the Big Stage

It was hard to avoid the term Big Data this year, and in spite of the fact, it was clearly the buzz word du jour, it doesn't take away from the fact that Big Data is going to have a big impact on enterprise computing in the future. And we saw the various vendors, include HP and Oracle and IBM present their Big Data solutions.

Amazon Produces Low-cost Android Tablet

Even as HP entered and just as quickly left the tablet stage, Amazon presented its own tablet, the Kindle Fire. Priced at $199 it is much cheaper than the iPad, although it's not exactly a fair comparison either. Most likely you won't be seeing the Fire in the enterprise, but if you do, you'll need to deal with a highly customized version of Android, the impact of which is not entirely clear yet.

Microsoft Introduces Metro; Announces End of .Net

As though your heads weren't spinning enough already, Microsoft introduced Metro, its new all-purpose OS for the desktop, tablet and phone; which uses the tile interface you've seen in Windows Phone 7. Even though Microsoft was trying to move developers toward Metro, and announced .Net's eventual demise, it didn't mean it was going anywhere any time soon.

Google Buys Motorola Mobility

Google made deeper moves into the hardware business this year when it bought Motorola Mobility in August. It was another mixed message from Google for developers. Would Google be your partner or your competitor as you develop Android devices and applications. It was a move that certainly had to leave handset makers wondering if they would playing on an even playing field in the future.

Those are some of the big stories from this year. What did we miss? Share your ideas in the comments section.
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