Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Technical Products of the Decade

It was the time when technology came out of geekdom and entered straight into our living rooms. Gadgets were no longer just Geek toys. Here are the dozen products that dazzled not only geeks but also laymen.
Apple iPhone
Using a touchscreen on a phone? Without a stylus, too? Apple's iconic iPhone lets you do just that, and when it threw App Store for downloading applications to the phone in 2008, it had firmly established itself as the phone to beat. It did not have the greatest specs, but its innovative interface and ease of use more than compensated. Nokia and Blackberry were sweating.
Apple iPod
Carrying gigabytes of music in your pocket in a classy looking device with cool headphones? It sounded ridiculous when Steve Jobs fished out the small music box, which he called the iPod, in October 2001. Today, iPod is virtually synonymous with the portable media player.
July 2000 saw the arrival of an office suite that was almost as powerful as the all-dominating MS Office, and is free to boot. Why it has not displaced MS Office as the popular Office suite is one of the mysteries of the decade.
Nintendo Wii
Want to play tennis on your console? Just swing your hands as if you are holding a racquet! Well, that was what Nintendo Wii brought to gaming in 2006 -- simplicity, greater involvement and an absence of conventional game pads. Gamers loved it, helping it outsell more powerful consoles like PS3 and the Xbox 360.
Microsoft Windows XP
The greatest Windows of them all. Windows's XP's success has been a bit of an albatross for Microsoft. While its sucess was widespread, it also resulted in people being less than willing to move to new versions of Windows. It continues to go strong to this day!
Asus EeePC
Ultra-portable light notebooks were supposed to be niche, expensive products. Asus turned that on its head by introducing the EeePC in 2007. It weighed about a kilo, was compact, ran blazing fast and cost less than a high-end phone. The era of Netbook had arrived.
Sony Play Station2
Sales of 138 million units, a library of almost 2,000 games..., Sony's PS2 might be considered a relic by hardcore gamers, but there has never been a more successful console in video games history. The PS2 yanked gaming out of PC territory with its (then) brilliant graphics and great gaming library. Consoles would never play second fiddle to the computer again.
Opera Mini
Browsing the internet on your cellphone generally meant having to put up with low-feature WAP sites. Opera Mini changed all that with its ability to render desktop versions of websites on a handset. And it did so at a blazing clip. And it worked on just about any cellphone. And it was free. It was and remains a must-download for any cellphone owner.
Before Google threw in its version of email, one had to cough up cash to be able to access mail from an email client and had to keep deleting mails to ensure that one did not go over one's storage limit. Gmail brough in gigabytes of storage, free POP and iMap access and integrated chatting... mail would never be the same again.
Amazon Kindle
Bookworms hated reading on computer screens and found those of mobile phones too cramped. Amazon came up with the perfect solution -- a light weight e-book reader that lets you browse and download books over the air and look snazzy too. Sure it does not support colour, but fourteen days of battery life more than compensates.
World of Warcraft
Millions of gamers all over the world log in to play this amazing online game, coughing up a monthly fee to boot. People may talk about social networking, but the World of Warcraft gaming community is perhaps one of the most committed in the world, making this arguably the most successful game of all time.
Moto Razr V3
A cellphone was supposed to be a functional device rather than a style statement -- until Motorola unleashed this slim flip phone in 2004. Pundits carped at its tech specs and users lined up to buy it, making it one of the most successful phones of all time.

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