Strategic Tech Slideshow: 10 Epic Tech Failures of All TimeBy Don Reisinger | Posted 11-08-2011
10 Epic Tech Failures of All Time
GatewayThere was a time when many believed that Gateway would be the biggest and most popular PC maker in the world. But soon after the company tried its luck with retail stores, and then quickly discovered that it didn't have the right enterprise strategy in place, it started to die. Gateway lives on today in name only. But the vast majority of PC buyers out there have no desire to buy its products.
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HP TouchPadWhen the HP TouchPad launched, some observers thought it could rival Apple's iPad, thanks to its 9.7-inch display and unique operating system, WebOS. Unfortunately for HP, that never happened. And now, after less than a year on the market, the TouchPad is remembered as an epic tech failure.
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Windows VistaWindows Vista was supposed to carry the Microsoft torch it received from Windows XP. But a poor start, security issues, and compatibility problems soon caused it all to fall apart. PC vendors were even allowing customers to downgrade to XP just to sell computers.
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Apple NewtonThis inspirational precursor to some of the devices Apple makes today, such as iPhone and iPad, lacked the same level of design and quality that those devices do, making it hard to sell. Some who enjoyed using the device claimed that it was ahead of its time. Whatever the case, Newton failed miserably.
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WebOSWhen WebOS was first unveiled by Palm, there was some hope that it could become a respectable mobile operating system. Several missteps and a doomed Palm acquisition by HP soon made it clear that WebOS was on rocky ground. Now, HP is trying to decide if it wants to continue offering the operating system.
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Microsoft BobMicrosoft Bob was supposed to make it easier for users to bridge the gap between the technical requirements needed to run a computer and their novice skills. But in the end, Bob was a downright joke that Microsoft was forced to discontinue after realizing the errors of its ways.
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The Tablet PCWith the iPad so successful today, it might be easy to believe that tablets have always been popular. Quite the contrary. Tablet PCs that ran Windows were largely ignored by consumers and only found a home in the enterprise for very specific groups of users, such as healthcare employees, law enforcement and field service technicians.
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The Ultramobile PCIt's not often that PC vendors make the first move in innovation, but when it came to the Ultramobile PC, they did just that. In fact, the Ultramobile PC was going to be the device type that would allow users to be more productive while on-the-go. But after vendors started to balk at the idea, and it became clear that Windows might not be best in that form factor, the idea was scrapped. Thankfully.
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Palm FoleoThis is another one of those "seemed-like-a-good-idea-in-the-moment" products. The device was designed as a lightweight notebook -- or a netbook, as we might call it now -- that would extend the functionality of smartphones. After a few months of increasing criticism, Palm thought better of the idea and realized that it was a mistake to even consider it in the first place.
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Windows MeThis unfortunate software was supposed to bridge the gap between Windows 98 and Windows XP, but only succeeded at making people question why they were running Microsoft software at all. Today, Windows Me is remembered as one of the worst consumer-facing versions of Windows ever released.