Feeds

Ten technology FAILS

Tech that might have revolutionised your life but you have now completely forgotten

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Nokia's N-Gage, Palm's Foleo, Motorola's Atrix, Apple's Newton MessagePad, HD DVD, Sony's Rolly, Sony's Mylo, Philips' CD-i, Commodore's CD-TV, IBM's PCJr, the Camputer's Lynx, Gizmondo, the Phantom, Atari's Jaguar, MySpace, Beenz - behind every iPad there are dozens and dozens of technology products that aspired to greatness but were successful only in their distinct lack of commercial success.

Some were simply beaten by better rivals, others were just released too early or too late, still more were just plain wrong. Not all were specific products - entire categories of goods and services have been hailed as the Next Big Thing only to disappear with nothing but a handful of miserable early adopters to show they were ever there.

Here, then, are some of our favourite tech fails - products, technologies, concepts and trends - from the past 30-odd years.

BOB Household Manager

In 1995, Microsoft replaced Windows 3’s rather rubbish GUI with a - for the time - snazzier interface and called it Windows 95. And then it decided that menus, windows, and icons for applications and, now, documents wasn’t what ordinary folk wanted at all. So it released BOB, a new UI for Windows that placed apps and services in a cartoon house. Like the original Mac desktop, there was a kind of logic to it - put the virtual things into a context users would understand from real life - but at least the Apple UI didn’t require a cartoon dog and a cartoon paperclip to show folk around. It was, you won’t be surprised to learn, a complete flop. BOB was killed off, though the dog survived as Windows XP’s search mascot.

Microsoft Bob

Information Appliances

Even by the late 1990s, pundits were already predicting the death of the PC. The new Millennium would herald the ‘post-PC era’, they said, a time when World+Dog, particularly the non-techie part, would access the internet cheaply and easily through set-top boxes and TVs rather than pricey desktop or laptop computers. Of course, back then most homes didn’t have digital television let alone home broadband and wireless networks. Consumer internet usage was in its infancy.

Sony eVilla

iAppliances eventually ended up looking like PCs - as this Sony eVilla shows

Attempts to build these so-called ‘information appliances’ invariably offered a sub-standard - as defined by the personal computer - experience. Instead, punters adopted the ever-cheaper PCs now coming in from Far Eastern manufacturers, and we’d have to wait another ten years for products that looked like they might supplant the traditional computer.

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Next page: OpenDoc

More from The Register

next story
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft – A jolly little war for lunchtime
Free-to-play WoW turn-based game when you have 20 minutes to kill
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.