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Eight Biggest Tech Flops Ever

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the much-competition dept.

Bug 627

cuppm writes "Yahoo! News has an article on the The Eight Biggest Tech Flops Ever. 'What distinguishes a simply bad product from the truly awful? Sometimes it's a dreadful user interface. Other times it's a product that successfully addresses a particularly daunting problem - yet one shared by relatively few people. And often competitive or financial pressure forces new products to market before they're ready - full of bugs and horribly unusable. Still other times, the products arrive too early. Eventually they become a success, but often after the founding company has been ruined.'"

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Hey (5, Funny)

xmuskrat (613243) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852771)

I didn't see Slashdot on there...

Didn't see ICANN on the list either (4, Funny)

rs79 (71822) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852887)

Oh yeah, I forgot. They aren't technical.

Yet... DivX missed how? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7852772)

(Not talking about the codec, but the Circuit City "rentable" DVD scheme) Easily a bigger flop than WebTV or the Clik drive.

Re:Yet... DivX missed how? (2, Interesting)

dave1g (680091) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852864)

Probably was skipped on purpose to avoid confusion with the codec.

That would have required another paragraph to be added just to explain the difference.

Um, like duh! (4, Funny)

jrockway (229604) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852782)

Windows! Why isn't Windows on there? What other operating system almost brings down the Internet every month because it's hosting 129873 viruses? Bob didn't do that, and it made the list.

Shame on you, yahoo. :) Hey that's catchy.

Re:Um, like duh! (3, Funny)

PierceLabs (549351) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852817)

WHat! Are you challenging Microsoft's right to innovate? Shame on you :)

Re:Um, like duh! (4, Funny)

xmuskrat (613243) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852827)

What other operating system almost brings down the Internet every month because it's hosting 129873 viruses?
I thought Windows *was* the virus...

Re:Um, like duh! (5, Funny)

NoOneInParticular (221808) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852946)

No Way! Don't you know that the difference between a virus and MS-Window is that a virus is tightly coded, does what it is intended to do, and does not break down under load?

UH NO (5, Insightful)

dave1g (680091) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852888)

While the article was titled "Biggest Tech Flops" it clearly should have been title "Worst Tech Market Flops"

Marketing wise, Windows is the biggest success in the history of mankind. Bill Gates strategies and tactics, however illegal or immoral they might have been, led to the rise of this operating system over the much more powerful Macintosh of its day.

I know we all hate Microsoft, but as far as being a product that was marketed perfectly, windows gets that prize anyday.

Mistake on Clik! Drive (5, Informative)

BWS (104239) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852784)

The Clik! Drive is 40MB, not 40GB as the article states!

Re:Mistake on Clik! Drive (2, Insightful)

Greger47 (516305) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852823)

And if it had been 40 GB it would never made the list, cause the drives would have been selling like lemonade in Sahara.

/greger

Re:Mistake on Clik! Drive (1)

BWS (104239) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852833)

Yeah! I have one right here I got for Christmas a while ago.. Its laying there useless

Re:Mistake on Clik! Drive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7852871)

I remember the Zip & Jaz drives as WOLF (write once, lost forever) drives. So even if it had been 40GB I would not have bought it because /dev/null gives me unlimited storage off the same "quality".

Re:Mistake on Clik! Drive (1)

Lispy (136512) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852915)

Actually I used to travel with my Zipdrive from 1995-97 and it never failed me. But maybe I was just lucky...

