Top IT stories of 2010 - October

Gitex 30th Anniversary, cloud computing is everywhere, BlackBerry gets the all clear

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Top IT stories of 2010 - October GITEX held its 30th show
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By  Mark Sutton Published  December 23, 2010

The start of October finally saw the UAE TRA announce that it would not block BlackBerry services, just three days short of the deadline for RIM to give authorities access to communications on the service. The TRA said that the service was now 'compliant with the UAE's telecommunications regulatory framework' although few extra details were forthcoming, and RIM stayed tight-lipped about whether the service still maintained high levels of security.

In the absence of any transparency into how a deal had been reached in the UAE and other countries, researchers at the University of Toronto launched a study, which is still ongoing, to find out how the phones' data traffic is handled in countries which had put pressure on RIM for access.

The Bahraini TRA looked to better control bulk messaging services, with the release of a consultation document to develop a voluntary code of conduct for service providers.

Also in Bahrain, Gert Rieder resigned as CEO of Batelco's Bahrain operation due to 'personal reasons'. Batelco's net profit for the nine months ended September 30, 2010 had dropped 17% to BD66 million ($175 million).

Microsoft Gulf also saw a staff shake-up, as Charbel Fakhoury, regional general manager for Microsoft Gulf moved up to a new role as vice president - Sales and Marketing Group for Microsoft across Middle East and Africa. Samer Ramez Abu-Ltaif took over as the new regional general manager for Microsoft Gulf.

Iraq's Communications Ministry announced plans to issue a fourth mobile phone operator licence in the first quarter of 2011. The fourth operator will partner with the Iraqi Telecommunications and Posts Co (ITPC), which already holds the licence, and is part of the Ministry of Communications.

Google showed off its new Google Instant search technology in October, leading Mohamad Nour, a third year student from Syria, studying at Dubai's Al Ghurair University, to harness the technology and create Facebook Instant, using the Facebook application platform and Google Instant to deliver rapid search for the social networking site.

Cisco announced plans to bring telepresence to the home, with the launch of its new Umi system. Umi, pronounced ‘you-me', is intended to deliver full high definition telepresence, through the Umi hardware, an existing HD TV and a broadband internet connection.

IBM and the Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST) launched an agreement to create a Centre of Excellence for Service Science Innovation at the university's Irbil campus, which will focus on developing curricula around technologies and business processes such as Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), Business Processes Management (BPM), Business Analytics, Business Processes Optimisation (BPO), Service Science and Cloud Computing, to help boost Jordan's knowledge economy.

Cloud was also in focus with the launch of a new customer-driven cloud initiative, the Open Data Centre Alliance, which aims to develop open standards and best practices around enterprise cloud computing. The alliance, announced at the end of October, was founded by over 70 global enterprises, to drive the direction of cloud computing to simplify deployment and interoperability between public and private cloud vendors and customers.

October brought the 30th Anniversary of GITEX to Dubai, with the show attracting visitors from 65 countries, and over 3,500 companies exhibiting their technology.

The show featured a number of new features to mirror trends in the industry, including GITEX Mobile Apps & Content World, for vendors, mobile operators and software developers in the apps market, a Cloud Confex to highlight emerging cloud technology, and even a keynote speech from Randi Zuckerberg, the official spokesperson and Director of Market Development for Facebook. This year's show also saw the launch of the first ITP GITEX Catalogue App, which brought the GITEX Catalogue to Apple's iPad. The app, which is available for free from Apple's Application store, provides profiles of over 2,000 exhibitor companies, along with ‘at a glance' A-Z listings, Product listings, Floor-plans, Conference schedules and much more.

During GITEX week, ITP also hosted the sixth annual ACN Arab Technology Awards, with twenty awards presented, to honour the region's top vertical projects, vendors, integrators and service providers.

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2010 retrospective