It has been a year of slow but steady recovery for the business hardware sector with certain areas showing very strong growth, particularly blade servers and mobile computing.
Intel also finally accepted what everyone else had been saying for ages, and in February added 64-bit extensions to its Xeon range. All the wishing in the world is not going to make pure 64-bit computing a widespread application just yet, although Microsoft is lending support.
There was the end of an era in March as Michael Dell stepped down as chief executive in favour of his chief operating officer. Dell's domination of the PC market remained intact this year, with number two player HP struggling to match production efficiencies, and third placed IBM selling out to the Chinese.
April saw the last of the big four chip makers move to unleaded production. It might seem like a small step but, with the European Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment directive beginning to gather pace, European companies need to be prepared.
More good news for mobile users in May when Intel launched its first 90nm Dothan processor. The revamped manufacturing process and larger cache made the chip faster and more efficient, and cut down on heat generation, which may help with laptops' apparent ability to make men sterile.
As for supply, Irish eyes were smiling in June when Intel opened a new FAB in the Emerald Isle. It will be the first to begin production of 65nm chips, although not until 2006.
Possibly a burst of nostalgia for its standards setting in the PC days prompted IBM to try and do the same thing to the blade server market in September. It also released new models the following month. Times have changed, however, and things may not go Big Blue's way this time.
IBM continued to grab headlines in October, when it built the world's fastest supercomputer, edging out NEC's behemoth. The company promises an even faster system next year.
November saw the possible shape of things to come, when x86 powered server systems, in revenue terms, outsold their Risc-based rivals, according to IDC. 32-64-bit processors drove growth in particular during this good year for the server market.
The year's end saw another milestone, with HP selling its Itanium engineers to Intel, finishing the company's foray into processor design. Itanium's slow demise has been predicted, but Intel has vowed to continue with dual-core versions.
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