Greatest hits of 1997

From IPOs to the CDA and Java to browsers, the past year saw key trends and issues emerge in computer and Internet news.

CNET News staff
2 min read
It was a year of revolutionary change, from Silicon Valley to the Supreme Court. Markets gyrated, companies metamorphosed, and the CNET year-end special government lost control of the Internet. In this special series, NEWS.COM looks back at 1997 and sheds some light on what it all means.

Don't miss the year's most notable predictions, reviews, games, and downloads from CNET's sites, as well as five-minute flashbacks from CNET Radio.

1997: Year in review

No end in sight for spam
The most hated aspect of life online, junk email, thrived in 1997 despite widespread hatred of it and various strategies to get rid of it.

Search engines, online services meld in 1997
In 1997, search sites added content, channels, free email, and other features in an effort to lure eyeballs.

The year in browsers
If Hollywood made a movie about Web browsers in 1997, it would resemble Starship Troopers: war, government maneuvers, gadgets, and big, ugly bugs.

Database firms under commodity pressure
The database software industry will face a new pair of competitors in 1998: meager sales growth and narrow profit margins.

The sub-$1,000 PC: The future has arrived, and it's on a budget
Two years ago, the Internet came into the public spotlight. This year, the sub-$1,000 PC occupied center stage because it showed how cheap, easy, and accessible that world could be.

1997: A good year for tech stocks
As 1997 comes to a close, a number of tech companies have managed to stay above the fray and outperform the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

Sun, MS: 100 percent pure slugfest
The two giants spent 1997 wrestling over Java, but Sun ended the year a step closer in its campaign to turn the platform into an international standard.

Debating Java's rightful place
In 1997 the debate over Java began to evolve from a hype-filled discussion to a more concrete debate over the benefits of Java as a development language.

Network market moves to switches
This year may be remembered as the year the proverbial tide turned against traditional routing in the internetworking technology industry.

Net earnings: E-commerce in 1997
As the year ends, Internet commerce experts are busy counting up how much consumers and businesses spent shopping on the Net.

Life after the CDA: Censorship
The Supreme Court's CDA decision dramatically changed the climate in which the huge Telecommunications Act of 1996 was passed.

1997 IPOs sputter, then pick up
It took five months and one online bookseller to restart the flagging tech IPO market this year.