For every trend there’s a defining moment. This year had more than its share of watershed events that will have lasting impact on enterprise IT. Here’s our look back at 2005’s wild mix of earth-shakers and underreported occurrences:
Wal-Mart, DoD Mandates RFID Compliance Jan. 1: Ready or not, RFID has arrived. Wal-Mart’s top 100 suppliers were required to implement RFID tags by the first day of 2005. That same day, a U.S. Department of Defense mandate that suppliers use RFID took effect.
Oracle Completes PeopleSoft Buy Jan. 7: 2005 was the year of mega mergers. Although Oracle’s $10.3 billion payment for PeopleSoft wasn’t the most expensive vendor marriage of the year (Symantec paid $13.5 billion for Veritas in July), the long, contentious, poison-pill-laden courtship proved that no vendor is safe.
Publication of “The World is Flat” April 5: Publication of “The World is Flat,” Thomas Friedman’s book about globalization, dragged the dark issues of outsourcing into the light.
CardSystems Hack May 22: The CardSystems’ breach that exposed 40 million credit card numbers to hackers punctuated a year of high-profile security disasters. The 360-degree vulnerability of data, both on the Web and on laptops, hit home for consumers and the companies charged with keeping that data safe.
Sun Opens Solaris June 14: Sun Microsystems released Solaris as open source software, unlocking the core of its OS. Solaris was one of many technologies Sun released to open source this year, helping fuel a much broader acceptance of open source technology in the enterprise.
AMD Sues Intel June 28: A major power shift makes the headlines -- perpetual chip underdog AMD solidified its place as a tech leader with its dual-core push and a biting federal lawsuit that accused Intel of unfair competition. Meanwhile, Intel suffered several high-profile manufacturing setbacks.
Another SOX Delay Sept. 21: How hard is compliance? Hard enough that, for the third time, the SEC extended the deadline for companies with less than $75 million in revenue to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley section 404. The new deadline: July 15, 2007.
Massachusetts Votes for Open Documents Sept. 21: The decision by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to standardize on Open Document Format sparked major controversy, drew awareness to the open document effort, and helped spur Microsoft to release Office Open XML to the ISO.
Vapor Without the Ware Oct. 4: The Web 2.0 buzz proved so compelling, Google and Sun made a high-profile, nearly substance-free announcement hinting that Google might one day distribute a thin client version of Sun’s OpenOffice. Shortly thereafter, Microsoft felt driven to announce its Live Software initiative, a software-as-a-service plan that was almost as thin on details.
The Arrival of SQL Server, Visual Studio 2005 Nov. 7: Microsoft made good on two long-awaited products, delivering major performance and scalability improvements to its next-generation database and IDE.