Re:Mistake on Clik! Drive (1)

micahmicahmicah (600841) | more than 10 years ago | (#7853010)

Iomega Clik! Drive: In 1999, just as recordable CDs started getting really cheap and popular, Iomega released its own proprietary way to write nearly 40 gigabytes of data to a removable disk. Hyped as both a replacement for the floppy, and a portable storage device for Digital Cameras, it was just too expensive to compete with either CDR or flash memory. The blanks alone cost around $10. Worse, the Clik drive was doomed by a problem with Iomega's popular Zip drives. Those devices had an annoying habit of spectacularly failing - taking a user's data along to the grave, as well. Before failing, the drives emitted an ominous clicking noise, quickly dubbed the "Click of Death." The Clik! drive didn't have the Click of Death, but it quickly followed the Zip drive into hell. Yep, this guy just showed us what an I D 10 t he can be. Then again, I've made the mistake of saying my first computer a IBM Model 55sx had a 30GB HD instead of a 30MB HD.

It would have been a success at 40GB (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852954)

If they had done it at 40GB, it would have been a success. Hell, even I might have reconsidered my boycott of Iomega and thought about maybe getting one at that size, at that time, at that price. But in reality, Iomega remains a company whose products are too small, too pricey, too late, and too unreliable. That and their business practices are just too shady. In my book they are the #2 scumbag company in the country.

It would have been a success at 40GB (1)

mattdev121 (727783) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852988)

What's #1?

Oh wait. Yeah. Microsoft

Number One (1)

rjamestaylor (117847) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852785)

  • Boo.com

I only owned two (5, Interesting)

solfood (732657) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852865)

Having owned two of them in my life,(and still hacking away on one) I must disagree with at least part of the article. The PCjr was hardly the failure that the article makes it out to be. Sure, it came with a puny 128k, ONE 5 1/4 drive and crappy keyboard (which they later replaced with something a little more legit). But at least it was a PC...sorta...it had color, it could play a lot of PC games, which was very important to me as a twelve year old and most important of all, a 300 baud internal modem that started me on this road of nerdom. The article is just plain wrong in referencing the Audrey as a failure. I have two of them hooked into my network. They're picture frames, mp3 players, message boards (complete with cool blinking lights, and caller IDs. How cool is something like that in you kitchen with a touch screen? Best of all it runs QNX. 'Nuff said. Okay, I gotta agree with the other six, although the thought of browsing some porn on my tv sounds pretty neat.

Re:I only owned two (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852902)

I agree perfectly about the PCjr (although mine had 256K, HAH!). It was my first computer and it really was useful for just about anything you wanted a computer for. If IBM had decided against that stupid infrared keyboard, it would have been perfect.

The Audrey however, was underpowered even for the software it ran. Spending 3 minutes waiting for an "Internet Device" to load just doesn't cut it.

Re:I only owned two (1)

howlinmonkey (548055) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852907)

So, you're saying that because you use the technology, it is not a flop? I think a technology needs more than a couple of niche users who enjoy hacking any tech toy they can get their hands on to be successful.

Successful would be defined as sold millions, made billions, still in business producing their product today. Maybe bought out, but the concept is still around.

By that definition, or just about any other, PCjr and Audrey are flops. Cool ideas, fun to hack on, but commercially failures.

Ubiquitous "That 70's show" quote (4, Funny)

bigattichouse (527527) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852787)

During the war they promised me there'd be flying cars, where's my flying car? --Red

IBM Commercial (2, Informative)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852967)

Actually that was on an IBM commercial with Commander Sisko well before the 70's show. And it was a lot funnier, like everything the 70's show rips off.

EIGHT. BIGGEST. TECH. FLOPS. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7852788)

EVAR!!!!11

Hey, it needed to be said kids. Kthx && kbye.

Worst hardware... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7852793)

when she winks at you and squats and lifts your tail and your hardware isn't getting hard.

Re:Worst hardware... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7852896)

you have a tail?

I'm confused

how about (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7852794)

Apple zealots.......fuckin' lamers

RIAA? (1, Interesting)

Quasar1999 (520073) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852797)

I must say, the whole Online music store thing... that's a huge flop... DRM'd to hell, harder to use than going online and downloading a 'free' version off one of the many networks... Too little too late... Maybe if they did this when Napster first came out, they could have had a larger crowd, but the 'free' networks have better user interfaces, more selection, and (RIAA crap flooding aside) has better quality than what I can get from the 'online music stores'...

