IT Management Slideshow: 8 Epic Tech Launches of the 21st Century (So Far)

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 01-10-2012

Apple iPhone

Did you really think this would not top the list? Launched in 2007, the iPhone revolutionized the smartphone market with its touchscreen and intuitive operating system. It also revolutionized enterprise mobility, sparking the bring-your-own-device tidal wave that has permanently altered how business users relate to IT. At least one industry analyst predicts that 116.4 million iPhones will be sold by year-end 2012.

Apple iPhone

Apple iPad

Just as the iPhone wasn't the first-ever smartphone, iPad wasn't the first tablet computer. But when iPad hit the market in April 2010 it was in a class by itself. At least one industry analyst predicts that 55 million iPads will be sold by year-end 2012. iPad has, undeniably, gotten a solid jump-start on a host of competitors. It's even being talked about in some enterprise circles as a potential laptop replacement option for certain types of workers who don't require full computer functionality to do their jobs.

Apple iPad

Windows 7

When Microsoft launched Windows 7 in October 2009, there was a lot riding on it. If sales of the operating system went the way of its predecessor, Windows XP, it could have taken Microsoft to its knees. Instead, by September 2011, Microsoft had announced 450 million Windows 7 licenses sold.

Windows 7

Android

Android became a huge change agent in the mobile space. According to Gartner, smartphones running the Android OS had the greatest market share (53%) in 3Q 2011, far outpacing Symbian (16.9%), Apple iOS (15%) and RIM's BlackBerry (11%). Launched in 2008, Android is the only smartphone OS that has been able to take on Apple's iOS -- and win.

Android

Amazon Kindle

Amazon's Kindle changed the way people read books when it was introduced in 2007 and, arguably, paved the way for Apple's iPad. Goldman Sachs analyst Heather Bellini predicts Amazon will sell 19.2 million of its latest Kindle Fire devices by year-end 2012.

Amazon Kindle

Facebook

Remember when MySpace was all the rage in social media? Facebook, which began in 2004 as a social network for college students, opened up in 2006 to anyone over the age of 13 with an email address. By mid-2011, the site was claiming more than 800 million active users around the globe and had forever altered the way we communicate professionally as well as personally.

Facebook

Apple App Store

The physical handset isn't the only thing revolutionary about the Apple iPhone. The company's method of delivering mobile apps to users has forever changed expectations about how and where we'll get our software-not just for our phones, but for our computers as well. The "app store" concept was quickly mimicked by a number of other players, including BlackBerry, Google, Microsoft and Amazon. Apple reported in December 2011 that customers have downloaded 18 billion apps from its app store since it launched in 2007.

Apple App Store

Google Apps For Business

Microsoft still rules the enterprise with its Office and Outlook solutions, among its many other services. However, the cloud-based Google's Apps for Business platform could end up being an enterprise contender. The company claims that 4 million businesses are already using the service including, most recently, the City of Pittsburgh, PA, the University of California at Berkeley and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA).

Google Apps For Business