When you sit there with a glass of mulled wine this Christmas, think about what a great technology year 2008 has been.
We’ve had some hot gadgets, smarter phones, flatter TVs and faster (and thinner) computers. But consider the technological advances that have underpinned your favourite products.
We’ve had Intel’s Atom processor powering a new generation of netbooks.We’ve seen a new breed of solid state drives teaming up to push the old hard disk towards extinction.
And where would we be without the following…
1. Open source software
2008 has done wonders for the image of open source software. In fact, you could argue that Linux had a breakthrough year.
Although we’re now on Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex), version 8.04 (Hardy Heron) has done much to spit-and-polish Linux for a mainstream audience.
Netbooks like the Asus Eee have the option of the Xandros distro, while the Acer Aspire One runs Linpus Linux Lite.
Open source software has also made great strides into the mobile arena with Android, while Nokia bought out the Symbian OS this year and promptly announced it would make it free to developers. Nice.
2. LED backlighting
While OLED technology got a significant boost from the Sony XEL-1 TV this year, let’s not overlook the contribution of LED backlighting.
It’s hardly the most glamorous of technologies – a name like ‘diamond backlighting’ or ‘ultra backlighting’ would have given it more pizazz. But anyone who’s seen a MacBook Air will attest to the clarity and brightness of an backlit-LED display.
Similarly, Philips, Samsung and Sharp have been rolling out LED backlighting inside their newest HDTVs – the Philips 42PFL9803 , Samsung LE46A956 and Sharp LC-52XS1E to name three.
If large-sized OLED panels finally become affordable in 2009, expect LED technology to get cheaper.
Read the rest of TechRadar’s 10 favourite technologies of 2008 (it includes the Large Hadron Collider, the Tesla Roadster and Internet video…)