As 1998 draws to a close, we present ten of the year’s most significant events, as covered by Basex.
1.) Litigation: Microsoft and the Department of Justice. Microsoft and Sun. Microsoft and 20 states plus the District of Columbia. You get the picture.
2.) The Legislation of the Internet: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Child Online Protection Act (CDA II). The ACLU had a busy year, and the Recording Industry Association of America tried unsuccessfully (so far) to repress the use of MP3.
3.) Internet stocks (and sales) begin to fly: Take amazon.com and eBay for example. Tech Investors sent the NASDAQ on many wild rides.
4.) Wireless communication expands: Iridium telephones arrived. So did a wireless Palm Pilot, WinStar point-to-multipoint wireless communication technology, and, most recently, FCC-approved wireless communication for airplanes.
5.) Apple regains a viable market: Anyone seen the sales figures for the iMac?
6.) The Year 2000 computer glitch is suddenly a reality: Companies began to scramble for programmers with the ability to debug their systems – recruiters are lining up outside the COBOL programmer’s retirement home near you.
7.) The Starr Reports go online: The same administration that passed the CDA II also put the Starr Reports on the Internet.
8.) Portal madness: Everyone wants to be a portal site. Everyone then claims to be a portal site. What actually is a portal site, anyway?
9.) Mergers galore: The most compelling – America Online and Netscape, with the added bonus of AOL’s strategic alliance with Sun Microsystems.
10.) The U.S. versus the European Union: Whose privacy standards should govern the Internet? What level of encryption is permissible for international e-mail traffic? Decisions are expected next year.
Ellen Pearlman is a senior analyst at Basex. Elisabeth Ward, editorial director at Basex, assisted in compiling this list.