Mon, January 05, 2009
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The year in technology

2009-01-05 10:38:18 GMT2009-01-05 18:38:18 (Beijing Time)  Reuters

The highlights of 2008: Microsoft's bid for Yahoo, Sony wins the DVD format war, and rivals take aim at Apple's iPhone.


Hello and welcome to this final edition of Reuters Technology Week. I'm Fred Katayama. Let's look back at the highlights of 2008.

The year of the rat begins with a Microsoft attack. In February, it makes a $45 billion hostile bid for Yahoo. Yahoo says no; it's too low. Microsoft ups the ante in May, but Yahoo wants more. Microsoft walks away. In November, Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang says he's stepping down.

In May, the Phoenix Mars Lander touches down on the mysterious Red Planet and makes history. It finds proof of water. But NASA still can't definitively declare that life could have existed on Mars.

In July, Sir Richard Branson unveils the aircraft that will blast paying customers into space. The airfare for the SpaceShipTwo: $200,000.

Time now to review other products that debuted on THIS planet.

Sequels proved sexy in recession resistant video gaming. Consumers worldwide snapped up more than 11 million copies of Take Two Interactive's Grant Theft Auto IV, helping Niko discover the underworld in Liberty City. Activision returned to the battlefront with "Call of Duty: World at War."

In the war over DVD formats, Sony's Blu-Ray wins in February. The loser: the HD DVD camp led by Toshiba.

On the go, you can reach out and touch the screen. Taking aim at Apple's iPhone, T-Mobile's G1, BlackBerry's Storm, and others also now use touchscreens. Apple is fighting back with a new distribution outlet: iPhones go on sale at Wal-mart starting Sunday.

And finally, Barack Obama won the battle for the White House. But his rival's running mate proved more popular online. Sarah Palin was Google's fastest-rising search term this year. Obama placed sixth.

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