Most of us entered the digital realm thanks to the products of Microsoft, the company that brought generations of users to PCs. Even today, the Windows operating system is used by more than a billion people worldwide. In addition to Windows, Microsoft, and the Xbox brand that have been the driving force behind the growth of the gaming industry, Office is the most widely used suite of business applications in the world, and Internet Explorer was once the gateway to the Internet. 95% of users are online.
Microsoft really has had an important influence on our lives. However, despite its success, this giant has also had many failures over the years.
1. Microsoft Band
This smart bracelet was once thought to be a product with great potential, but when Microsoft launched the next version without solving the outstanding problems, the fate of this bracelet was decided. It’s a shame, because the Band is packed with smartwatch functionality and fitness features, and is compatible with Android, iOS, and Windows phones.
The Band’s biggest weakness is arguably its lack of comfort, a weakness that seems to be easily remedied. However, when Microsoft released the Band 2, it was only slightly less uncomfortable to wear. Then there is the issue of durability when the rubber material is prone to cracking.
Microsoft has quietly switched to thicker, more durable bands, but without adding water resistance or improving battery life. The device didn’t come cheap either, and after two short years, the Band was discontinued in 2016.
2. Microsoft Bob
Before the friendly Clippy became Microsoft’s mascot, there were Bob, a yellow smiley assistant, and the dog Rover. Bob is software with a colorized user interface to help new computer users get acquainted with Windows. For example, pen and paper represent a word processor, or a clock is calendar software.
This is very useful at a time when some people have no experience using computers. However, Bob was harshly criticized for his nasty characters and overly complicated interface. It had poor sales and was discontinued a year after its launch. At least it inspired Clippy.
3. Windows Me
Even a cute name can’t save Windows Me from being the worst version of Windows ever. Released in 2000 as the third update to Windows 98, Windows Millennium Edition (or Windows Me), is considered a release between Windows 98 and XP.
Initially, reviews for Windows Me were mixed, with some websites praising the operating system for its improved hardware and software compatibility over Windows 2000 (released as a Windows operating system). for the business seven months earlier). Other reviewers, such as PCWorld’s Dan Tynan, criticized Me’s poor reliability and derided it as a “Mistake Edition”.
In the end, Windows Me is just a bridge between old Windows and new Windows, and not enough to make users feel the need to spend money on an operating system that only lasts for a year. Despite being a failure, Windows Me improved the startup speed and introduced a number of features that are still used today, including system file protection, automatic updates, hibernation, Movie Maker, photo sharing, system restore, etc
Though loved by many, the Zune ultimately couldn’t keep up with the iPod. The iPod was so successful when Microsoft released the Zune.
The Zune is a very good music player, still with its own unique features, debuting with a Wi-Fi chip before the iPod. Microsoft also launched the Zune Pass music service for $15/month. The Zune HD was also one of the first to feature an OLED display.
However, the Zune is bulkier than the iPod, it doesn’t have as good an ecosystem of apps and accessories as Apple, and its video codec support is also limited. Zune’s failure could also be down to marketing mistakes — Microsoft couldn’t get customers’ attention, they still went to Apple’s stores.
5. Groove Music
Zune Music Pass was renamed Xbox Music in 2012, an attempt by Microsoft to make Xbox a multimedia platform, but failed, so before the release of Windows 10, the company rebranded the service. once again into Groove.
By the time Groove appeared, Microsoft’s attempt to break into the music streaming service had failed. Within a few years, the company discontinued the streaming service, redirecting users to Spotify. The company then shut down the Groove Music app on iOS and Android.
Groove Music lasted a little longer as a media player before being replaced this year by the new Windows 11 “Media Player” app, which is the successor to Windows Media.
6. Microsoft Kin
This ill-fated phone was produced for the purpose of social networking. There are two models, Kin One and Kin Two. The first model has an egg shape like the Tamogachi and the front slides up to reveal the keyboard underneath, while the Kin Two has a horizontal sliding shape like the Motorola Droid or Danger Hiptop (T-Mobile Sidekick). Microsoft bought Danger for $500 million in 2008, and Kin is the successor to Hiptop.
While Hiptop, or Sidekick, thrived from 2002 to 2010, Kin was abandoned after just two months. Verizon sent all unsold devices back to Microsoft, stopping online sales altogether.
Kin’s failure was attributed to the wrong development process, Microsoft used Windows CE instead of sticking with the Sidekick platform that they bought with a large amount of money, this change caused the project to be delayed. 18 months.
The fact that the phone has a small screen, lacks important applications (and cannot download third-party applications) makes it even less attractive, the Windows CE operating system is considered cluttered, unintuitive. mandarin.
7. Windows Phone (and Lumia)
Microsoft’s answer to iOS and Android was Windows Phone, a simple, easy-to-use smartphone operating system that was much more responsive than any Android phone at the time.
