When it comes to technology, some products get more attention than they deserve. Thanks to various marketing strategies, pundit speculation, and even brand loyalty, an occasional dud is released with an incredible amount of undue hype. Here is a list of five overhyped tech failures in the last 10 years:
In 2001, an announcement was made that an invention was about to be unveiled that would change the way we think about transportation forever. The media went in to a frenzy of speculation over what this big announcement would be. Could a teleporter or consumer-level flying car have been invented? No, it was a two-wheeled personal transportation device did little more than allow you to move down a sidewalk without having to move your legs. What the Segway’s inventor, Dean Kamen, predicted was that his personal transportation device would “be to the car what the car was to the horse and buggy.” Unfortunately for him, it never really took off.
The “iPod killer” Microsoft pushed with an incredibly large PR campaign launched with limited response. Tech journalists commented on its lack of features more than its strengths, and the “Welcome to the Social” campaign was met with lackluster response. Only five years after its launch in 2006, Microsoft is reported to have made the decision to kill off the device and move on to more profitable ventures.
Windows XP was an aging operating system and Apple’s OS X was gaining some ground with frequent updates and a more modern look and feel. Years of rumors and speculation were answered with an operating system that was slammed by users and journalists as a failure. An overwhelming amount of users demanded that support for Windows XP continue past its listed support cycle as the software giant worked quickly to ready the its successor. Bugs, poor optimization, compatibility issues, and high system requirements were among some of the biggest complaints.
Google Wave received a lot of attention as it went into beta. Most of the attention surrounded developers recognition of the engine’s potential as a project management platform. Unfortunately, when the project was released to the general public, its popularity fizzled due in part to lack of interest and/or understanding of how exactly it could be a benefit. Google has since handed development over to the Apache Software Foundation and renamed Apache Wave.
HTC Nexus One
Sometimes, even a seemingly brilliant piece of technology can fall short on consumer interest. The Nexus One was hyped as a completely open phone, allowing users to pick their carrier for themselves after purchasing it on the Web store. Unfortunately for Google and HTC, customers preferred the hands on experience and subsidized pricing a dedicated phone could deliver. Within half a year of release, the Nexus One and its support channels were almost entirely discontinued.