Between Microsoft fiercely defending its cloud computing strategy, Oracle going head-to-head with open source users over Solaris, and Mark Hurd exiting HP (only to be employed by Oracle), it’s been a big year for tech news.

We bring you the highlights.

Ballmer in London: Microsoft’s cloud investment will deliver in long run

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, said in a speech in London that the company’s continued heavy investment in cloud computing will pay off “in the long run”. Insisting that the shift to the cloud was one of the most important changes in the history of IT, Ballmer said: “I’m not going to apologise for our investment in cloud computing. We have to invest in the long run and not just the short term.” 

Oracle talks up Solaris 11 Unix release

Oracle executives talked up the planned Solaris 11 release due in 2011, with the Unix OS upgrade offering advancements in availability, security and virtualisation. The OS will feature next generation networking capabilities for scalability and performance, said John Fowler, Oracle executive vice president of systems.

SAP parts company with CEO

Leo Apotheker stood down as CEO of German ERP giant SAP, moving to HP.

Oracle appoints Mark Hurd, former HP chief, co-president

Mark Hurd, who left HP during a scandal, was appointed co-president of Oracle.

Apple iPad arrives early in UK

The much-awaited Apple iPad went on sale in the UK on May 28, however some pre-order units of the touch-screen, tablet-style computer were delivered a day early.

WikiLeaks moves to Sweden as Amazon pulls the plug

Amazon pulled the plug on WikiLeaks, the site releasing a mammoth collection of confidential US State Department diplomatic cables.

Adobe issues major PDF patch

Adobe released an emergency update to patch a pair of critical vulnerabilities in its PDF viewing and editing software. 

Zeus gang denied bail as US makes arrests

Eleven people arrested for their alleged involvement in a computer hacking and money laundering scheme were denied bail in the UK. The actions were mirrored in the US.

OpenBSD chief says government contractor tried to write backdoors

The lead developer of the OpenBSD operating system said that he believed that a government contracting firm that contributed code to his project "was probably contracted to write backdoors," which would grant secret access to encrypted communications.