Microsoft Wins Hands-Down For Most Disappointing Product Of 2006 - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Mobile // Mobile Applications
Commentary
12/21/2006
04:56 PM
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner
Commentary
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
How Upwork Cut Zero-Day File Attacks by 70%
Oct 05, 2017
Upwork has millions of clients and freelancers that have to upload and download many files to and ...Read More>>

Microsoft Wins Hands-Down For Most Disappointing Product Of 2006

Many tech newspapers and magazines have year-end wrap-ups of the best products of the year, and at least one does a wrap-up of the biggest vaporware of the year, but I don't know anybody who's doing a wrap-up of the most disappointing products of the year -- products that were hyped like crazy, and which (unlike vaporware) actually materialized, but proved to be duds once the vendor showed us what was actually behind

Many tech newspapers and magazines have year-end wrap-ups of the best products of the year, and at least one does a wrap-up of the biggest vaporware of the year, but I don't know anybody who's doing a wrap-up of the most disappointing products of the year -- products that were hyped like crazy, and which (unlike vaporware) actually materialized, but proved to be duds once the vendor showed us what was actually behind the velvet curtains.

If there were an award for the most disappointing product of the year, the "Origami" would certainly top the list. This was a hugely hyped product in the first quarter of the year, but when it finally came out, you could almost hear the entire computer-using community breathe a puzzled, "Huh?" Our own Andy Dornan wrote a caustic blog post in March, comparing it to Bob -- Microsoft's cutesie-poo 1995 attempt at a non-threatening Windows user interface -- and said, "The most interesting thing about Origami is how Microsoft manipulated bloggers and journalists into hyping it. Far from the Transformer gadget hinted at (Eight toys in one! Changes from iPod to camcorder to computer and back!), the device is just a small Tablet PC."

And yet the Origami -- which became the Ultra-Mobile PC when it was released -- has its loyal fans, and one of them, James Kendrick, writes to defend it.. He says the size, about that of a big paperback book, makes a nice compromise in portability and convenience between, on the one hand, a Tablet PC or notebook computer, and, on the other hand, a PDA or smartphone.

He makes some good points. Anybody who's ever attempted to view the Web on a PDA or smartphone display knows how frustrating that can be. On the other hand, a Tablet PC or notebook computer is a lot to lug around, and takes a while to get started using.

Read James's arguments, and make up your own mind.

James is author of jkOnTheRun,, a very good blog devoted to mobile computing, with the best tagline ever: "... using mobile devices since they weighed 30 lbs."

How about you? Got any computing products that you love and find highly useful, even though the rest of the world thinks those products were stupid flops? Leave a message on the InformationWeek Weblog and let us know.

And, by the way, see here for our sister publication CRN's opinion on best product of 2006, covering Web development tools, security products, networking hardware, and more. It's proven to be a hit for them, so I think you'll like it.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll