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Proudly We Fail: 25 Dead Tech Products

Jul 07, 2009, 06:04 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by David Strom)

"dead tech products 6) cc:Mail – desktop email
Cause of death: internal and Internet competition

"When LANs were still a new thing, the dominant email system that was used on them was cc:Mail. At its height more than 2 million desktops were using the system. Lotus Development acquired the company in 1991 and the final version was released in 2000. They were an odd fit for Lotus and Notes/Domino, and never were integrated into their culture. And as the Internet took on more importance, and Microsoft put resources into Exchange, corporate email systems moved away from cc:Mail to other options. dead tech products

"10) Digital Equipment Corp. PDP-11 minicomputers
Cause of death: PCs

"Perhaps no other computer maker had a more iconic and identifiable computer than DEC's PDP11. I learned how to program on one in graduate school back in the late 1970s, and they were found at universities and research labs around the world. I came across one not too long ago sitting in a friend's backyard and used as the repository for his gardening tools. About the size of refrigerators, they were 16-bit CPUs and had shared memory architectures and were built to last.

"21) Santa Cruz Organization SCO Unix/Xenix – operating system
Cause of death: corporate malfeasance

"Before there was Linux there was Unix and the company that brought Unix to more desktops than anyone else was SCO. Prior to SCO, the major Unix vendors were either AT&T or minicomputer hardware vendors. The first versions were quirky affairs and required lots of care and feeding, but once they were setup they ran forever. SCO sold the rights to Unix in 2001 to Caldera Systems, a company that was founded by Ray Noorda, who made his fortune with Novell, and that began a protracted legal battle with just about everyone else in the Unix universe."

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