The most popular stories on BetaNews this past week: December 29 -- January 4

The start to any new year is always slow, and 2014 is no different. As the tech world struggled to shake off its New Year hangover, it was a pretty quiet week. The pace should start to pick up again, though, as CES is just around the corner!

The New Year wasn't the only cause for celebration; it was also Linus Torvalds' 44th birthday. Tablet makers were popping the champagne corks as it was revealed that such devices were among the most popular Christmas presents. Microsoft was also celebrating Windows 8 gaining a 10 percent market share, but Windows 7 also continues to grow in popularity.

The BetaNews team continued the theme of looking back over the previous year whilst also looking forward to making the most of the New Year with a series of tech resolutions. Alan shared his favorites from the year, ending by saying he's looking forward to the Nexus 10. Joe's list was home to a quite eclectic mix of hardware. In drawing up my list of favorite products, I found that I use a great deal of Google hardware and software! I've committed to a series of resolutions for 2014. How are they going? Well… pretty well so far, but we are only four days into the year! Mihaita also made a raft of resolutions, and Wayne tried to keep things realistic. Ian, however, decided to buck the trend and drew up a list of non-resolutions.

It isn't just the BetaNews team that is looking forward to the year ahead, Google's Eric Schmidt also delivered a number of predictions about what we might see. If Kaspersky Labs' prediction is correct, 2014 could see the internet being divided up along international boundaries. Whether this will do anything to stop attacks such as those launched by Syrian Electronic Army on Skype remains to be seen.

Google went on another culling spree, and announced that Bump and Flock will be dropped at the end of January. After the news that Winamp was to close, a buyer has been found in the form of Radionomy. On the other side of the coin, streaming music service HypedMusic fell victim to the RIAA and shut up shop. Interestingly, music download sales are on the decline.

Some people sending back a Surface Pro 2 for repair received a nice surprise when it was revealed that Microsoft was quietly upgrading the processors.

With all of the holidays out of the way, it's back to business as usual. We're looking forward to finding out what CES has to offer, and expect to read all about it right here!

Image Credit: vinz89 / Shutterstock

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