Launched in 2010 as a successor to Windows Mobile, Windows Phone sets itself apart with its Metro interface, which includes colorful Live Tiles that are updated regularly to display relevant information. Samsung, HTC, Dell and LG have embarked on the release of smartphones running Microsoft’s operating system. At one point, Windows Phone was powered by some of the best hardware available, including the Nokia Lumia 808 Pureview with its 41MP camera.
The biggest problem with Windows Phone is the lack of apps. Microsoft cannot call on developers to port their applications to this operating system. As a result, owning a Windows Phone means missing out on hugely popular apps like Instagram and YouTube.
Hoping to revive the platform, Microsoft acquired Nokia and eventually released “Microsoft Lumia” branded devices, but it was too late, Windows Phone was discontinued on January 14, 2020.
8. Windows Vista
After a long development cycle, Windows Vista, the next version of Windows XP, went public in 2007. Vista brought some good ideas, some of which were adopted in the new Windows 11. best. The problem is that some features, like the transparent Aero interface, are too advanced for most PCs on the market.
Because of its complexity, Vista was even slower than Windows 95 at launch. This operating system requires new drivers, so many graphics cards and peripherals do not work properly. Finally, Vista installation rates were very low, and Microsoft was forced to support Windows XP longer than expected.
Vista also caused Microsoft to be sued for labeling “Vista capable” on some computers when they could only run Vista Home Basic, the lowest version of this operating system. Vista has gone down in history as one of Microsoft’s biggest failures.
9. Windows 8 and Windows RT
With the PC market facing pressure from smartphones and tablets, Microsoft took a risk by releasing an operating system unlike any previous version of Windows. This was a time when Windows 7 was only 3 years old.
Windows 8 is an operating system built for touch — a desktop-to-mobile environment. However, this change did not receive a response from users. The boxy interface based on Zune and Xbox is confusing and strange, losing the Start button makes it very difficult for people to manipulate, the Windows Store has only a few sketchy apps.
The most serious problem was the lack of connection between the touch screen mode and the traditional computer mode. They appear to be two separate operating systems, one optimized for touch-screen tablets and laptops and the other for non-touch devices. If you don’t have a touch screen, the tiled interface is complicated to navigate; Likewise, people without a mouse and keyboard cannot take advantage of the computer interface.
Microsoft solved that problem with Windows 8.1, but the damage was too great and Windows 8 was quickly replaced by Windows 10.
Windows RT, a spin-off of Windows 8, was another huge failure. Designed as a lightweight version of Windows 8 for ARM-based tablets, Windows RT was severely limited by its reliance on a poor app store. In the end, third-party tablet manufacturers skipped Windows RT entirely and opted to install Windows 8 fully on their devices.
Microsoft’s virtual assistant still exists today, but not as the role it was born to perform. Once again, Microsoft was late in rolling out Cortana long after Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alex, and Apple’s Siri took up market share.
Named after the AI in the hit game Halo, Cortana debuted on the ill-fated Windows Phone before being integrated on the PC in 2015. In theory, Cortana seems to be very successful because millions of users can. access it just by owning a Windows PC. However, in reality, not many people use this assistant.
The death of Windows Phone has made Cortana lose her support. Being built into a computer isn’t as helpful as being the go-to assistant on a mobile device. Microsoft tried to expand Cortana’s reach with the Harmon Kardon Invoke speaker, but the assistant didn’t get enough third-party support. Finally, Microsoft removed Cortana from Windows Search and disabled it by default in Windows 11.
11. Xbox Controller “The Duke”
This handle is too big and ugly. When Microsoft introduced the controller for the first Xbox, Seamus Blackley, the controller designer, was heavily criticized. The cause of this design is believed to be that the circuit board is larger than expected. The Xbox controller is almost three times larger than the PlayStation’s DualShock controller.
A few months after the Xbox launched with the Duke controller, the Japanese version of Xbox arrived with a neater Controller S controller. Microsoft quickly adopted the Japanese version’s controller as the default controller for Xbox worldwide.
12. Internet Explorer
IE was a huge success until it became the “tool for downloading Chrome”. Launched in 1995 as an add-on pack before becoming part of the Windows 95 operating system, Internet Explorer quickly became popular, beating Netscape in the browser wars before gaining a high market share. about 95% in 2003. For those who grew up in the 90s and early 2000s, IE was the gateway to the Internet – the vast digital world.
The demise of this browser king also happened quickly. Microsoft has insisted on making the browser obsolete while competitors like Mozilla offer more features, faster loading speeds, and support for international web standards. When Google’s Chrome browser entered the market, IE’s fate was decided.
Chrome is faster, cleaner, and better supported by websites. IE from 65% market share in 2009 has dropped to less than 1% today. It was eventually replaced by Edge, and then by Edge Chromium, Microsoft’s current browser. On June 15, 2022, Microsoft discontinued all support for Internet Explorer, ending a 26-year era.