Top 7 Tech Fails of 2011

Top 7 Epic Tech Fails of 2011

We have been used to read stories about successful results and hope we can learn some useful experience from it. However, we always try to ignore or do not touch some painful parts. There're many great archievements in 2011's internet development, however the failure is always there. The below is conclusion of the top 7 essential tech fails of 2011.

1. HP, WebOS & the "Tablet Effect"

Hewlett-Packard was the company Steve Jobs idolized when he was starting out. How ironic that the last great product Jobs launched in his life would basically ruin HP's consumer business. Of all the tech crash landings at the end of 2011, HP's hit hardest and skidded farthest.

There's a lot wrong with HP. More than can fit in a round-up. But the example of the TouchPad can serve as a metaphor.

Last year, HP bought Palm and webOS along with it. The tech world was excited to see what HP could deliver, hoping for a third way between iOS and Android. Instead, we got the HP TouchPad, the paragon of the fact that you can't undercut the iPad on price and still compete on quality.

2. RIM

RIM wins the award for Most Blithe Tech Company of The Year. As its once-dominant mobile position evaporated, it suffered a three-day service outage caused by a backlog of email, and it fiddled while Rome burned. Millions of people, many of them enterprise customers, had no mobile service for three days.

It took RIM several hours to acknowledge that anything was wrong, and when it did, there was no explanation, much less a timeframe for restoring service. Eventually, RIM figured out that it had to offer its users $100 in premium applications to make amends, but the damage had been done. The outage cost RIM $50 million in lost sales.

3. Sony PlayStation Network's Security Fiasco

Sony PlayStation Network(PSN) is a paid service. On April 20, the Sony Playstation Network, used by 77 million people, was hacked. A week later, with users' passwords and credit card info still in limbo, Sony had to take down the whole network in order to fix it. There was no timeframe for when it would come back online. It took Sony three weeks to offer a meaningful response.

Outages will happen. Users should get used to that, but there are good ways to handle it, and then there's the way Sony handled it.

4. Color

Color has something to do with sharing photos of places and events. This app made headlines this year for raising $41 million and having nothing to show for it. Well, let's be fair. Color shipped an app, but no one has any idea what it's for. Then it re-shipped its app, tied to Facebook this time, and as you'll see from the major corrections in that story, we still have no idea what it's for.

5. Google Redesigns [insert other favorite service]

Axing little-used services was one thing, but Google gave some of its major services makeovers this year, and they were the cause of much consternation. The most infamous change was the Google Reader overhaul. In an effort to unify the product line under the Google+ banner, Google ended up eliminating social features that were beloved by Reader users.

Google also brought the same kind of design to Gmail. It was good looking, which was new for Google products, but it took some unfortunate hits in usability, such as replacing text buttons with inscrutable icons.

6. Google Axes [insert favorite service]

In an effort to slim down and "ship the Plus part" of its services, Google shut down a swath of products this year, leaving some users in the lurch. Google's house-cleaning this year left Web denizens with a clear message: Don't trust free services.

Google dumped Android App Inventor, a do-it-yourself programming tool that was beloved by computer science educators. It axed Buzz, an ill-fated social network, and Labs, its arsenal of neat, usable experiments on top of Google's existing products. It turned off Code Search, which was an asset to developers. It killed off Timeline search, which allowed interesting date range filtering of Google search results. In the last round, it shut down Wave, Knol, Friend Connect and more.

7. Netflix

Netflix had just separated its streaming and DVD pricing plans, raising rates for customers who had both, which drove a million customers away. The Qwikster saga added insult to injury.

In addition to costing more, Netflix was going to force users to go to two separate websites, one for Netflix streaming and one for Qwikster DVDs. It only took a month for Netflix to reverse its decision. Despite the regrettable Qwikster incident, we think Netflix got a bad rap this year.

Original source: Top 7 Epic Tech Fails of 2011 written by Jon Mitchell

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