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Microsoft the best company of failed products/brands


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#1 nekrosoft13

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 05:12

I been and to a point still am a somewhat big MS supported, but that is slowly changing with recent products/brands that MS made, released, screwed, renamed, and or allowed to fail because of **** poor innitiative and support.

Not even sure where to start.

Zune excellent idea, great build quality, good software, poor marketing, poor to non-existant global release, with no marketing, no global release ms simply let it die

The original Tablet PC, this failed fast and bad. maybe not fully MS fault, now they are trying again, will they succeed, probably not.

Kin Phone, this one deserved to die, MS should never even let this one see daylight.

MS WebTV, anoher failed atempt, Apple got their AppleTV, Google their GoogleTV, then there is Roku, WDTV and numerous other products.

Money, another failed product, could have still be around and succeed, other products from different companies are still around

Encarta, could have been so much better, if only it was updated more often, backed by build online database, more multimedia, could have been better then wikipedia, but no, MS starts something and ever stands by it

Passport, wallet, .net passport, microsoft passport network, live id, windows life as past or MSN, microsoft account...... seriously! make up your mind!! how many times are you going to rename the same service. this is another reason why MS brands always fail, when people learn about one MS brand like windows live, next year is renamed to something else.

MS search, MSN search, MSN, Live search, Bing, again pick a name and stick with it, why is google so sucessful? maybe because everyone know what is it? and it doesn't get renamed every few years.

Microsoft network products, for few years MS made routers and such, and again instead of making them better and release new products they did their thing and dropped the brand/line.

Expresions, another products that had good potential with some work and good marketing, lower price it could on some level rival some adobe products and maybe even create a niche market with unique products.

mappoint, another brand tha is failing and failling fast

windows mobile, this failed hard, and everyone knows it

windows phone, while some (especially here)will not excactly call this a failure yet. but market share point of new, its not doing all that great.

windows, now this brings us to thier biggest products, MS seems to be going though cycles, windows 95, windows ME, Vista and now 8. after each screw up, they recover a bit by releasing a much better products for its time like 98se, XP, 7. This cycle shouldn't happen.


So why is MS so bad at brands, products and sticking by their product?

1) Inconsistency, MS brands are all over the map, a lot of it has little to no association. then MS can't keep up their mind, brands keep changing, when consumers learn of one name, MS renames it to something else or drops it.

2) poor follow-though, a lot of thse products failed becuse MS released them and pretty much let them fail. no ads, no marketing, limited availability, often not even mentioned on main site, hidden somewhere hard to find

3) poor design, all MS software that failed or soon will (money, encarta, mappoint) once designed has not really change till the time it failed.



i'm sure i missed quite a few MS failures over the year


#2 Brandon

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 05:21

Zune excellent idea, great build quality, good software, poor marketing, poor to non-existant global release, with no marketing, no global release ms simply let it die

The original Tablet PC, this failed fast and bad. maybe not fully MS fault, now they are trying again, will they succeed, probably not.

Encarta, could have been so much better, if only it was updated more often, backed by build online database, more multimedia, could have been better then wikipedia, but no, MS starts something and ever stands by it

MS search, MSN search, MSN, Live search, Bing, again pick a name and stick with it, why is google so sucessful? maybe because everyone know what is it? and it doesn't get renamed every few years.

Expresions, another products that had good potential with some work and good marketing, lower price it could on some level rival some adobe products and maybe even create a niche market with unique products.

windows phone, while some (especially here)will not excactly call this a failure yet. but market share point of new, its not doing all that great.

windows, now this brings us to thier biggest products, MS seems to be going though cycles, windows 95, windows ME, Vista and now 8. after each screw up, they recover a bit by releasing a much better products for its time like 98se, XP, 7. This cycle shouldn't happen.


Zune: turned into Windows Phone 7

Tablet PC: Software wasn't there before. Capacitive screens weren't around before, so you had to use the pen. Now with Win8, it's a great experience.

MSN/Bing Search: Great product, although I prefer google as I'm accustomed to it.

Encarta: Wikipedia killed it and all over pay-for encyclopedias.

