What Was Significant in 2006

(This commentary first appeared in the December 11, 2006 issue of Jon Peddie’s TechWatch as part of a collection of commentaries by Jon Peddie Research analysts including myself)

The Intro (by Jon Peddie): “…With all that was going on, we asked our group of experts what they thought were the top ten events of 2006 in the computer industry. Eight of us participated in the exercise, which gave us a broad range of viewpoints and opinions. Everyone had ideas about the significant things of 2006, and a few of us even agreed with each other. But sometimes the choices aren’t as important as the thinking behind them…”

And here’s what I had to say:

Jake Richter, Senior Analyst

1080p – 1080p TVs become available.

HD-DVD and Blu-ray – HD-DVD and Blu-ray players and content hit the market, and boy do they look great on even 720p TVs (but better on 1080p).

PS3 – Sony ships the PS3.

Vista – Microsoft doesn’t ship Vista (to consumers).

More storage – Media storage capacities went through the roof, with 750-GByte hard disks, and 4-GByte and 8-GByte media cards, enabling more content generation and creation.

Video downloads – Video down-loads hit mainstream with iTunes and Xbox Live.

DRM – Microsoft’s Plays For Sure don’t play so sure on Zune, demonstrating how dangerous committing to DRM really is for consumers and Microsoft’s partners alike.

GPU watts – Just when you think graphics hardware can’t get faster and better, it does, but at the cost of a noticeably higher electric bill.

Wii – Nintendo ships the Wii and then benefits from additional PR when users smack each other and TVs by gesturing too wildly and enthusiastically.

Web 2.0 – Google’s deep pockets help Web 2.0 efforts such as YouTube spread in spite of intellectual property concerns.