10 Products Microsoft and Apple Want Us to Forget About

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10 Products Microsoft and Apple Want Us to Forget About

by Don Reisinger

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Apple Newton

Some say the Apple Newton project was the forerunner to the iPhone and iPad. The Apple Newton boasted tablet-like functionality in a small form factor. When it launched, Apple thought that it would "revolutionize" the computing industry. The Newton project had a pretty good run, lasting from 1989 to 1998. But it was eventually axed by Steve Jobs, who knew it was a dog and discontinued it when he made his triumphant return to Apple.

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Windows XP for Tablet Edition

When Microsoft first offered Windows XP for Tablet Edition, some wondered if it would usher in a new era of computing. But after a sub-par launch and limited use by the majority of the market, most folks realized that it was probably a technology ahead of its time. Although Microsoft's software can be considered the precursor to the iPad, Windows XP for Tablet Edition failed to deliver a lasting experience on any level.

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Apple Pippin

Although Apple didn't manufacture the Pippin (it just designed it), it's widely remembered as one of the worst tech products to ever hit store shelves. When the Pippin was released in the U.S. in 1996, it was supposed to be a game console that could double as a computer. Apple originally intended to license Pippin, but Bandai quickly jumped on it and produced it for the game market. Needless to say, it failed miserably.

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Microsoft Bob

Although the idea behind Microsoft Bob—to create an experience where users would have an easier time working their way around Windows—was a good one, the software had no business in the software space. It's hard to say exactly what killed Microsoft Bob, since pretty much all of it was downright awful. When users booted it up, they were immediately turned off. Luckily, Microsoft saw it for what it was and discontinued it prior to the launch of Windows 98.

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Apple III

It's tough to describe the Apple III in any other way than to say that it was a downright failure. When the computer launched in 1980, it suffered from a slew of stability and design flaws that did little but frustrate users. And although Apple eventually fixed the problems, by then it was too late. The device's price tag of up to $7,800 didn't help much either.

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Windows ME

As someone that unfortunately bought Windows ME at launch, I can tell you for sure that it was one of the worst products Microsoft has ever released. The software, which trailed Windows 98, suffered from so many instability issues, it was more of a nuisance than a viable software package. And from a security perspective, it was a nightmare. The OS was quickly replaced by Windows XP.

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Apple Lisa

After the Apple III, Apple needed a commercial success. But unfortunately for the hardware company, the Apple Lisa couldn't deliver. The device, although extremely powerful for its time, didn't sell well for Apple due to an extremely high price tag of about $10,000 at its launch in 1983. Ironically, Lisa enjoyed some success in the enterprise, where companies were hoping to utilize its immense power. It was the precursor for several features we enjoy today. Too bad.

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Windows Vista

Not much more can be said about Windows Vista that hasn't already been relayed around the world. Although Microsoft still contends that Windows Vista was a success, we all know better. When it was first released, the operating system was rife with security and compatibility problems that still plague users today. Vendors decided to offer customers downgrade rights to Windows XP in an effort to cut down on lost sales due to issues with Vista. Worst of all, the enterprise, long the base for Microsoft's dominance, hardly adopted the software. Today, it's a topic Microsoft doesn't like to discuss.

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iPod Hi-Fi

A common misconception contends that every product Steve Jobs has released in the past decade has been a success. Although he has a pretty good track record, the iPod Hi-Fi flies in the face of that argument. Released in 2006, the Hi-Fi was designed to help users listen to music with a portable speaker device. Unfortunately for Apple, the iPod Hi-Fi was an outright failure. It was expensive at $349, poorly designed, and lacked some of the extras its competition offered. It was discontinued in 2007.

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Internet Explorer 6

Although Internet Explorer enjoyed its position as the leading Web browser of its time and millions across the globe used it, the browser was arguably one of the worst browsers Microsoft has ever put out. To this day, it's widely recognized by the security community as a major security hole that has caused widespread issues around the world. Plus, Microsoft was slow to update the software, which only compounded its issues. Google recently decided to discontinue support for it and in a thinly veiled effort to admit defeat, Microsoft is urging users to opt for Internet Explorer 8 rather than use the outdated browser. See what I mean?

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