Web Expressions: decent program (evolved from Frontpage), but Dreamweaver became the standard before it was released.

Windows Phone: Too new and still gaining market share. If the App selection were there, i'd go for it.

Windows 8: Best OS yet.

#3 +Brando212

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 05:27

your first point about Zune I completely agree with, i still believe that if MS would have marketed it better it (especially the Zune HD) could have out done the ipod/touch

the passport/live ID/etc i completely agree with too, that has been renamed way too many times

the only other one i will comment on is the search engine. i believe they've finally settled on Bing and i don't see that name changing any time soon

#4 OP nekrosoft13

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 05:27

"Zune: turned into Windows Phone 7" sorry but no, Ipod didn't develop into Iphone, both still have place in market. Just because I liked Zune, doesn't mean I want a phone in it.

#5 briangw

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 05:33

"Zune: turned into Windows Phone 7" sorry but no, Ipod didn't develop into Iphone, both still have place in market. Just because I liked Zune, doesn't mean I want a phone in it.


Actually, the Zune did turn into a Windows Phone. I owned both a Zune HD and an iPod Touch. The Zune morphed into what Windows Phones look like today while the iPod touch was backwards as it came from a phone. Are you stating though that you'd rather have two separate products? If so, I can see your point but wasn't it Jobs awhile back who said that we would combine a MP3 player with a phone for the ultimate multimedia device or was it someone else? With cheap options of cell phones these days, I think MS sees more value in that than personal media devices like an iPod Touch.

I'm surprised you didn't add BOB to the list. And I really have to disagree with Windows Mobile. I had one of the devices for a couple of years and loved it. They just didn't market it very well, similar to the tablets from XP Tablet Edition.

#6 primexx

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 05:46

WinMo had the whole market for a while... hardly a failure. it stagnated, just like IE6, and suffered for it. but it did allow MS the opportunity of starting fresh with WP7 and that was amazing.

#7 Empyrean Glow

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 05:54

So why is MS so bad at brands, products and sticking by their product?


Because, aside from their core products (Windows, Server and Office), Microsoft is a reactive company as opposed to a proactive one. They see a new market emerging, sit and watch that market as it blossoms, then put out a 'me too' product to compete. From there, they'll usually dump enough money into the product until it's eventually successful, or they'll dump it and move on, completely shafting the few owners that bought them. Aside from their core products, they've been stuck in a perpetual state of playing catch-up for at least the past decade.

I say this as a former Pocket PC, Microsoft Wifi and Zune HD owner, as well as several of the software products you've mentioned.

#8 nohone

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 06:24

While some items did fail, many of these were either not a failure, advanced the industry, was no longer necessary, or was intended to kickstart a tech. For example, Encarta can hardly be considered a failure. It was on the market for 16 years. It is widely considered to have caused CD-ROM inclusion with computers. It was the first real app to include multimedia - video and audio clips. Windows Mobile had a large portion of the smartphone market for years, and while they missed the boat on some of the pretty pictures in the iPhone, it had many features that were unheard of in the market long before the competition -WinCE had WMP before the iPod was even released. The dialup service was obsolete because of DSL or cable internet. The WiFi products were to jumpstart the industry. Passport, hike it underwent name changes, is still alive and well and used by millions. Mapping is still alive, and is on the web. TabletPC was introduced before the tech was really there, and alive in Win8.

But this makes it sound like the competition has not had a failed product. Apple's HiFi, Bluetooth headset, Newton, EWorld -> AppleWorks -> iTools -> .Mac -> Me -> iCloud (and you can go back and claim Quantum Link could be included in this). If having a low market share (if including Bing as a failure, with a lower marketshare compared to the market leader) then Mac is a failure with it's < 10% marketshare. Apple cyberdog, Taligent, Pippin, ROKR, Macintosh TV, Lisa, practically every mouse, Mac Cube, their insistence on using PowerPC processors and it making every Mac a Supercomputer, Mac servers, Apple printers and scanners, various programming languages, and many more.

I am not trying to pick on Apple, but the point is many companies have had their share of "failed" products.

