ith everyone's arms up over Instagram's new terms of service and everyone's rejoicing over the new Google Maps app, it's not surprising to see that technology companies have a lot to answer to when pushing forth a new product, service, or policy. Last year, Netflix introduced (and quickly revoked) a new service called Qwikster. By now, we've all forgotten about last year's flubs, so without further ado, here are a new set of tech failures—from this year. Here are our top three choices of where tech companies dropped the ball.
In the tech world, there is enough turnover that a company has to put forth its very best products and services the first time around--when they don't, people notice.
1) Facebook's IPO. In May, the biggest social network around offered up its stock to the general public. It was a move that ol' Zuck probably thought would be a smash hit—but he was wrong. In its opening day, Facebook stock didn't do so well, and in the months since, the price has only gone down. Analysts predicted the demise of the network to come by 2020, which may have had a part in why the stock sold relatively poorly, but other experts pointed to the possibility that Facebook's initial price for its stock was too high. Looking at Mashable.com's archive of "Facebook IPO"-related posts, nearly every headline reports a drop in price. Some are editorials of "what went wrong," and some are reports of lawsuits filed against the social network, but the main point is still there—Facebook kind of screwed this one up. Other companies, like the travel website Kayak, watched the rise and fast fall of Facebook's IPO and put off their own plans of offering up stock. Bad move, Facebook. Better luck next time?
2) Apple's "Maps." When we put maps in quotation marks, it's not because we're referring to a title of the app. Instead, we're using quotation marks because the maps that Apple offered up on its second-most-recent software update were laughably bad. They've been immortalized on Tumblr, on the site "The Amazing iOS6 Maps," and when Google maps finally put forth its own maps app just last week, it shot to the top of Apple's app charts. Pretty sad, considering Apple is revered as one of the top-quality tech brands out there. The Apple executive responsible for the map app, Scott Forstall, resigned after the backlash—but not before refusing to sign an apology letter to Apple users and the company. He refused to sign an apology letter—refusing to admit wrongdoing or a mistake—and the company asked him to step down. Apple CEO Tim Cook told Apple users that a fixed Maps app was on the way in October, but here we are at the year's end with another brand's app dominating our directions. Whoops!
3) Windows 8. While the new operating system has been lauded by some as revolutionary and intuitive, since it's made for touch-screen technology, most people had a hard time adjusting. Since most people who use computers at home still use keyboards and mice (the horror!), the touch-screen integration fell short of what they needed in an operating system. One woman's difficulty was captured on video in the YouTube smash hit, "How a Drunk Woman Uses Windows 8"—our favorite quote from the clip? "Can I actually just write the fucking email? Where do I do that?" Considering many computers and tablets going forward will be preloaded with Windows 8, a lot of potential users may decide to choose a different brand. Your move, Microsoft.
While these are just a few of our least-favorite tech moves from the year, they're certainly not the only goofs out there. Other honorable mentions include, as previously mentioned, Instagram's new terms of service, as well as Apple and Samsung's legal battles and Blackberry's inability to release their "10" update and their general irrelevance. What was your favorite tech slip-up this year?