Top tech stories of 2011 -- so far


Google announced in January that it was shaking up top management, with longtime CEO Eric Schmidt becoming executive chairman and taking hold of the CEO reins all in the name of streamlining the company's top-level decision making. It's hard to argue that , in coming to Google from Novell in 2001, didn't make one of the greatest career moves in the history of history.

Following month after excruciating month of rumors, Verizon and Apple finally got together in January and announced that the . that there was much pent up demand for the iPhone on an network other than AT&T's, which has been criticized by many for dropping too many iPhone calls. The said the news put an end out our long national iPhone nightmare.

While almost everything seems to be going right for Apple, the health of its CEO Steve Jobs has been a constant concern. Jobs that he would be taking a leave of absence for medical reasons and that COO Tim Cook would be handling day-to-day operations in his stead.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer as head of the company's Server and Tools Business, Windows Server 2008 generally gets high marks from customers, but Microsoft is still trying to prove itself in the virtualization and cloud markets, and it was the in particular where Ballmer focused in explaining the move. In February, Microsoft named : Satya Nadella, who led the company's technical efforts to launch its Bing search engine.

It turns out that the appeal of app stores isn't just for smartphone and tablet computer users. Apple's Mac App Store hit the on its first day upon opening in January. The opening wasn't without hitches, as a piracy vulnerability was spotted early on. Meanwhile, Apple hit the on its earlier App Store about a week after the Mac App Store opened.