Greatest tech flops, you wish hadn’t
For every new technology industry standard, an alternative flops and disappears. Some of these technologies are truly dreadful or serve no worthwhile purpose. Others are truly great but suffer as a result of bad marketing, bad timing or just plain bad luck.
Here are some of our favourite tech flops that didn’t deserve to die.
Much maligned, Windows Vista was doomed from the outset. Changes to the basic Windows interface coupled with a resource-hungry engine, meant that many “Windows Vista Certified” computers were simply unable to cope with the demands of the operating system.
At its core Vista was a major step forward in creating a more secure computing environment – exactly what users and businesses had been demanding for years. But poor press, poor advertising and poor first impressions killed the platform early.
Windows 7 was rushed to market a year earlier than originally intended to shore up market share and sales volumes. Admittedly Windows 7 is better than Vista, but the earlier operating system flopped unfairly.
webOS and the HP TouchPad
Created as a brand new mobile operating system for use with PDAs and smartphones, webOS has a checkered history. Initially owned by Palm, the operating system was then sold on to HP for use in their own tablet – the TouchPad.
The TouchPad was HP’s first foray into tablet computing and was similarly priced to an equivalent iPad. But in less than 5 weeks, the TouchPad was cancelled and sold for as little as £99. Unsurprisingly the new low price was particularly attractive and TouchPad reserves sold out within a matter of hours.
Both the TouchPad and webOS were relatively well-regarded, but a lack of available apps and a high price tag killed the product before it could establish itself. webOS was later sold to LG and continues to live on in certain models of TV. HP’s decision to cancel the TouchPad effectively closed the tablet market to three competitors – Apple’s iOS, Android and Microsoft Windows 8 – limiting customer choice.
Another mobile computing development that was released long after the ship had sailed. Delays in the OS release coupled with a declining market share meant that there was little or no interest from consumers or business users.
The latest version of the Blackberry OS had a number of interesting innovations, not least the concept of user profiles. The two profiles are then kept completely separate so that data cannot pass between them – perfect for allowing staff to use their own devices to access corporate systems.
Blackberry continues to struggle, even in its previous stronghold – the enterprise. The Canadian manufacturer continues to limp on, but with a marketshare of less than 1%, the future looks grim for Blackberry 10, its parent company and its few remaining fans.Over to you
Which technology innovations do you think failed unfairly? Do you have any particular favourites that you continue to use? Leave us a comment below.