A decade of FAIL - ten years of tech that missed the mark

16 May 2009

It gives us no pleasure whatsoever to announce the biggest tech failure of the past decade belongs to Microsoft.

Hey, it's nothing to do with us - if you want to have a pop at some two-bit, half-arsed Windows haters who couldn't write their way out of a colouring book, leave us out of it and take it up with that other bunch of amateurs - TIME Magazine.

In their article "The 10 Biggest tech Failures of the Past Decade", Windows Vista rocks in at top spot, and rightly so:

"According to research site Net Applications, as of last month Vista's global share of PC operating systems was less than 24%. Windows XP had 62% of the market and Apple's (AAPL) OS X product had over 9%."

Of course, it's not only Microsoft that has screwed up in the last ten years - the finger can be pointed at plenty of other causes, although we should warn you that some BW readers will go apoplectic over the list that follows:





Sirius XM

Microsoft Zune




We don't tend to think off YouTube as a failure, partly because it'sso rich in content and so widely linked to, however "Credit Suisse estimate that YouTube will lose $470 million this year primarily due to the costs of the storage and bandwidth required to run the website" meaning that the video hosting site "would have to triple its revenue just to break even."

And oh look, there's Microsoft. Again.


TOPICS:   Best Of Youtube


  • J
    if 24% market share of OS market and millions of revenue is a big failure then TIME must be crazy.....I wonder what % share TIME magazine has in their market...not even in double figures I would imagine and youtube is a failure in what sense? Google knows what it is and are slowly monetizing it (they can happily afford the storage and bandwidth due to their huge data centers) TIME Magazine ...one of the biggest magazine failures of the past decade.
  • andy y.
    No mention of AOL.Just how many billions did that cost Time Warner? Goes to show how hard it is make money in IT and how we consumers have received a lot for little
  • Chris
    I was surprised to see YT in that list, but I guess it makes sense - It's a roaring success, but a free one at that on the whole... I still love it though :)
  • Lumoruk
    You do realise it's Saturday? You don't post articles on a Saturday.
  • Morons
    So Vista has almost 3 times as much market share as OSX yet OSX is considered a success, while Vista a failure?
  • Mark
    Vista is a fail probably based on investment / return and expect market penetration which was obviously very high for XP but not for Vista. You also tend to want your newest product to do as well or better than the previous which it has failed to do (24% vista 62% XP). But Microsoft is a survivor and tends to learn quick and make short speed correcting its mistakes (the internet) sometimes unethically (IE and Windows Media Player). For me the Motorola is the biggest fail, then palm (as it had a good head start on others and failed to capitalise or realise changes in market place), the Gateway (for me the commodore of 00's had a market but failed to change with changing times) and then Segway (which is expensive, not portable, doesn't go as fast as a scooter and has no storage = why use it, when you can use your own free legs and get some exercise?)
  • J
    Windows Xp actually had only 10% market share after 1-2 years after it was released ..and windows 95/98 had 70+%. so was XP a failure too ? People change OS when they change their PCs ...i'm sure in 2 years time Vista will be 50+% and windows 7 will be the new OS being adopted.
  • Schexy S.
    @Morons, Windows products are supposed to be for everyone, OSX isn't. Apple's products are generally aimed at niche markets, and in those markets they're very successful. Windows try to conquer the world, and FAIL.
  • Michael
    @Moron (specifically "Schexy Schteve" moronic name if ever I saw one) Are you trying to tell me that Apple are not trying to increase their Market Share? What is the concept of the Apple Store all about? I'm sure the 'niche' market know where to get their overpriced Macs. I'm sure the 'niche' market don't need to be told how to use their macs, or need a sugar-coated marketing ploy by some apple store employee. Ever been to an apple store interview? If so you will have been shown a 10 minute propaganda video in which Apple emphasise that one of their aims is to increase their market share in the personal computer market. Apple fanboys, typically un-informed.
  • Gus
    @ Mike be areful when you insult morons... i mean apple fanboys Vince Wong loves Mac
  • Gus
    ooops forgot a "c"
  • David
    Vista has been a failure because it has not been adopted by the enterprise market, this is where the real money is. As an IT bod for more than 15 years XP was ground breaking for us IT people, but Vista is a resource hog and to refresh 30,000 PC's with new hardware or complete new units to gain nothing new with vista is where the problems lie. As for the OSx haters, thats dissapointing, apple do very well at what they do, they sell a product from ground up, from initial HW design to software to end support to scrappage, thats what they do and very well, at a price $. MS sell software (excl xbox and zune), thats pretty much it, so if the software fails to deliver it hurts them. Hence windows 7 will be modular product, less resource hungry etc so can be used on netbooks etc. They are learning again....
  • Lumoruk
    David my work are still using Win 2000 NT :roll: with IE6 not sure how many hundreds of PC's that are used at my work.
  • Gus
    people don't hate Apple OS or products. People hate the Apple fanboys!
  • phatboy123
    /\ Gus just hit the nail on the head.
  • nick
    @andy of yarm The top ten comes from Time Magazine, which is owned by Time Warner, who still own AOL. I don't think they'd be too happy to it in their own magazine!
  • TJ
    Microsoft take home the top prize again! Well deserved lol
  • Proud C.
    What absolute crap. How can Vista be considered a failure when it's got a 24% market share, almost 3 times that of OS X which had an almost-6 year head start?! I have to admit that when I first tried Vista in early 2007, it was a waste of time. Nothing that I had would work with it - but that's hardly surprising considering it was built completely from scratch, and of course it wasn't Microsoft's fault but rather manufacturers that had failed to make Vista drivers in time (in fact Canon still haven't made a Vista x64 driver for my scanner - can't blame Microsoft for that!). I was forced to go back to XP because there wasn't yet a driver for my network card, preventing me from accessing the internet. However I installed Vista again about a year later and found drivers for everything that I needed and it has been my primary OS ever since. Yes, it's a resource hog, but what new OS isn't? It's a new OS designed for new computers - I remember when XP was criticised for having too-high system requirements (try running it on a Pentium III, which were still quite mainstream when XP was released). If you've got a capable PC then once the annoying UAC is deactivated (which is a matter of a couple of clicks) it's a dream to use. I've taken to it much more quickly than XP (I must have stuck to 98 for at least 2 years after XP came out) and have found it to be far more stable than XP ever was. If it's considered a failure then that must be only because people tried it early on, couldn't use it because of the lack of drivers, and abandoned it like I did, but then didn't go back to it. But Microsoft must have expected that - compatibility issues inherent with creating an OS from the ground up would have meant they predicted that it wouldn't be a smooth transition, which is why sales of Vista have far exceded their expectations. Between that and the fact that it's the second most used OS on the internet, with OS X coming in third place with a paltry 9%, how the hell can it be considered a failure?

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