Farewell to Netbooks in 2013
Netbooks, designed as lightweight, low-powered alternatives to bulkier laptops used primarily for document preparation and Internet browsing, have enjoyed a very brief lifespan since their initial release in 2007. With smartphones and tablet PCs that possess computing power equivalent to (and in many cases in excess of) most netbooks, the compact jet-setting laptops will be retired from production in 2013 by Asus, Acer, and almost every other manufacturer currently making them.
Ubuntu OS for Smartphones Announced
While Microsoft’s attempt to enter the mobile phone OS marketplace has met with less-than-desirable results, Ubuntu, the makers of a popular Linux port by the same name, have decided to throw their hat in the ring. The Ubuntu OS is built around the existing Android kernel and drivers, but does not use a Java virtual machine to process applications and promises to use the phone to its full potential. While no carrier or manufacturer support has been announced yet, the Ubuntu phone is expected to hit the marketplace in early 2014.
Microsoft Losing Its Edge?
Microsoft has had a rough couple of years lately. With the poor reception of the Windows 8 OS to the failed launch of the Windows 8 Phone, the company is headed down a dark path. Perhaps even more damning is the fact that Microsoft itself, through the mouthpiece of CEO Steve Ballmer, seems to remain willfully ignorant of the way the market trends are blowing. A number of prominent employees, too, have left the company for greener pastures due to the draconian system of performance reviews that they must endure.
Google Still Uncertain of Google Glass Implementations
While one of Google’s most impressive technological experiments, Google Glass, has captured the interest of the tech world ever since its announcement, the company itself is still not entirely sure how people will use it. The device is shaping up to be, in essence, a hands-free smartphone that can present maps, make appointments, set reminders, and make phone calls just like other mobile devices. The real question, of course, is what can Glass do that smartphones can’t? The company is still undecided on the final feature set for the device and say that it is “still being worked on.”
Five Tech Companies That May Not Survive the Year
While a handful of tech companies certainly had a fantastic year in 2012, others are facing a grim future. Even big names like Nokia, Best Buy, and Dell are staring down the proverbial barrel of a gun as quarterly revenues took a nosedive in the last year. Ars Technica highlights a few companies that are in difficult financial straits coming into 2013…and may not have the wherewithal to survive until 2014.