RIP technology: 10 products and services that died in 2011

From the Flip to Google Health, these tech losers showed promise -- just not enough to keep them alive.

By Steve Fox, PC World |  Mobile & Wireless

HP WebOS: To borrow the words of The Princess Bride's Miracle Max, HP's mobile operating system "is only mostly dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead." Indeed, there may be life after death for this promising multitasking OS, which was installed on commercial flops such as the Palm Pre and the HP TouchPad (see product number 99 in our Best Products of the Year list). For months, rumors circulated that HP would sell off the OS. Then earlier this month, HP announced that WebOS was going open source. Here's hoping for a spirited revival.

Zune HD: Two reactions greeted news that Microsoft had finally pulled the plug on its portable media player: 1) gnashing of teeth from the (few) faithful, who deemed the Zune superior to the iPod; and 2) surprise from most music fans, who didn't know it was still being produced at all. Then again, maybe the Zune isn't completely gone, since its revolutionary "Metro" interface figures prominently in Windows Phone 7, the Xbox 360, and Windows 8.

AltaVista: This once-mighty search engine has effectively been dead for years. But its demise became official in May, when corporate parent Yahoo swapped in its own search engine and started returning results on a Yahoo page. Yet in the days before Google, AltaVista was the Web's most sophisticated search engine, providing unprecedented full-text searching capabilities to the sprawl that was the mid-'90s Web. For that I'll be forever grateful, and maybe even a little wistful.

Google Labs: The development playground that gave rise to services such as Google Maps and Google Groups is no more, due to "streamlining efforts" implemented in July. The good news is that app-specific projects, such as Gmail Labs and Google Maps Labs, are still alive and kicking.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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