Killed by Microsoft

Microsoft, like Google has also killed many projects over the years. Some we will miss (Windows Phone), some we will not (Bob). And then there is the iLoo, where you have to wonder what the hell Microsoft was thinking. Have a look at:

Conversation 24 comments

  • miamimauler

    28 March, 2022 - 4:51 pm

    <p>In before the usual boo hoo but what what about Google tears…despite the fact it’s mentioned by the op. ?</p>

  • dftf

    28 March, 2022 - 6:35 pm

    <p>I must be the only one around here but… Windows Phone wasn’t that great.</p><p><br></p><p>The only thing that really made it different was the tile-based homescreen, and how it would try to gather data together from multiple apps into one place. If you liked that, great I guess.</p><p><br></p><p>But a former company of mine actually did use them for a couple of years and man were they annoying. Enrollment into InTune (you know, Microsoft’s own MDM service) was a nightmare; Airwatch wasn’t much better. The Store would randomly give errors, or apps would just fail to update or start downloading. Sometimes a reboot would cure, sometimes not. We often had to do system updates over USB as the OTA would just hang or error. The stock browser was slow and rubbish. I seem to recall customising the homescreen was a pain too, given the different tile-sizes and if you choose a larger size, it would rearrange all the ones around it.</p><p><br></p><p>It performed better than Android on low-spec devices, like dual-core, 512MB RAM, I’ll give it that. But otherwise I was so glad the day management deviced we’re not going to buy any more and simply go iPhone for the higher-ups and Samsung devices for everyone else…</p>

    • christianwilson

      Premium Member
      28 March, 2022 - 7:45 pm

      <p>“<span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">iPhone for the higher-ups and Samsung devices for everyone else</span>”</p><p><br></p><p>Hah! I love it. </p>

    • wright_is

      Premium Member
      29 March, 2022 - 12:18 am

      <p>Windows Phone wasn’t that great, no. But it was a better solution than iPhone or Android at the time – I used all three at the time. It offered the "just works" bit of iOS with some of the customisation that Android offered. It also had some unique features, like the people and photo hubs, which were application independent, but it never became popular enough to take off and for Microsoft to keep investing in.</p><p><br></p><p>After a while, the other 2 platforms cherry-picked the best features and WP died, forgotten in a corner, apart from a few dedicated fans. I held on until the last updates rolled out, but by that time there were hardly any working apps left – protocols and APIs for their online platforms had changed and nobody bothered to update the WP versions of the apps to work with them.</p>

    • wright_is

      Premium Member
      29 March, 2022 - 12:20 am

      <p>Enrollment into InTune for Android isn’t much better these days either. We tried it at work… I enrolled my company smartphone and then, the first thing I tried was to remove the MDM management app from the phone, it just deleted itself without complaint and my phone was back outside of InTune’s control!</p><p><br></p><p>Looking at the forums, fixing it had been one of the most asked for fixes for InTune for at least 3 years.</p>

  • hrlngrv

    Premium Member
    28 March, 2022 - 6:44 pm

    <p><strong><em>WE</em></strong> will miss Windows Phone?</p>

    • jimchamplin

      Premium Member
      28 March, 2022 - 7:12 pm

      <p>Some yes. I do sometimes.</p>

  • dftf

    28 March, 2022 - 7:43 pm

    <p>On the site you linked to there’s quite a few things there I’m not sorry to see gone: <em>Silverlight </em>(pointless Flash competitor); <em>Legacy Edge </em>(slow, buggy); <em>Journal </em>(never used it).</p><p><br></p><p>They should add <em>Microsoft Publisher </em>to the list as it’s as-good-as-dead thesedays.</p><p><br></p><p><em>Windows Messenger </em>was always an odd one. You could use it to connect with users on <em>MSN Messenger</em>, but it wouldn’t support all the features, like the window-shakes, games or in-chat animations.</p><p><br></p><p><em>Microsoft Works</em> was a surprising thing to die as nothing really replaces it. I guess thesedays you could argue the online versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint, but even-so it’s odd they have no local, cheap offering thesedays.</p><p><br></p><p><em>Windows Movie Maker</em> is an odd one they never kept going. Even just adding support to import and export newer video-formats would have been enough for many.</p><p><br></p><p>That site doesn’t list everything, too. <em>Outlook Express, Program Manager, Cardfile, Pinball, ActiveSync, Briefcase, AutoRoute, Photo Editor, DriveSpace, Write, Imaging for Windows, MSBACKUP and NTBACKUP, Cardspace </em>and <em>DVD Maker </em>are just some I can think of.</p><p><br></p><p><em>Internet Explorer</em> and <em>Windows Media Player </em>will be dead once <em>Windows 10 </em>is gone. <em>Microsoft Security Essentials </em>once <em>Windows 7</em> is gone.</p><p><br></p><p><em>Windows File Manager</em> is one notable example though of an old app returning; you can get a revived version from the <em>Microsoft Store</em>, or on <em>Github<u>.</u></em></p>

