Apple unleashes the iPad: In contrast to Microsoft's drawn-out effort to develop iterations of its Tablet PC, Apple succeeds in dominating the tablet market overnight. The key: The iPad isn't a PC that acts as a tablet, but a pure tablet. It also gives users an incredibly simple way to buy low-cost apps, building a huge ecosystem of applications in a short time.
Intel launches Ultrabooks: Prompted by PC makers' failure to replicate the design success of Apple's MacBook Air, Intel establishes rough guidelines for ultraportable PCs, backing up the Ultrabook standard with a strong financial push, and helping PC companies design and build the laptops. Ultrabook sales figures prove to be a mixed bag, but ultrathin laptops are clearly here to stay.
Windows 8 debuts: Microsoft's most divisive OS since Windows 95, Windows 8 introduces the Microsoft Store for apps, and drops the Start menu in favor of a Start screen that occupies the entire display. It generates tremendous controversy, and users either love it or hate it.
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