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Monday, July 5, 2010

Bob's next of Kin meets similar fate

An alert reader comments:

From the people who brought you a hardware device named Bob, that received 7th place in PC World Magazine's list of the 25 worst products of all time, a spot in Time Magazine's list of the 50 Worst Inventions and number 1 worst product of the decade by CNET.com. (From Microsoft around 1995.)

Noticed the TV ads for the past six weeks for a media-phone type of gismo called Kin? Another Microsoft product, whose ads were really pending death notices. Kin is RIP after six weeks on the market.

But the Kin website is still up. And no worries, suckers! Microsoft said in a June 30 story: "We will continue to work with Verizon in the U.S. to sell current Kin phones."

As for the future, Microsoft says: "Additionally, we are integrating our Kin team with the Windows Phone 7 team, incorporating valuable ideas and technologies from Kin into future Windows Phone releases."

Windows Mobile 7 early release version anyone? Can't wait!

Remember when Microsoft was the powerhouse and Apple was almost dead? What a difference the iPod made.

Comments (10)

Don't forget the fruit-colored iMacs, the $100M contribution from MSFT, the booting of the wretched Pepsiman Scully, and the return of Mr Steve -- the man with the plan for the 'Pod, 'Phone, and 'Pad. "Quality," Aristotle is alleged to have remarked, "is not an act, it is a habit."

The question remains whether MSFT has the capacity to mend itself.

One might credit Steve Jobs as much as, or even maybe more than, the one product. And blame the bozo in Redmond.

I think WM7 will not be a synonymous with Vista. MSFT has put in much effort as have been looking at the competition and listening to it's beta testers.

I work at a large retail chain store which just purchased a in-store phone/inventory management system which is run by Microsoft software, of course.

Just a few weeks after we started using it the phone malfunctioned due to a software failure. Also the system is super slow and does not give enough indicators that it is working so the operator will know not to invoke other functions which messes things up even further.

It's a great idea if it only worked. When computers first came out we could have chalked it up to "growing pains" but they have been making these things too long to have problems like that.

There is a reason Apple has surpassed Microsoft. When one consistently produces junk at high prices sooner or later somebody else is going to come up with a better mousetrap.

Poor Bob,

He was software.

Don't forget the fruit-colored iMacs, the $100M contribution from MSFT, the booting of the wretched Pepsiman Scully, and the return of Mr Steve -- the man with the plan for the 'Pod, 'Phone, and 'Pad. "Quality," Aristotle is alleged to have remarked, "is not an act, it is a habit."

Actually, Scully was ousted years before Apple's turnaround. The CEO in place at the time of Jobs' return was Gil Amelio, who was arguably more worthless than John Scully. After all, this is the guy who said:

"Apple is like a ship with a hole in the bottom, leaking water, and my job is to get the ship pointed in the right direction."

That's almost George W. Bush-esque. The best thing that Gil Amelio did for Apple, was the acquisition of NeXT; bringing Steve Jobs back into the fold at the same time as buying the core of Mac OS X - the software platform they have used in every device they've sold since 2001.

The $150M from Microsoft was actually more of a good thing for Microsoft - they were about to get a royal rodgering from Apple in a lawsuit over QuickTime where they copied code wholesale and redistributed it as the "Video for Windows" video codec [source]. This way, Apple had some operating funds (as they were about 90 days from bankruptcy back then), and Microsoft was able to sell those shares at a massive profit a couple years later, which they did.

The turnaround story of Apple is probably the most amazing turnaround in business history.

A friend of mine works for the company that handled the publicity for the Kin, and he's watching co-workers deal with the shock of the Kin shutdown. It's not their fault that Microsoft dumped yet another corpse, but as far as promotions people are concerned, having a dog like this on their portfolios is like having done publicity for Cool As Ice or Ishtar.

In my friend's case, he'd recently escaped from Microsoft, and knew firsthand the dysfunctional corporate climate that made Microsoft management think the company could compete against the iPhone. I swear, the way Microsoft's going, these twerps couldn't run a science fiction convention, and I could spend months attempting and failing to find a worse insult than that.

Amazing how Android came out of nowhere two years ago and now it has buried Windows Mobile as an alternative to the iPhone OS.

At least, WM and Android are open unlike Apple though.

Windows Mobile was never much of an alternative to anything, for any purpose.

It's been crap since they called it Windows CE, or as I like to call it: WinCE

OTOH, Mr Steve and AAPL are far from perfect, as the apparent iPhone 4 antenna problem and corporate response indicate:

An "emerging pattern of hubris that the company has displayed” may not be the worst high-tech corporate behavior consumers have experienced, but it is surely discouraging.

Yet, in 2005, Mr Steve attacked environmentalists for their criticisms of AAPL's lack of concern for e-trash. Shortly thereafter, that response was reversed and recycling was embraced. Perhaps the "emerging pattern" will never become fully formed.

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