Re:RIAA? (1)

mrscorpio (265337) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852841)

I don't know, I don't use any of the for pay sites (and I haven't downloaded anything illegally in over a year), but the success of Apple's for-pay system seems to disagree with your assertions.

But let's get real here. Napster in its peak was the best that music filesharing is ever going to be. No pay system will ever be able to top that.

Chris

Re:RIAA? (3, Insightful)

Seth Finklestein (582901) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852853)

As a long-time Apple, I have to disagree. Forbes magazine, one of the United States' foremost authorities on technology, named iTunes Music Store its Product of the Year [slashdot.org] for 2003. Now, I know several people who use Windows, and all of them are of the opinion that "if you can download it for free, then you should download it for free." This attitude is highly destructive to the intellectual property industry, and will only lead to such initiatives as "Trusted" Computing gaining a foothold.

To address you're so-called "complaints."

  1. "that's a huge flop" -- Apple has sold over 25 million songs on iTunes. That's a huge flop?
  2. "DRM'd to hell" -- You can burn your songs an infinite number of times, as long as you change the playlist every 10th time. Apple permits you to have your music on up to 3 computers (does anyone even have more than two nowadays?) and as many iPods as you want (which is good; I own five).
  3. "harder to use than going online and downloading a blah blah blah" -- Not true. Maybe if you're Joe Sixpack and you enjoy listening to payolaed Top-40 dreck, you can find what you're looking for on the so-called "free" networks. (Many of those networks use proprietary, closed-source software with spyware such as Gator.) I went on the KaZaA and searched for Leonard Cohen, my favourite artist. After five minutes, I could have used my high-capacity Speakeasy DSL to download Leonard's entire catalogue!

Frankly, I consider you little more than a troll. Run along, troll. Go beat rocks together, you sissy!

Sincerely,
Seth Finklestein
Long-Time Apple

Re:RIAA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7852892)

does anyone even have more than two nowadays? do you really have to ask that question? this IS slashdot here... i have 4 or 5 sitting around the house.. that are mine.. then the girlfriend has 2 as well.. and there are always new ones to be built

Re:RIAA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7852909)

you own 5 iPods?

Do you also live under a bridge and have nightmares about goats, TROLL?

Re:RIAA? (0)

Seth Finklestein (582901) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852931)

No.

Re:RIAA? - day late, not a dollar short (1)

dave1g (680091) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852854)

While they were definitely late I would hardly call them a flop. I would never buy a whole album because I'm not a music lover, but occasionally I like a single song I hear and might be inclined to buy one for 79-99 cents.

People have been using these services even though there are restrictions, and they are almost all easily circumvent able, so quit whining, although there is certainly is a consumer convenience argument you could surely make, the market seems to be able to bear these inconveniences in exchange for cheap, "gimme what I want" per song downloads.

Nonetheless people are paying up even though they could get it for free right next door.

The music industry is slowly learning that if you build it, they will come.

So mark this one as a day late, but not a dollar short.

Re:RIAA? (2, Insightful)

Sage Gaspar (688563) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852878)

Gee, let me think. First the problem is that their business model is all messed up. How can we reasonably be expected to buy CDs from stores when all we want to do is listen to them on the computer and there's no digital retailer set up?

Now that companies are finally moving on it, the problem is that it doesn't meet our exact specifications, and instead of trying to work with them we continue to pirate. Hmm, sounds like somebody wants a half-brained excuse to take a five-fingered discount.

MMmmmmm (4, Informative)

sparkes (125299) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852799)

So the biggest tech flops all happened relatively recently and in america?

There is an easy solution to this lets not only stop using technology, not only from the USA, but from since the americas where discovered by modern europeans!