    • ch_whiteit

      29 March, 2022 - 2:18 am

      <p>I completely forgot about MS Works, until I read your message. My family used that, and Encarta, when we had Windows (either 95, or 98) installed on our PC.</p><p><br></p><p>One item I’m a bit picky about is the MS Java VM bit. I’m fairly certain that Oracle killed MS Java, as they perceived it as a threat, and that they thought that MS ripped off Oracle’s (previously Sun’s) Java VM. The court case forced MS to kill it off (so that one could be labelled as "Killed by Oracle", though mostly because MS was being the anti-competitive "it’s mine not yours" MS back then).</p><p><br></p><p>Zune and Windows Phone could have been better, but MS was very late to the party, and just couldn’t get any traction against Apple or Google. I didn’t mind my WP10 based Lumia phone, though I did occasionally get stung by the apps not updating bug, which could be fixed by either restarting the phone, or uninstalling/reinstalling the app, though sometimes even those didn’t work, so the offending app got removed until it got fixed, or I reinstalled WP 10.</p><p><br></p><p>The item on that list that I miss the most though is Technet. It’s a shame that so many people abused that service, because it was a really good way to get access to Windows Pro and Windows Server (and anything else that MS put up there).</p>

      • wright_is

        Premium Member
        29 March, 2022 - 2:32 am

        <p>The problem is, products like Zune and Band were never really marketed or pushed by Microsoft – heck, they never even released them outside of the US, Canada and the UK. Then they compared the US sales to the global sales of their competitors, claimed it was a failure and shuttered the shop.</p>

        • bats

          29 March, 2022 - 4:14 pm

          <p>That’s not true. I remember there was a significant push to market those products, not only in commercials but also in Best Buy and other stores. The big problem with Zune, and why it was never going to work, was because of the very limited Zune store. The Zune’s tech was better than the iPod. The reason why band didn’t work, because it was ugly and one dimensional. One would have to be a real tech geek to really want that watch. No one in their right mind would wear that watch with a suit or a tuxedo on. </p>

          • wright_is

            Premium Member
            30 March, 2022 - 2:39 am

            <p>Yes, but Best Buy is only in the US, AFAIK. Microsoft never really pushed any of these products, beyond the local market.</p><p><br></p><p>Whilst Apple was doing international marketing and selling their iPods in tens of thousands of stores around the world, Microsoft was pushing the Zune through its own stores, Best Buy and a few other outlets, in the USA. Then they compared the millions of units of iPod sold <em>world wide</em> against the 10’s of thousands of Zune sold <em>only in the USA. </em>It is no wonder that they deemed it a failure, when using such broken metrics that any economics student on their first day at university would hold their hand up and ask why?</p><p><br></p><p>The Band was better than, say, the Fitbit range at the time, but, again, compare Fitbit’s global sales vs. their USA only sales and claimed it a failure.</p><p><br></p><p>In both cases, despite calls from Microsoft fans in other markets regularly asking when the product was actually going to get released… They never did.</p><p><br></p><p>With the Band, it is especially ironic, Windows Phone in Germany at the time had a larger market share than iPhone, actually reaching around 20%, the iPhone was only around 15% market share at the time, yet the Band was never released here, despite calls on social media and in the press, asking why Microsoft weren’t releasing their products in their strongest market?</p><p><br></p><p>The same with Windows Phone, when it was eventually killed, Germany was the number one market for Windows Phone, yet everything go released in the USA first, where it was pretty much a failure and never gained traction, but the real users and the real fans had to wait months or years for the stuff to trickle down.</p><p><br></p><p>Cortana was the same, it <em>had</em> been available on Windows Phone in German, but it never appeared on Android or iOS in Germany, because Microsoft didn’t have the server capacity to run it! They <em>had</em> been running it for years in Germany on WP and still ran on Windows desktop and they were busy pushing Azure as a scalable cloud solution, but they didn’t have the server scalability to run Cortana in German on Android and iOS?</p><p><br></p><p>Microsoft is only ever half-hearted with these sorts of products, it is as if somebody says they have to have those products, but the higher ups aren’t sure and never let the team that develops it have the resources to actually do the job properly.</p>

