It’s a media cliché at this time of year to reflect on events over the past 12 months. One common approach is for editors to draw the year’s themes together, teasing out a big picture overview. Alternatively, there’s the more philosophical search for meaning behind seeming unconnected events. Well, I’m not going to do any of that. In my view 2006 was a confused year for industry news with little in the way of obvious big picture themes and even less in the way of anything deep and meaningful. How can you interpret a year when the biggest international news story was about something that didn’t actually happen? I’m talking about the launch, or more accurately non-launch, of Windows Vista. No doubt its arrival will dominate the early part of 2007. And the biggest local story was also about an absence rather than a presence: the end of Tony Butler’s innings after 20 or so years with Tech Pac and Ingram Micro. How the company manages the transition to new leadership will be a big story next year. You may have seen New Zealand Reseller News pop-up in the media over the last six months or so. Earlier this year we were acquired by Fairfax Business Media and will be moving to fancy new offices in January. After spending much of 2004 and 2005 writing about industry consolidation, it was enlightening to actually go through the process in 2006. If you’ve picked up on the tone of the previous five paragraphs, you’ll have already realised this is the last ChannelBeat newsletter for 2006. We’ll be wrapping-up a few things around the Reseller News office (including some presents) until Friday and will then shut-down for two weeks reopening on Monday January 8. Expect to see the next ChannelBeat on January 10 – assuming something newsworthy happens between now and then. We’ll be refreshed and ready for business. Hopefully you will be too.