The QiRanger Adventures

The Top 10?

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So PC Authority (Australia) recently published an article listing their Top 10 Disappointing Technologies. For the most part, I think that their selections are spot-on… However, like any list, it is flawed.

Here’s their list:

Honorable Mention: Biometrics

Honorable Mention: Ubuntu

10: Virtual Reality

9: Alternative Search Engines

8: Voice Recognition

7: Apple Lisa

6: 10gb Ethernet

5: Fire Wire

4: Bluetooth

3: Itanium

2: Zune

1: Windows Vista

First let’s talk about Biometrics. It shouldn’t be listed as an Honorable Mention. Face recognition technology and fingerprint locks are easily bypassed or just don’t work all together. Despite what we see on TV, the technology just falls flat. It needs to be higher on the list.

Ubuntu needs to be taken off the list. It’s nothing more than a distribution of Linux. Sure there was a ton of hype that surrounded it as the “user-friendly” version of Linux, but the truth still holds that to use Linux, you need to be somewhat tech-savvy. If you want an easy home-based computer Linux/Unix machine… get a Mac. A better item for this slot would have been IBM’s OS/2. Never heard of it? Exactly!

The search engine business is quite funny. I remember last year listening to a Market Place article about a new search engine. The reporter asked the question, “Why would anyone lay out money for a new search engine with Google so securely in the lead?” Exactly. It’s not a disappointing technology… it’s just plain stupid.

Voice Recognition software continues to fall short. I’m still reminded of the scene in Star Trek IV where Scotty picks up the mouse and says, “Hello computer.” There will come a time where we can simply speak and get our Earl Grey tea, hot… but I’m sure it will be long in the distance.

The number 4 and 5 slots I’m not too wild about. Sure they have a far greater potential than they’re being used for at this moment. Apple’s recent omission of a Fire Wire port on the MacBook is certainly a move that supports a failed technology position. Especially as solid state cameras grow in popularity. But if this was their gauge, they need to turn the clock back to BetaMax. As far as Bluetooth is concerned, I’m not sure what the authors want for the technology. It’s ubiquitous in the business world as a hands free talking device, which is how Motorola marketed the technology. Sure you can use it to transfer files and print, but no ever told the masses about it.

They list the Zune at #2, and I’m not sure why. While I’m no fan of the player, I don’t think you can call any entry into the MP3 player arena a disappointment when you’re facing the iPod. Apple has such huge share (71% as of Q1 2008) that the closest competitor holds only 11%. Microsoft has somewhere in the neighborhood of 4%, and that is amazing.

Then there’s the Number 1… Vista. Boy did Microsoft miss the mark on this OS. I’m not sure I’d call it a disappointment… I think clusterfuck is a more fitting word.


Written by Steve Miller

May 19, 2009 at 8:00 pm

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