#9 trip21

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 06:51

windows, now this brings us to thier biggest products, MS seems to be going though cycles, windows 95, windows ME, Vista and now 8. after each screw up, they recover a bit by releasing a much better products for its time like 98se, XP, 7.


Windows 95 was a screwup? Yeah good effort sport :s

#10 +Brando212

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 17:19

Windows 95 was a screwup? Yeah good effort sport :s

Windows 95, my cousin had one of those, though not as bad as ME it was still fairly unstable and bluescreened often, so while i wouldn't necessarily call it a screw up, i wouldn't call it great either

#11 blade1269

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 17:26

You forgot windows home server...This makes me sad. :(

#12 airedwin

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 17:29

Windows 95, my cousin had one of those, though not as bad as ME it was still fairly unstable and bluescreened often, so while i wouldn't necessarily call it a screw up, i wouldn't call it great either

Most of the unstableness and bluescreens were caused by bad drivers from hardware device manufacturers. Windows now has the most amazing support for any hardware that you will not find in any other Operating System. Mac OS X is "stable" because they have specific hardware that you cannot change. If Apple were to allow different hardware I promise you Mac OS X would be crashing left and right.

#13 +Brando212

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 17:33

You forgot windows home server...This makes me sad. :(

windows home server didn't die though, it just got integrated into Windows Server Essentials

#14 Orange Battery

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 17:38

My view of MS is they have some great ideas but always drop them and chase after another companies idea instead.

I am reluctant to purchase anything from MS that requires a service (excluding Office) and thats because they seem to change them so often and don't build a customer base (media services mostly). MS always seem to be the new boy in the market because they change too often.

Im a great lover of MS hardware and you cant fault their software - its just it never gets a chance to mature. Win 7 could have continued to grow into something even better with Win 8 but they changed their direction, WinPhone is great but could have really used the Windows Mobile name now as it could have been the great Tablet UI that Windows needs.

#15 OP nekrosoft13

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Posted 10 January 2013 - 17:40

Actually, the Zune did turn into a Windows Phone. I owned both a Zune HD and an iPod Touch. The Zune morphed into what Windows Phones look like today while the iPod touch was backwards as it came from a phone. Are you stating though that you'd rather have two separate products? If so, I can see your point


Yes that what i mean, there is room for both if only MS wasn't lazy and marketed it properly. just because I liked zune doesn't mean i want their phone.

few quick examples
1) when jogging, i want a small light cheap mp3 player that incase i loose it i won't loose much, will not go jogging with expensive heavier device full of my private info

2) mind me a a phone that can fit my entire music collection close to 100gb right now that I could connect to my car stereo. while they do have radios with hds, i do not want one.

3) when buying a gift a younger family member, are you going to buy them a phone with 2 year contract? or a mp3 player?

I'm surprised you didn't add BOB to the list. And I really have to disagree with Windows Mobile. I had one of the devices for a couple of years and loved it. They just didn't market it very well, similar to the tablets from XP Tablet Edition.


I left BOB off for reason.... didn't want to rub it on, anyway that is my point.
Windows mobile had a good start, but because of lack of inovation, lack of marketing all these MS products that start out as right idea they fall. MS releases something and then simply ignores it and when it starts failing they just give up.

WinMo had the whole market for a while... hardly a failure. it stagnated, just like IE6, and suffered for it. but it did allow MS the opportunity of starting fresh with WP7 and that was amazing.


look above, it still was a failure, WP7 is not really amazing, come back and say that then it has 50-75% market share

Because, aside from their core products (Windows, Server and Office), Microsoft is a reactive company as opposed to a proactive one. They see a new market emerging, sit and watch that market as it blossoms, then put out a 'me too' product to compete. From there, they'll usually dump enough money into the product until it's eventually successful, or they'll dump it and move on, completely shafting the few owners that bought them. Aside from their core products, they've been stuck in a perpetual state of playing catch-up for at least the past decade.

I say this as a former Pocket PC, Microsoft Wifi and Zune HD owner, as well as several of the software products you've mentioned.



excactly, and thats why so many of them fail, some fail just because they know MS track record, why buy into something that will probably fail like product before it