2015 technology industry graveyard
Cisco, Microsoft, Google and others bury outdated technologies to move ahead with new ones.
The Technology Industry Graveyard is pretty darn full in 2015, and we’re not even including the near-dead such as RadioShack and Microsoft’s IE browser. Pay your respects here…
The self-described “World’s Music Library” is no more after shutting down in April in the wake of serious legal pressure by music companies whose songs GrooveShark allowed to be shared but had never licensed. Apple and Google had each kicked GrooveShark out of their app stores years ago due to complaints from music labels. Much more sadly than the 9-year-old company’s demise, however, was the death of co-founder Josh Greenberg in July at the age of just 28.
Typo iPhone keyboard
Not even the glamor of being co-founded by American Idol host Ryan Seacrest could help Typo Innovations save its iPhone keyboard, which BlackBerry said infringed on its patents. So instead, Typo bailed on the iPhone model and settled for selling ones for devices with screens 7.9-inches or larger (like iPads).
Amazon Fire Phone
With a product name like Fire, you’re just asking for colorful headlines if it bombs. And indeed, Amazon has stopped making its Fire Phone about a year after introducing it and media outlets were quick to highlight the company “extinguishing” it or remarking on the phone being “burnt out.” Amazon has had some success on the hardware front, namely with its Kindle line, but the Fire just didn’t distinguish itself and was going for free with a carrier contract by the end.
Interop New York
Interop Las Vegas carries on as one of the network industry’s top trade shows next May, but little sibling Interop New York is no more this year. The Fall show, traditionally held at the Javits Center since 2005, was always smaller and was discontinued for 2015 despite lively marketing material last year touting “More Than 30 Interop New York Exhibitors and Sponsors to Make Announcements in Anticipation of the Event.”
Google ditched so many things in 2015 that we devoted an entire slideshow to Google’s Graveyard. So to choose just one representative item here, we remember Google Talk, which had a good run, starting up in 2005. But it’s never good when Google pulls out the term “deprecated” as it did in February in reference to this chat service’s Windows App. Google said it was pulling the plug on GTalk in part to focus on Google Hangouts in a world where people have plenty of other ways to chat online. However, Google Talk does live on via third-party apps.
Cisco Invicta storage products
Cisco has a good touch when it comes to acquisitions, but its $415 mlllion WHIPTAIL buyout from 2013 didn’t work out. The company in July revealed it had pulled the plug on its Invicta flash storage appliances acquired via that deal. It’s not unthinkable though that Cisco could go after another storage company, especially in light of the Dell-EMC union.
The once-popular file hosting system, begun in 2002, couldn’t withstand the onslaught of competition from all sides, including Google and Dropbox. Back in 2009, the Switzerland-based operation ran one of the Internet’s 20 most visited websites, according to Wikipedia. It shut down on March 31, and users’ leftover files went away with it.
Windows RT devices
This locked-down Microsoft OS for tablets and convertible laptops fared about as well as Windows 8, after being introduced as a prototype in 2011 at the big CES event in Las Vegas. Microsoft’s software for the 32-bit ARM architecture was intended to enable devices to exploit that architecture’s power efficiency, but overall, the offering proved to be a funky fit with existing Windows software. Production of RT devices stopped earlier in 2015 as Microsoft focuses on Win10 and more professional-focused Surface devices.
OpenStack vendor Nebula
As Network World’s Brandon Butler wrote in April, Nebula became one of the first casualties of the open source OpenStack cloud computing movement when it shuttered its doors. The company, whose founder was CIO for IT at NASA before starting Nebula in 2011, suggested in its farewell letter that it was a bit ahead of its time, unable to convert its $38 million in funding and hardware/software appliances into a sustainable business.
Facebook bought this social news and information feed aggregator in 2009, two years after the smaller business started, and then killed it off in April. People have moved on to other means of gathering and discovering info online, so FriendFeed died from lack of use. It did inspire the very singular website, Is FriendFeed Dead Yet, however, so its legacy lives on.
Apple put the final nails in its Aperture photo editing app in 2015, ending the professional-quality post-production app’s 10-year run at Version 3.6. In its place, Apple introduced its Photos app for users of both its OS X Mac and iOS devices.
One of the co-founders of anonymous sharing app shared this in April: The company was shutting down and returning whatever part of its $35 million in funding was left. The company’s reality was just not going to meet up with his vision for it, said co-founder David Byttow. The company faced criticism that it, like other anonymous apps such as Yik Yak, allowed for cyberbullying.
Amazon started the year by announcing its Wallet app, the company’s 6-month-old attempt to get into mobile payments, was a bust. The app, which had been in beta, allowed users to store their gift/loyalty/rewards cards, but not debit or credit cards as they can with Apple and Google mobile payment services.
Circa News app
Expired apps could easily fill an entire tech graveyard, so we won’t document all of their deaths here. But among them not making it through 2015 was Circa, which reportedly garnered some $4 million in venture funding since starting in 2012 but didn’t get enough takers for its app-y brand of journalism.