I'm blogging this right now on my own printing press and if anyone laughs I will get medieval on their arse (ass is such an americanism and is banned)

or alternativly we could find something better to do than look at year end reviews, year coming previews and over hyped journalistic endevours.

I can't wait for slashdot to leave the post holiday period and start getting good again ;-)

oh, and my fav techno flop is the Sinclair C5

Re:MMmmmmm (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7852859)

(ass is such an americanism and is banned)

If you're so in love with the King's English, you should look into proper capitalization and punctuation. Ass.

maybe this article is flop number 11 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7852873)

journalists thinking they can get credibility by coming up with top ten lists at the last minute without spending more than 15 minutes thinking about each choice.

in the classic journalistic sense it seems like a good idea: you dont need to do much work and you can get people flaming each other about it, and talking about what should have been included but wasnt. and that my friends is what you call buzz, which is more important than the article itself in the first place.

however, in the long run this type of fluff baloney will lead nowhere, just to more fluff baloney, which in the long run actually takes more work than writing a normal decent article in the first place. burnout!

Ninth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7852803)

Nokia N-Gage

not to forget: (2, Insightful)

Lispy (136512) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852933)

- WAP/UMTS
- Tablet PC
- AmigaOne
- Sun JavaDesktop
- Laserdisc

AmigaOne? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7852974)

It's not over yet.

Re:not to forget: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7853005)

- AmigaOne

Yeah, what the fuck? I was following the hype on this forever, and then... *silence*.

o<

Dataplay (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7852804)

I still use Dataplay. The sound quality on a dataplay disk is much higher than that of a CD.

Also, and most people don't know this, but if you run a green marker around the edge of the dataplay disk, the sound quality is even better.

How could they forget... (1, Interesting)

Seth Finklestein (582901) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852805)

...such memorable Internet buzzwords as "push technology"? Oh yeah, everyone's going to want a desktop that looks like a hyperactive 2-year-old made it.

I'd also like to take this opportunity to wish all of my followers [slashdot.org] a merry new year. 2004 will be Michael Sims' last year as a Slashdot "editor."

Sincerely,
Seth Finklestein
Cyberweb Prognosticateur

Don't tease us like that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7852940)

2004 will be Michael Sims' last year as a Slashdot "editor."

We should be so lucky.

AOL-Time Warner (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7852806)

Hard to believe the "old media" moguls bought Steve Case's snake oil about the "synergy" that "tech savvy" AOL would bring to the combined company.

Mr. Case is laughing all the way to the bank...

Re:AOL-Time Warner (1)

dave1g (680091) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852943)

Would have been a good mention if the title of the article was "Biggest Merger Flops"

Cue Cat (4, Informative)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852807)

The Cue Cat [computer-society.org] was a glorified privacy-invading bar code scanner that flopped in the markeplace (even though they gave away 1 million of these beasties). I still have 3 of these things given to me through various magazine subscriptions. If I ever find the time I will have to hack the cat [cexx.org] .

Re:Cue Cat (1)

Robotech_Master (14247) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852918)

The funny thing is, there are all sorts of programs out there that are useful with the CueCat, if you can just get it to work. For instance, DVD Profiler [dvdprofiler.com] , a Windows database program that lets you keep track of your DVDs will accept barcode-read input.

If I could just get my CueCat to work with Windows XP...I've tried Catnip and YourCueCat drivers with no success yet. (I wonder if it could have anything to do with how I use a USB keyboard, so just have the 'cat plugged into the PS/2 slot without any keyboard attached to its other end?)

Push (5, Interesting)

Moderator (189749) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852811)

Around 1997 or so, one of the biggest catchphrases was "push," the ability for companies to put whatever information they wanted (News, stocks, weather) on your computer. Microsoft even went as far as to develop an "Active Desktop" so that the content could be placed directly on the user's desktop. Too bad push just turned out to be a constantly refreshing webpage ("fetch" would have been a better term) which took forever to load on the day's 33.6 modems.

