Top 12 tech stories of 2022

The vulnerability of the technology sector to the vagaries of geopolitics and the macroeconomic became clearer than ever in 2022, as IT giants laid off employees en masse, regulators cracked down on tech rule breakers, countries froze data Secrecy negotiated, the EU-China chip war widens, and the Ukraine war disrupts business as usual. Through it all the classic tech themes—including the fight to strengthen innovation and cybersecurity—continued until ChatGPT was released, Broadcom sought to buy VMware, a Mac renaissance began to blossom, and teenage hackers brought major companies to their knees. But brought Here are our editors’ picks for dozens of stories that will shake up the tech world in 2022.

US-China chip war and the end of globalization

Chips / Processor / Memory Card fancy (CC0)

Geopolitical tensions between the US and China spill over into the semiconductor sector in 2022, as US President Biden’s administration in December new export controls issued that bars American companies from selling advanced semiconductors—as well as the equipment used to make them—to certain Chinese manufacturers, and then in December expanded those restrictions, Industry insiders said the sanctions were a sign that the era of ever-increasing globalization is over, and lamented that the ban would wreak havoc on supply chains for all types of products—from computers to electronic vehicles—built on chip technology. , Catcher of all kinds ventures into the cross-fire between the two global superpowers.

Broadcom to buy VMware for $61 billion

Mergers & Acquisitions, M&A

While the technology M&A market slackened overall during 2022, big-money deals were still plentiful, and included Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion (still under regulatory review). Was. For the enterprise computing sector, though, silicon was undoubtedly the giant. Broadcom inks deal to buy virtualization powerhouse VMware for $61 billion, which was announced in late May. The idea is to improve Broadcom’s bottom line, offer synergies between software and hardware products, and strengthen offerings for multicloud computing environments. The deal is still subject to regulatory approval, which is causing a bit of a problem: regulators in the US, UK and EU have launched inquiries that haven’t yet concluded, and are likely listening to critics who say Broadcom has a history of buying companies, shutting down R&D, and raising prices.

ChatGPT affects the world

artificial intelligence conceptual digital image

Trial release of ChatGPT, the latest project from the OpenAI Foundation, combines natural-language processing with search capabilities to create amazingly natural essays and content, and it’s taken the internet by storm. According to reviewers, it is a system that easily passes a Turing test, producing extremely human responses to typing prompts, but still betrays many of the flaws that previous AI-based systems do. – Among other things, it makes things up, is limited by the biases of the information it seeks, and does not specify the provenance of the information it uses. While it has the potential to be useful as a composition tool or aid in some circumstances, it is generally unlikely to replace human-generated writing anytime soon.

US-EU Data Agreement: The Third Charm?

Joe Biden CyberMeeting Public Domain WH WH.gov

US President Joe Biden’s November executive order Implement rules for the Transatlantic Data Policy Framework Gave hope to companies looking to ease the cumbersome legal work required for EU-US data transfers. this step has come after The European Court of Justice struck down two earlier agreements – the Privacy Shield and the Safe Harbor—On the grounds that the US did not provide adequate protections for personal data. Under the new agreement, companies can opt for a framework agreement instead of signing separate agreements with multiple companies. Don’t celebrate just yet, though. The agreement still needs to be cleared by several EU bodies and has been criticized for the same central issue that sank earlier agreements: the lack of protection from US state surveillance.

A Mac Renaissance Begins

MacBook Pro M1 Pro 2021

The decline in PC sales has been noted over several quarters due to rapid shifts in demand due to pandemic-fuelled changes in work patterns, among a host of other factors. Yet Apple’s share of the overall endpoint market has grown, particularly in certain market segments. Latest Market Share Data Point out that the company significantly outperforms all of its competitors Making huge strides in the tablet segment, as well as in laptop sales. First-time buyers of Apple products, in particular, are on the rise, indicating a surge in renewed interest. With Mac sales reaching the highest peak in the company’s history, and Apple’s continued work to bring the Mac and iPad closer together as productivity companions, the company is poised to make more inroads into enterprises.

Elon Musk buys Twitter, fired from CEO post

Musk: Twitter Kontenpflichtig Werden - für diez Natzergruppen

Emerald Mine heir, (in)famous serial entrepreneur and makers of dangerous cars Elon Musk finally bought Twitter for a total of $44 billion, after a long will-he-or-won’t-he-fan dance that apparently wasn’t enough for him to do due diligence. The legal battle over his attempts to back out of the deal ended in late October, and once the sale was complete, Musk wasted no time making highly unpopular changes, engaging in far-right conspiracy theories, and keeping Several employees were fired on charges of Lights on social networks. He has since promised to step down as CEO after a Twitter poll strongly indicated that users wanted him out, though he has notably said with good grace that he will stay on until that he could not find anyone else “foolish enough to take the job”. While there may be debate as to whether a social media company is truly a “technology company,” business leaders of all stripes are certainly watching Musk on how not to run a company.

