Good Intentions Turned into Bad Products

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2010-04-01 Print this article Print


5. Windows Mobile 6.5

As Apple offered a revolutionary product to the mobile market, Microsoft prepared Windows Mobile 6.5, a mobile operating system that failed to deliver anything unique or worthwhile. It was so bad that even Steve Ballmer admitted that his company "screwed up" in the mobile space. It's no laughing matter. Since Apple joined the mobile fray, Microsoft's market share has dropped significantly. It hopes that Windows Phone 7 Series will right the ship, but there's no telling if it actually will.

6. Internet Explorer 6

Internet Explorer 6 might have been released years ago, but its impact is still felt today. Currently, there are millions of people around the globe still using the security hole that was Internet Explorer 6. And the worst part is, the browser was the precursor to current versions of Internet Explorer that still fail to achieve the kind of usability and reliability that their competitors do. Internet Explorer 6 was arguably one of the worst products Microsoft ever put out. And in a perfect world, it would have been an April Fools' Day joke.

7. 3D TV

At CES back in January, 3D TV was all the rage. Companies like Panasonic and Samsung said that future televisions they plan to offer will include 3D functionality so users can "immerse themselves" in the environment on-screen. Some folks are saying that 3D technology will be the next big thing since HD. Let's hope not. As nice as 3D might be for a couple hours at the movies, it makes little sense at home. Few people will want to watch a sporting event or their favorite sitcoms in 3D. It might be neat at first, but the novelty will wear off in no time.

8. Twitter Peek

The Twitter Peek is one of the most useless products ever released. The idea behind the device was simple: Users could buy a mobile gadget that would allow them to post updates to their Twitter profiles. It was designed for those people who don't like to surf the Web while on the go, but still would like to check out Twitter. The device's premise would have made great sense for an April Fools' Day gag, but unfortunately, it was the real deal. And the worst part is, it's still available for $100 or $200, depending on the kind of monthly service plan users want.

9. Palm Pre

When the Palm Pre was first announced, some folks were saying that it would be an iPhone killer. They tapped the device's multitasking capabilities to prove their point. And then the Pre launched. And all those things that the prognosticators didn't see when they first learned about the device were made blatantly clear when they got their hands on it. The Pre suffered from battery issues; its WebOS interface was subpar; and due to a severe lack of applications, it was very much a "what-you-see-is-what-you-get" kind of device. Needless to say, it didn't kill the iPhone. But it's nearly killing Palm.

10. Every Twitter clone

When Twitter took off and celebrities started moving to the service, a slew of Twitter clones were launched across the Web. Some were certainly better than others, but they all aimed to do one thing: be as successful as Twitter. They all failed. The main problem with all those services was that they tried too hard to be Twitter. They didn't realize that what the social network offered was unique and incapable of being successfully duplicated. And they all just ended up as a wasted space on the Internet. They would have been better off as April Fools' jokes.

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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