Lame (3, Interesting)

His name cannot be s (16831) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852812)

That's a pretty lame article.

Some of the items on the list are flops, but the biggest 8--not hardly.

I'm sure that if we tried, we could come up with a better list of 8 flops..

Shit, OS/2 ain't even on the list. How about Taligent? Bill Gates himself said that Taligent was the one thing he worried about that ended up being absolutely nothing.

What about the Disney Sound Doohicky--It plugged into the parallel port, and gave some of the crappiest sound ever made on a computer.

The list certainly could have been better than that. :p

Re:Lame (4, Interesting)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852900)

I don't know about "lame", it's just that the list is a little short. I suspect this article was hammered together in a rush because the author had been to busy partying to think of a decent list. Well, it is Christmas, so I'll cut Yahoo! some slack on that.

Instead, why not try and think of some stuff they missed?

  • The SCO Group
  • The current incarnation of the music business
  • Digital Rights Management
  • WAP
  • "Push" based web content
And some stuff which seems/should be doomed:
  • Spam
  • The current incarnation of the movie business
  • Tablet PCs
  • Film based P&S cameras
  • Geeks with no life ;)
What are everyone else's personal "WTF were/are they thinking?"

Re:Lame (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7852957)

OS/2 may be dead now, but in its day it certainly was no "flop". Hell, OS/2 is still installed on millions of PC's around the world, in fact my day job is migrating OS/2 machines to Linux (for banks and insurance companies and stuff).

Re:Lame (4, Funny)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852989)

What you failed to notice is that the article was written by Jim Louderback. This should explain everything.

Gotta be the midi... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7852814)

...COWBELL!

Walken. Teh spoke. Out.

Okay..and?? (1)

Darth Fredd (663620) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852819)

An intresting article, but fraught (as with many "there it went" and "here it comes") soley with human opinion. A little more fact, please?

I've never even heard of most of the stuff in his list. Pretty much the only thing I agree with is his Opinion on MS BOB and internet appliances(which are still around. who's going to stand at their computer to surf the net??)

freddout

Hate against Kosmo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7852820)

Hello? WTF is up with all these articles panning kozmo all the time? I guess they never bothered to follow up and see that kosmo only failed because they expanded too fast thanks to the pushing of the venture capitalists (which I bet if we really check into things caused more failures than anything else).

Kosmo was and is still a very viable idea for people who live in big cities. Everytime one of these pundits comes along and holds kozmo up as a failure it says to me they just don't understand what it is like to live in the City (where City is SF, NYC, Chicago, ...).

Nuclear Power (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7852822)

I'm still waiting for my nuclear powered car, and electricity that would be "Too Cheap to Meter" that we were promised in the early '60s.

Toll Collect (2, Interesting)

jrady (127288) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852828)

Germanys System for automated colleting of autbahn tolls for trucks. Costs the german tax payer literally millions of EUR each month, has been set up by joint venture of Deutsche Telekom and Daimler Chrysler, meant to be working since '02, launched in Fall '03, failed, ETA '05!
Snafu all the way.....

Also missing ... (5, Insightful)

Wingchild (212447) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852830)

Iridium [iridium.com] , one of Motorola's biggest all-time money losers. I think the DoD still has a contract with them though, even though their original concept (that of public market penetration) crashed and burned quite hard. The nifty air-droppable and instantly deployable solar satellite phonebooths they proposed for low-lying Africa and other places without appropriate infrastructure likewise didn't come into being, as far as I know.

Hey, where's my PointCast? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7852839)

I sure could use some news right now, and I don't feel like loading a webpage. I sure hope my screen saver kicks in soon.

Biggest flops (4, Funny)

mooredav (101800) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852844)

The biggest FLOPS can be found here [top500.org] .

Re:Biggest flops (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7852894)

You and your mother!

