Phew, what a year it's been. As usual the tech industry has given us more intrigue, innovation and indiscretions than you could shake a stick at, and all year long V3 has been on the frontline bringing you news, analysis and insight on these major events.
Now, as we approach the end of 2013 and prepare for whatever the future will hold in 2014, it's time to take stock and round up some of the biggest events of the year.
13. G-Cloud use rises but public sector IT continues to cause headaches
Finding fault with any government is often like shooting fish in a barrel, but this year saw HM's finest looking rather silly, IT-wise. £6,000 computers that take more than seven minutes to boot up are apparently the norm, as the government's chief operating officer demonstrated in a now-deleted YouTube video. While they may have been in the thick of it in terms of device management, the government did have a couple of successes, too.
The Government Digital Service (GDS) did a pretty stand-up job of migrating the first few hundred government websites onto one domain, Gov.uk. With 1.2 billion hits in the first year coupled with a pretty adaptable design suitable for a variety of devices, we have to give GDS a slap on the back for the achievement.
Finally, the government's G-Cloud IT procurement service went from being a fringe operation to one that seems to be growing in popularity. Total spend on the service reached £63m, with small and medium-sized vendors earning more cash than established giants. Still, the biggest contracts seem to still be going the way of the likes of IBM and Microsoft, and a "cloud-first" attitude seems yet to have filtered all the way through the public sector.
12. Bring-your-own-device trend gathers momentum
One of the biggest trends of 2013 was the increase of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) strategies. Major firms such as BP and Shell, with 135,000 users, announced huge uptake of the trend throughout the year.
Vendors, meanwhile, were falling over themselves to tout their offerings as ideally suited to managing this, with even the traditionally consumer-orientated firms such as Apple and Samsung adding features to meet this demand. For Apple, this included per-app VPN support, while Samsung’s Knox platform aimed to bring security controls to its Android devices.
However, like any major trend, there are plenty of dissenting voices that argue the benefits are being overvalued or that firms will eventually insist on stricter controls, as the risks posed by BYOD become clearer. No doubt this is one that will remain high on the agenda in 2014.
11. Computing curriculum overhauls
In July, the government confirmed that children as young as five would have to learn about computer programming, algorithms and the internet in the most radical shake-up of UK computing education for decades.
It certainly created some strong headlines, but the changes had been a long time coming; for years it had been known that the outgoing ICT curriculum was out of date and boring for an increasingly digitally aware population. Essays and Microsoft Word are out, and in come proper, practical tasks as well as modern guidance on the use of the internet and social media.
All well and good, but concerns remain as to whether less able students will keep up, as well as whether this is all too much for a generation who may never venture further than Microsoft Word for the whole of their careers. Further to that, training up tens of thousands of teachers to teach what is, to some, an alien topic is not an easy task.
New light-guiding nanoscale device can control and monitor a nanoparticle trapped in a laser beam with high sensitivity
Optical traps are scientific instruments in which a focused laser beam is used to exert an attractive or repulsive force on a microscopic object to hold it in place
Scientists estimate that the exoplanet has already lost up to 35 per cent of its mass over its lifetime
The observations were made using the Atacama Array in the Chilean desert
J1043+2408 was observed for more than 10 years, and its radio light curve exhibited a periodic signal repeating in about 563 days