            • dftf

              30 March, 2022 - 4:39 am

              <p>Here in the UK, I can recall seeing adverts for <em>Zune</em> back in the day, but I can’t recall anyone who had one.</p><p><br></p><p>I had (and still have, albeit running the <em>Rockbox</em> OS thesedays) an <em>iPod Mini</em>, and outside of the <em>Apple</em> ecosystem, the <em>Creative Zen</em> or one of <em>Sony’s </em>devices (either an MP3 <em>Walkman</em>, or perhaps still a Minidisc player) were mostly what I saw. Though many people also just played music-files on their <em>Nokia</em> feature-phones, given many supported microSD storage.</p><p><br></p><p>More people probably installed the "Zune" theme into <em>Windows XP</em> than actually owned one!</p>

  • navarac

    29 March, 2022 - 6:46 am

    <p>Like most Tech firms, Microsoft only goes for the "next big thing" until the "next" next big thing. Con the punters and then dump them because there is something better – or Not half the time.</p>

  • hrlngrv

    Premium Member
    29 March, 2022 - 4:25 pm

    <p>In an alternative universe, maybe MSFT could kill MSN. Not holding my breath in this universe.</p>

    • navarac

      29 March, 2022 - 4:40 pm

      <p>….and the rubbish that is Bing.</p>

      • dftf

        30 March, 2022 - 4:33 am

        <p><em>Bing </em>is about the only major-alternative to <em>Google</em> in Western markets, though.</p><p><br></p><p>At the current time, there isn’t a rival I can think-of that doesn’t have to fall-back on either of these two. <em>DuckDuckGo </em>gets some results from <em>Bing</em>, and both <em> and Brave Search </em>rely on <em>Google</em> for some results.</p><p><br></p><p>If <em>Bing</em> were to fail, essentially all of those third-party search-engines would just become reliant on <em>Google</em>…</p>

        • navarac

          30 March, 2022 - 6:05 am

          <p>The majority of the times I inadvertently got conned into using Bing, the results were rubbish and not even in the ball-park. I went to Google in the end anyway. (Anecdotal, I know!)</p>

        • jeffrye

          30 March, 2022 - 1:52 pm

          <p>I like neeva but be warned – search without ads is addictive! :-)</p>

      • hrlngrv

        Premium Member
        30 March, 2022 - 1:18 pm

        <p>Bing is debatable. MSN is the news aggregator no one wants, well, other than MSFT. As welcome and useful as a copy of <em>USA Today</em> outside one’s hotel door in the morning (the old days). Sorry, that’s an unfair comparison for <em>USA Today</em>, which tried for actual news. MSN is more of a daily version of <em>People</em>.</p>

  • asdfasedasdfasdf

    31 March, 2022 - 5:49 pm

    <p>If you’re 55+ (I’m not, but I’m close) you may remember that Microsoft Access was a communications program for your 300 baud modem back in the early 1980s. They discontinued it and eventually reused the name for the database app. References to the original access are almost completely gone from the web nowadays, but it did exist.</p><p><br></p><p><br></p>

    • hrlngrv

      Premium Member
      31 March, 2022 - 8:09 pm

      <p>Tangent: in the early 1980s I knew as little about modems and software to use with them as I still know about Kyrgyz literature (as much as the average American, though I can locate Kyrgyzstan on a map). I started off using Lotus Symphony to connect to CompuServe. Agreed, pathetic. I graduated to whatever was included with Hayes Smartmodems, <em>Smartcomm</em>? Then in 1987 or so I came across ProCom, which had a far better scripting language, and I was set for roughly a decade until I went fully ethernet cabled or wifi at home.</p><p><br></p><p>Heck, I made a small ripple in my 1st white collar job by writing a ProCom script to run when the boss’s secretary turned on the shared PC/AT, the only PC in the department with a modem and always-connected printer (every set of 4 cubicles shared a dot matrix printer on a cart, and we wheeled it to out cubicles and connected the parallel cable to out own PC’s parallel port when we needed to print — ah, the good old days when one could get some exercise at work). The script dialed up an industry BBS, downloaded the news of the day, hung up, and printed the news. The boss’s secretary took the printout, stapled the department’s circulation on the front, and it passed around the department during the day. Thus endeth today’s tale of <em>Work in the Dinosaur Age</em>.</p>

  • sowlarris15

    05 April, 2022 - 10:28 am

    <p>interesting information</p>

    • Paul Thurrott

      Premium Member
      05 April, 2022 - 10:56 am

      Potential spammer alert.

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