Here are the top 2! (0)

Adolph_Hitler (713286) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852849)

1Eazel! (That's the definition of fucked company) 2All Advantage! (The worst timing in the history of tech companies. This company comes along and gets hundreds of millions of dollars only to lose all their money paying it back to people who got paid to surf the web when ad revenue died)

webtv and HDTV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7852852)

think about it. microsoft seems stupid, still putting out msntv ads. but what happens when the whole country starts buying hdtv? microsoft will have a big advantage dealing with all the issues involved in making a webtv box. if the only issue is 'fuzzy tv screens' , and that issues is about to change, .............. !!!

by the way slashdot is worse than brezhnev talking to the politburo. commie moderator system.

People will hate me for this. (0, Flamebait)

Krapangor (533950) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852856)

But I think that Apple computers are the world's greatest tech flop.
Why ?
Apple was in the mid-80ies the world monopolist in personal computers. But they managed to be crushed by a combination of small and not even innovative companies: Microsoft and Intel. And they nearly got killed in this process - only financial aid by MS (who need desperately a living competitor due to anti-trust trials) and a aggressive Steve Jobs saved them from oblivion.
The main reason for the near-death experience was a combination of high prices together with a lack of innovation. E.g. MacOS used still cooperative multitasking when even MS - not particulary our main innovator - had already ditched it.
And that's very sad because the foundation principles of Apple computers - easy to use and intuitive high quality computers - was in fact ahead of its time. But Apple managed to drag these principles down the chasm with them leading to the clumsy, security holes ridden software we see even in OSS these days.

Jobs tries to revert history right now putting Apple back to it's foundations. But he will fail. It's always impossible to get the wheel of time turning backwards and people who don't realize this usually get crushed below it. Just take a look at the history of communism.
The time to get IT into the high quality direction is over now. People are too much used to cheap resources, so they won't pay for quality any more. Take e.g. the fuss about the iPod batteries. Apple seems oddly out of place these days - like a living fossil from millenia ago. And all PR magic by Jobs won't change this.
Perhaps in the fullness of time people will get back to high quality IT, but I doubt that anyone living today will witness this.

Then where would you rank IBM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7852880)

They produced PC's and were crushed by people copying them. Then, they made an OS many times better than Windows, and they still couldn't sell it.

Re:People will hate me for this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7852884)

Jobs tries to revert history right now putting Apple back to it's foundations. But he will fail. It's always impossible to get the wheel of time turning backwards and people who don't realize this usually get crushed below it. Just take a look at the history of communism. ...
--
Proud owner of a Mensa membership card.


We will hate you because you make absolutely no fucking sense... or because?

Re:People will hate me for this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7852897)

Saved by Microsoft? hahaha! Microsoft give them a few mill to say to the courts "look, we encourage competition!!", this fails to show that Apple have BILLIONS stuck away,and Microsoft's contribution maybe brought a new type of coffee into the office vending machines, it's a farse.

Re:People will hate me for this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7852922)

"I think that Apple computers are the world's greatest tech flop."

And you have been saying that for... like 20 years?

Re:People will hate me for this. (4, Interesting)

binaryDigit (557647) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852930)

But they managed to be crushed by a combination of small and not even innovative companies: Microsoft and Intel.

This must be a troll, but I'll bite anyway (it's slow this morning). Sorry, but Apple ALWAYS played second fiddle to IBM/Microsoft in the "pc" market wrt market share.

Plus, even if your history weren't totally wrong, your premise is. Even if Apple went under today, the positive impact they had on the industry is far reaching and prevasive. Some of the particulars can be argued, but the fact is that computing in general is a better place thanks to Apple and therefore they can't be considered a "tech flop". After all, a "flop" doesn't last over 20years.

Re:People will hate me for this. (3, Interesting)

Zelet (515452) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852959)

I think you are wrong. I think that people will start demanding quality when technology personally affects them. Anybody who I have ever demonstrated my Powerbook to has gone to Apple. The quality of the software and hardware is amazing for their laptops and the price is right too. Don't discount Apple - I think they are on the way up, not down.

