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Discussion Starter #1
A photo gallery of Microsoft products that never made it over the last decade

The list includes

  • Zune
  • Kin 1
  • Kin 2
  • MSN Direct Smart Watch, aka the SPOT Watch
  • Bing Cashback
  • Windows Live OneCare
  • Soapbox
  • Microsoft Wireless Base Station
  • Microsoft Encarta
  • Microsoft Money
  • Web TV
Story

Probably should add Windows Mobile to that list.
 

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I still have a copy of Cinemania from 1998. How about the Sidewinder Joystick that was made for Flight Simulator?
 

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They know how to make hardware like the 360, so why haven't they been able to replicate a smartphone or other handheld device.
 

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It's easy to replicate and come up with a "me too" product that comes to market months or years years late. It's difficult to design a new, innovative product that is first to market and has widespread appeal. I don't think MS has ever done that. They have simply leveraged the market advantage that IBM gave them, with MS-DOS in the 1980s, into market dominance in a few key areas.
 

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Encarta was a great product. But now with the development of internet and wikipedia it is hard to market an encyclopedia product. I still have a copy from 2003.
From an other manufacturer I also have a Canadian Encyclopedia and I think that this is also gone.
Even paper encyclopedia are not published anymore (or in very low edition)
 

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Quote from above: I used to use MS Money all the time. I thought it was great. I'm with you. I still use money as a "bank book". It is the 1999 version when it was a stand alone program but what changes in keeping track of ins and outs? This program will never go out of favour.
 

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I had a SPOT watch. Two of 'em, in fact. It worked great. The first one got soaked, and died, the second got stolen.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Trolling comment and a rebuttal to the trolling comment (because it was out of context) removed.

While this thread is obviously not flattering to MS, its not an excuse to troll or bash the company or spread venom.
 

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Didn't Microsoft also make cordless phones? That didn't go very far...

You could also add to the list all of Microsoft's various attempts at tablet computing.
 

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I wonder how much better MS could have done if they were better at marketing. Some of these products definitely weren't that bad, and perhaps could have succeeded if MS knew how to create some buzz around their products.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I don't think marketing was the problem. Could the marketing have been better, perhaps but their products had plenty of exposure.

MS should have owned the smartphone and tablet computer markets but they were so focused on putting Windows on other platforms that they missed the boat.
 

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MS should have owned the smartphone and tablet computer markets but they were so focused on putting Windows on other platforms that they missed the boat.
Agreed. Instead of building a tablet OS from the ground up, Microsoft tried to push Windows to that platform, that didn't do themselves any favours.
 

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Didn't Microsoft also make cordless phones? That didn't go very far...

You could also add to the list all of Microsoft's various attempts at tablet computing.
Yup! I have that phone sitting in a box. Nice concept (call management via PC) but poorly implemented. Battery life was horrible too.

I also had a couple Fossil Abacus SPOT watches. I liked the idea but they should have done more.

I also remember the AutoPC: a Windows CE based car stereo system. That got abandoned pretty fast but Microsoft did go on to team up with Ford on SYNC.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
To give some credit to Microsoft, they are having success with Mediaroom.

I really think that MediaRoom could be the third major business segment for them as Telco's looking to implement IPTV turn to Microsoft rather than trying to develop their own OS for set top boxes.
 

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And Mediaroom grew directly out of WebTV, one of the MS's so-called failures. As with all innovation, it is often in later products in a somewhat different niche that the original one ultimately finds traction.

While it might be fair to argue that MS doesn't truly innovate with completely new software or hardware ideas, they should get credit for the development of the office suite. While Wordperfect predated Word, MS Works was the very first intergrated office suite and MS Office was the first to integrate the power user versions of what were previously individualized office apps.

Last thing to credit MS with is they occasionally revolutionize. Kinect is revolutionary, even if they didn't think of motion control first.

While it is fair to criticize MS for lots of things and to point out its mistakes, let's also give credit where it's due. Without their insistence to IBM that MS-DOS licensing not be exclusive, the whole PC industry would have taken a wildly different path.
 
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