Tech bullies: Tech pioneers gone bad

Everybody loves the underdog -- until it comes out on top.

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The paper tape that started it all

Picture courtesy Wikipedia user; Swtpc6800

Microsoft?

Wait, didn't we start out by saying that Microsoft was never an underdog? Well, it's true that it wasn't at its birth, but the strange thing is that the company has never been as much of an underdog as it is now. True, its dominance in operating systems and office suites are more or less total, and extremely lucrative; but over the past decade the company has tried repeatedly to break into new markets -- gaming, MP3 players, smartphones, Web search, cloud computing -- and repeatedly either ended up an also ran or failed entirely. You almost sort of feel bad for them. But it seems at least possible that one of these days it'll do something right -- and if there's anything the press likes more than a victim-to-bully story, it's a comeback story. Who knows, maybe Windows Phone 7 or Microsoft Office Live will take the world by storm. And then we can all get back to resenting Redmond again.

See also:

Confessions of tech hoarders

Facebook's most wanted

Flops and vapor: 10 ways Microsoft tried and failed to rule mobile

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