The year 2011 saw the launch of several technologies and products. Many were launched with a lot of pomp, but only a few of these really tasted the fruits of success. The rest were coldly forgotten and unceremoniously scrapped. We are going to take a look at the products and technologies that couldn t stand up to the expectations.
Let's start with tablets. 2011 can be dubbed as the year of the tablets as tablets were launched by several companies. However, three of the highly hyped tablets were greeted with a lukewarm welcome. Prior to its launch, Motorola boasted in videos about the power that the Xoom possessed by showcasing it as capable of replacing even desktops. When it was released, it lacked the expected polish and was found to be too expensive.
HP TouchPad And WebOS
HP had been readying its own tablet, the TouchPad, sporting the new WebOS 3.0 operating system, However, facing the financial crunch, it had to suddenly stop development of WebOS and before we knew, it announced a halt to the production of its tablet. Since the mobile OS was developed specifically with the TouchPad in mind, the company also had to scrap the tablet along with the OS. TouchPad was sold at an amazingly low price of just $100 (Rs 5300) and was quickly sold out. The promising specs of the device include a 9.7" 1024x768 multi-touch display powered by a 1.2 \ 1.5 GHz Snapdragon dual-core and Adreno 220, 1.3 MP front-facing HD camera, and 16 \ 32 \ 64 GB onboard storage. The TouchPad and WebOS have therefore been featured as flops of 2011.
HP Pre 3
Another casualty of WebOS was the Pre 3 touchscreen slider smartphone. This phone was inherited by HP after it took over Palm. Powered by a 1.4 GHz Snapdragon and Adreno 205, with a 5 MP autofocus camera having LED flash capable of 720p HD capture and a front camera for video calling, 8 \ 16 GB of internal storage, a high-res 480x800 display, and the innovative Touch-to-Share proximity-based sharing feature that allows compatible devices to wirelessly exchange data, media, and even information such as a URL being viewed on one device to the other. The Pre 3 was sold by HP internally to its employees at stealer of a price of $75 apiece and is currently officially unavailable at any retail outlet.
The BlackBerry Playbook was launched in April with a lot of hype that it will be a real challenger for the iPad. Rumours had been abound about a tablet from the Canadian manufacturer with different names including the BlackPad. The tablet had everything you would expect to make it a formidable challenger such as a 1 GHz Cortex-A9 dual-core processor with PowerVR SGX540 to handle 3D graphics, 7" 1024x600 4-point capacitive multi-touch display, 5 MP camera capable of 1080p, and a 3 MP front camera for video calling. Probably it came in too late, or possibly it didn't have the infrastructure or ecosystem support such as the one provided by the App Store to the iPad, the device failed to draw attention and can be safely deemed a flop.
The Chromebook was launched earlier this year, based on Google's Linux-based Chrome operating system. Various vendors such as Acer, Adobe, Asus, Freescale, HP, Lenovo, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, Toshiba, Intel, Samsung, and Dell were roped in for the hardware. While it was viewed as a competitor to Microsoft Windows and even to its office suite due to the integrated cloud-based word processing and spreadsheet applications, it quickly became clear that the consumer was not yet ready to move to this new system. The main worry has been that this OS is in effect, a browser and people are not ready to rely on the browser for every computing task. Lacklustre Flash performance and the lack of offline functionality was another complaint. Google has made it an open source project since November, now called Chromium OS. It remains to be seen if future updates will help make it popular, but as far as 2011 is concerned, this was definitely a flop.
Duke Nukem Forever
It holds record for being the game with the longest development period of 15 years. It has been in and out of vapourware stage for countless number of times and has faced repeated delays. Yet, the iconic Duke of the Duke Nukem series refused to die and the game was finally released this year. Despite being in development for such a long time, this game utterly failed to meet expectations and seemed more like a rushed job. Clunky controls, long loading times, dated design, lack of story line, and boring gameplay, Duke Nukem Forever had everything you don't expect of an AAA title. Even the excellent voice acting by Jon St. John could not save this latest iteration of one of the most popular games from being labelled as a flop.
Security breach Of PSN
Hackers literally caught the security experts at Sony's PlayStation Network servers with their pants down as they breezed past the "security" of servers and harvested personal information and password details of the 77 million odd PSN accounts. Additionally, there were rumours of the users' "encrypted" credit card info including the card holders' names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, dates of birth, and CVV2 numbers being compromised. This event definitely shook the faith of PSN subscribers as the company had assured them of total privacy and confidentiality of their personal data.