10 Microsoft Flop Products – You must know

microsoft flop products, failed microsoft products

  1. Zune : Microsoft’s Zune was made to rival the iPod. Unfortunately, the Zune could never keep up with the iPod in terms of sales and popularity.
  2. Windows Me : Windows Me was supposed to be Microsoft’s next big operating system after the hugely popular Windows 98. Windows Me was only available for just over a year, the software was heavily criticized for being buggy and unstable.
  3. Microsoft Kin : It’s crazy that Microsoft invest two years and nearly $1 billion on a quasi-smartphone platform that Verizon stopped selling after two months.
  4. Windows Vista : Windows Vista was the follow up to Windows XP. Vista received huge criticism and negative reviews because of issues with privacy, security, performance, and the product activation process.
  5. aQuantive : Microsoft recently wrote off $6.2 billion of this $6.3 billion acquisition of this internet ad agency (initially designed to make aggressive inroads on Google’s dominance of online advertising after its 2007 acquisition of DoubleClick), making the investment nearly worthless, and demonstrating that Microsoft has failed to expand its online advertising business.
  6. Skype : Microsoft paid $8.5 billion in cash for Skype. Apparently the fact that Skype was not profitable didn’t matter. Apparently, the fact that Skype is primarily used by consumers (and not businesses) to make ‘free’ computer calls to their friends and family didn’t matter either. Ballmer’s track record on acquisitions suggests to me that he often buys businesses that nobody else “must have”, making me question why a Cisco or Apple didn’t buy Skype.
  7. Yammer : Microsoft recently paid $1.2 billion for Yammer. What is Yammer you might ask? Think of it as a private Facebook for Businesses. It’s probably too early to consider this a horrible investment, but many industry analysts characterize Yammer’s ascent as ‘mediocre’, and market analysts suggest that Yammer was valued at $600 million last fall when it raised $85 million in a venture offering. Microsoft may have purchased Yammer at its height due to recent infusion of capital from new investors.
  8. Microsoft Bob : Microsoft Bob was released in 1995 and was met with almost universal scorn. Even Microsoft themselves, who aren’t very vocal about their failures, admitted Bob was a disaster.
  9. MSN Messenger : MSN messenger never really took off, messenger felt like bloatware instead of . The service was used more internationally than stateside. Services like AIM dominated in the messaging arena.
  10. Microsoft WebTV : WebTV (now MSN TV) offered consumers Internet connection via their television sets in the mid-1990s. A Cable World article by Andrea Figler describes it this way: The service grew quickly at first, attracting mainstream users that typically shied away from technology. But to WebTV’s dismay, they became the dreaded consumer: a customer who failed to produce new revenue streams but insisted on creating expensive customer service problems. So Microsoft which bought WebTV in 1997, scrapped the brand. It never passed the one-million-subscriber mark.

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