In most cases, the so-called turkeys were fairly predictable. Either the product was different from where the mainstream standards were heading, or the product was quickly surpassed by another, and/or, in most cases, the product was offered by an overly greedy company that wanted to keep it all inhouse, and the world passed it by.
Beta fits this to a tee. VHS, from the beginning, supported longer recording times (2 hours vs 1 hour, initially), supported stereo audio, and was licensable. (The stereo sound feature was soon replaced with the HiFi versions of VHS, and Beta too, all of which had stereo audio. But in the original low-fi versions, VHS had the stereo and recording time advantage, and therefore my support.)
ATM is another example. While it was the only game in town originally, for anything faster than 100 Mb/s, the virtual circuit nature of cell switching wasn't where the Internet was heading. So packet-switched techniques like Ethernet soon caught up with ATM speeds, and the rest is history (although ATM is still used in the WAN).
Related to this, ISDN and BISDN. Remember them? Packet-switched Internet Broadband access took their place. Because circuit switching, virtual or otherwise, was not where the connectivity field was going. Too much state info had to be retained. Way too complicated, eventually.
Intel and IBM CISCs soon caught up with Alpha and the RISC CPUs. But they were glorious in their day, weren't they?
Steve Jobs had the genius of turning Apple into a company that sells fashion-setting gadgets to Gen X and Gen Y. Had it not been for that, Apple would have been a shadow of its current self, IMO, as it was before Steve took the reins again.
I was puzzled to see the iMac G4 in that list since it was only one phase in that Apple desktop line, which became THE Apple desktop line. The big deskside units are still around but only in a high end pro model for graphics and animation.
As for Betamax, that was a marketing failure not a technical failure.
NASA's Orion Flight Software Production Systems Manager Darrel G. Raines joins Planet Analog Editor Steve Taranovich and Embedded.com Editor Max Maxfield to talk about embedded flight software used in Orion Spacecraft, part of NASA's Mars mission. Live radio show and live chat. Get your questions ready.
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