Two words: Microchannel Architecture (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7852861)

IBM wasn't always the geek Defender of the Faith. MCA attempted to lock people in to "All IBM, All The Time" (tm). It died a miserable death, its technologies merging with other, more successful attempts to enhance the PC experience.

My Personal Observations (4, Insightful)

osewa77 (603622) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852875)

The funny thing is that many of these failures could probably be predicted. What makes them "big" is that they had the backing of bodies who could afford to spend so much money on them before concluding that their projects have failed!

Re:My Personal Observations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7852891)

test post

Why my internet campaign of course (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7852879)

Howard Dean
See beatoff.com to attend a Deanbeatoff in your town

Mod parent troll/offtopic/flamebait (1)

dave1g (680091) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852935)

Follow the URL and find out why , pr0n, and a clear flamebait for any Democrat/Dean supporter, and absoultely off topic for this discussion.

Iomega Clik! (-1, Redundant)

Karamchand (607798) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852882)

Iomega's Clik! drive didn't have 40 gigabytes as the article says (which wouldn't be that bad for 10$) but only 40 megabytes.

Mark parent redundant (1)

dave1g (680091) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852916)

Some one beat him to this statement 15 minutes before he posted.

Here is the comment above [slashdot.org]

why wasn't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7852883)

yahoo on the list?

How can you forget the entire .COM boom/bust? (4, Insightful)

binaryDigit (557647) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852890)

This should be #1 IMHO. It far dwarfed the whole early pen based computing infatuation. Also ...

He breaks out MagicCap/Go seperately. Why? Throw in the Newton and a few others and just say that the early days of pen computing as a general purpose input device was a complete flop.

How about failed OS ventures. Pink, Taligent, Be, NeXT, OS/2, etc.

WebTV? It may have been a flop, but one of the biggest, I think not.

TransMeta anyone?

Windows version Lotus 1-2-3, it's failure helped to change the landscape of application isv's and helped to firmly root Office as defacto.

Apple Lisa/III. Nuff said.

PCJr, NOTHING compared to PS/2, the system that helped IBM lose the PC market.

Re:How can you forget the entire .COM boom/bust? (1)

juuri (7678) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852978)

How exactly is NeXT a failed OS venture?

I mean, fuck, they got paid cash to take over Apple.

PCjr (4, Interesting)

Skater (41976) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852917)

The PCjr was a flop, but it's interesting how many advances it had that other computers would start using:

4-voice sound when most IBM-compatibles could only produce one sound at a time
16-color graphics when CGA (4 color) was standard
Video memory in system RAM - commonly used on many lower priced motherboards these days
Infrared wireless keyboard

Yeah, it was expensive and limited. But it also had some interesting advances.

--RJ

Re:PCjr (1)

thogard (43403) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852947)

Was the PCjr a flop? It was the final nail in the coffin of non-pc based home computers.

CGA could do 160x100 in 16 colors (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852984)

16-color graphics

The CGA could be coaxed into doing 16-color graphics at 160x100 pixels: set it into a 100-line text mode, fill the screen with the graphic glyph that's split left/right, and then draw images to the foreground and background colors of each character cell. I know of a couple games that used this mode.

They left out . . . (1)

fotoguzzi (230256) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852920)

How could they have missed the iLoo [com.com] ?

FAA Traffic control system (4, Interesting)

CharlieG (34950) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852941)

The "New" FAA AAS traffic control system - was going to replace the current system. MASSIVE amounts of money spent, 2.5 BILLION, where 1.5 BILLION of it had to be written off. About a billion of the development was salvaged by using the Display System Replacement

Folks - that 1.5 BILLION wasted

Itanic (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852948)

Itanium may end up here, or?

Flooz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7852951)

I have no idea what it was, but Whoopee Goldberg recommended it, so it must of sucked.

