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Microsoft features big in Time's "10 biggest tech failures of the decade"

by Parm Mann on 19 May 2009, 11:44

Tags: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)

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Time Magazine seems to cause controversy every once in a while, and its list of "the 10 biggest tech failures of the last decade" is likely to ruffle the feathers of some of the industry's biggest names - including the likes of Microsoft, Google and Palm.

In compiling its last, Time Magazine states that included products had to meet certain criteria. Products needed to be aimed at the global market and had to be technologically equal to or superior to its competition. On top of that, products must have had the opportunity to make billions of dollars in revenue, but must have clearly failed to live up to expectations.

Catastrophic failures, in other words. So, who are the unfortunate names to make the list? Here it is in its entirety:

  • Microsoft Vista
  • Gateway
  • HD DVD
  • Vonage
  • YouTube
  • Sirius XM
  • Microsoft Zune
  • Palm
  • Iridium
  • Segway

Microsoft, the only company to appear twice, has been flagged for its Zune and Windows Vista products - the latter of which has been accused by Time of failing to be "viewed as clearly better than its predecessors". Backing up its accusation with recent statistics, the magazine adds that Vista's global share of PC operating systems sat last month at just 24 per cent - a long way from the 62 per cent occupied by its ageing predecessor, Windows XP.

Elsewhere, a somewhat surprise inclusion is the now Google-owned YouTube. The wildly-popular video sharing service has been pulled up due to its failure to come up with a money-making business model. According to sales figures from various sources, YouTube is thought to be making $240 million this year but would need to triple that amount to break-even and cover the mammoth costs of bandwidth and storage. Such is the problem, that Google may never get a return on its $1.65 billion investment, says Time.

It's an interesting list, and you can take a closer look at Time.com. We'd be interested in hearing your thoughts - do you agree with the list, or can you think of any glaring omissions? Voice your opinion in the HEXUS.community forums.

HEXUS Forums :: 28 Comments

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24% of the global market share = Catastrophic failure ??

Makes you wonder about everything else in that list…….
I honestly never saw how YouTube would ever make a profit, it has to set a limit on how many videos people can upload and how many videos people can browse, otherwise, like the report said, it will face high bandwidth and storage costs. Another option would be a £0.50p annual subscription fee per user.
Backing up its accusation with recent statistics, the magazine adds that Vista's global share of PC operating systems sat last month at just 24 per cent - a long way from the 62 per cent occupied by its ageing predecessor, Windows XP.

Windows Vista

Release date
RTM: November 8, 2006;
Vol. Lic.: November 30, 2006;
Retail: January 30, 2007

Windows XP

Release date
RTM: August 24, 2001
Retail: October 25, 2001

Using the retail release dates as a benchmark, a product that's been on the market for ~8 years has more market share than one that's been on the market for ~2 years.

Whatever next, day following night?
Yeah sure, Microsoft is a complete and utter failure :rolleyes:

Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows 98se, Office suite. Not to mention all the server OS'es, and the other client OS'es.

And you can hardly call the Zune a failure. It was only released in NA and CA. Europe and the rest will be getting there hands on it soon, only after a couple of years can you say with some confidence if it has failed.

Right now, I'd buy a Zune over an iPod.
Hd-DVD, a failure? Hell no, no funding from microsoft when toshiba brought it out and since MS had joined in against sony then sony pushed BR hard!. HD-DVD has the same quality of BR and a triple layer can reach 35/45gb and be cheaper than BR, so considering its cheaper and similar but the films have a much better feature list on hd-dvd and BR doesnt… yet.

Why isnt Ipod up there?. They have made the public think expensive things are great and that isnt true, the players cost a bomb(imo, £60 for a shuffle 1gb is a piss take) and yet provide average quality now how is that good? For the company(apple) yes its good but for consumer it sucks balls as the amount of adverts they do it actually FORCES people to look at it and buy it, for every 2 normal ads i see about 1 ipod ad.

How about Mac? Market share is less than MS iirc. Vista is a HUGE improvement and even though i didnt like vista, it was much better than XP in stability and reliability. I had no problems with Vista in those 2 departments for the month i used it, it didnt break but i had it dual booted with XP and that had already broken(both clean installed same day!) so how is Vista not an improvement?. It adds a big new UI which is what the market wants(flashy stuff=sales now), i have Windows 7 now and its quicker than XP and now more reliable aswell so really its not a failure.