Lapsus$ hackers wreak havoc across tech

In a virtual corridor of circuits is an unnamed hooded figure containing binary code. Cosmin4000 / Getty Images

Microsoft announced in March that its systems had been compromised by the Lapsus$ hacking and ransomware group, which released the main source code for several of the company’s products, including Bing, Bing Maps and Cortana. The group used a social engineering attack to compromise corporate accounts and access Microsoft’s data. The list of victims of the group includes other big-name companies such as Samsung, Nvidia, Vodafone and Okta. Arrests in the UK and an investigation into the group’s tactics have revealed Lapsus$ consisted of inexperienced teenage hackers using “ill-conceived” techniques, Finally, the group’s activities exposed the threat posed by one of the biggest cybersecurity problems—ransomware—and demonstrated that hacker groups don’t need to be of the highest technical sophistication, even against hardened targets. to be successful.

EU passes Digital Services Act

European Union, EU Etienne Ansotte / EU

European flags in front of the Berlemont building on July 22, 2016 in Brussels, Belgium.

The latest attempt to “clean up” the Internet came as EU Digital Services Act, Which will impose heavy fines—up to 6% of global revenue—on companies that fail to meet new legal duties imposed by the regulation. Those duties are broad, and include protection of children from advertising profilers, verification of genuine items being sold online, and prevention of online violence against women. This contrasts with the US approach to online media regulation, which gives platforms such as Facebook and Twitter considerable freedom from liability, and would mean serious changes to the way very large internet companies do business – something the EU has already done. has warned Twitter, in particular, that it will need to significantly clean up its act under the terms of the new law. Enterprises have mid-year to comply with their terms.

FTX Collapsed, Prompting Calls for Cryptoregulation

virtual transactions - digital money - cryptocurrency - blockchain Thinkstock

Amid allegations of internal mismanagement and impropriety, crypto exchange FTX collapsed in November, dealing a massive blow to the cryptocurrency sector and causing $8 billion in assets to vanish into thin air. The founder of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, was arrested in the Bahamas in December and extradited to the US to face criminal charges. It’s been a generally volatile year for crypto, And the FTX collapse has put the spotlight on the volatility of the sector. Experts predict dark days ahead for cryptocurrencies If regulators do not bring cryptocurrency trading under some sort of regulatory framework,

Layoffs crippling the tech sector

leading through layoffs Thinkstock

Companies like Amazon, Meta and Google have long led the way in tech hiring, and set the tone again this year, though for different reasons. The three tech giants—along with many other smaller technology companies—Thousands of employees were laid off this yearAs the technology job market faltered in the face of global economic headwinds. Amazon alone reportedly set to lay off 20,000 workers, underscores the scale of the sea-change in the technology job market. The layoffs mark a sharp reversal from the earlier stages of the pandemic, when large tech employers, in particular, went on a hiring spree to take advantage of a surge in demand for cloud-based services. As growth slowed, revenues plummeted, ushering in a year of uncertainty and staff cuts.

Ukraine war sparks tech retreat from Russia

Russian sanctions Ukraine war

Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine in February showed that geopolitical turmoil can hit technology companies as much as businesses in any other region. The attack drew near-universal condemnation, and major technology companies reacted similarly, Stop sales to Russia and stop their services from being used there, Hardware companies such as IBM, Intel, Samsung, Ericsson and Nokia have suspended all sales to Russia, while service providers such as AWS and Google have stopped accepting new customers and in some cases suspended services to the country. Is. Media companies and social networks have tightened restrictions on Russian state media content to help combat misinformation.

The Great Return? Big Tech recalled workers

professionals among binary streams Gremlin / Getty Images

As the pandemic eases in 2022, many companies that previously allowed employees to work remotely began bringing employees back into their offices, with Microsoft fired the first shot at the return-to-work revolution in February, Other tech companies followed, including Google and Apple. While most companies (not including Twitter, which fired anyone who was unwilling to work in the office full time) do not require employees to be in the office five days a week, managers may require some workers to faces a great deal of pushback, as many have done. Have gotten used to the routine of working from home, and can’t look forward to commuting again. The effect of remote work on productivity is a subject of hot debate, with various studies showing the different effects of the practice, and the argument about the benefits of working in an office is likely to continue indefinitely.

(Mark Ferranti contributed to this story.)

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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