MD-ROM format was a HUGE missed opportunity (4, Interesting)

Artifex (18308) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852953)

Perhaps it wasn't the biggest flop, but Sony missed the chance at a huge media market share, and perhaps propping up their audio MiniDisc format, by not pushing the MD-ROM format harder. Imagine a disc smaller than a 3.5 inch floppy, holding a lot more than a Zip disk eventually would (MD-ROM preceded Iomega's Zip line), at a cheaper price per disc, with no click-of-death? The only one I ever saw was in a press release, but they claimed their small drive was low-power, and at the time, it would have been excellent for laptop use. Not to mention that you probably could have played the music format discs with it. Now, you can barely find any information on the format by Googling.

Correction (1)

fastdecade (179638) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852955)

Iomega Clik! Drive: In 1999, just as recordable CDs started getting really cheap and popular, Iomega released its own proprietary way to write nearly 40 gigabytes of data to a removable disk.

If they couldn't move that in 1999, that's gotta be the biggest marketing flop in history!

Can't entirely blame the author for this typo -- K, Meg, Gig, Tera -- can get a bit blurry in the psat tense

well, not quite accurate (1)

penguin7of9 (697383) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852968)

Unfortunately [Go's] software was buggy, the computers lacked the horsepower to translate handwriting to characters, and the devices were way overpriced.

What really killed Go was probably a faked demo of Windows for Pen Computing at one of the big shows, which gave investors and buyers the impression that Microsoft was just about ready to release a high-quality pen computing environment. Yet, Microsoft didn't have much pen computing software, and when they eventually came out with something, it was far worse than Go.

Iomega released its own proprietary way to write nearly 40 gigabytes of data to a removable disk.

If only--that might still be a good product today. But it was 40 Mbytes.

Missing product ... (1)

Lost Penguin (636359) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852969)

The wost failure of the 2003 year could be the SCO Linux license, Or SCO as a company.
Robbery as a business plan ?????

Huh? (1)

Black Hitler (687112) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852973)

"The Clik! drive didn't have the Click of Death, but it quickly followed the Zip drive into hell."

So are they saying Zip drives were failures?

I currently work with an Ex-employee of Go (1)

cOdEgUru (181536) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852977)

I asked him about the product, and he tells me the idea was way ahead of its time..

Way ahead my ass!..

Tandy's THOR CD (1)

Ann Elk (668880) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852983)

How about Tandy Corporation's THOR [aroundcny.com] CD-RW-like technology developed back in the late 1980's.

What? You never heard of THOR QED.

No Lotus: Jazz? (1)

Hawthorne01 (575586) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852994)

I'm a diehard Mac user, but Lotus Jazz' failure set the Mac back in the business world for years.

WebTV sales stalled at a million users? (2, Interesting)

zhrike (448699) | more than 10 years ago | (#7852996)

Yeah...cause Microsoft didn't advertise the service any longer! They bought it to kill it.
Had they advertised, WebTV would be ubiquitous. If people buy WebTV, they're not buying a computer...they avoid the MS tax, no sales of office. I can't believe they put WebTV on that list. There are many people out there that buy computers to access the internet only. What better device for a novice user than their TV? I'm not being a proponent for WebTV, I'm just saying that WebTV was taking off up until MS bought it, then nothing. No ads, nothing. They drove it into the ground on PURPOSE!
Shoddy shoddy journalism.

The biggest flop ever.. (1)

WhitehatSystems.com (736014) | more than 10 years ago | (#7853004)

What about Commodore computers? They got big, then switched to the Amiga then died..

Or the Timex Sinclair..heh

More Tech Flops? (2, Funny)

mujin (705753) | more than 10 years ago | (#7853006)

From the bottom of the article:

From Yahoo! Shopping:
- Apple iPod 20GB
- Nikon CoolPix 3100
- Nokia 3650

Odd, I really didn't consider those some of the biggest tech flops ever...

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