13 Biggest Tech Blunders of the Decade

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Fivo

SPORE failed primarily because of its DRM stance.  I was ready to buy a minimum of eight copies for the extended family but did not when the reports flooded the market concerning the draconian DRM it used and potential security exposure to an essential root kit.

Steam is by far the best at forming a happy medium.  I will not install software I know compromises my machine.

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D00dlavy

What's wrong with Phenom?  I have one.  I'm running a "Dragon" PC actually.  It runs real good-like.

My biggest perceived tech failure was a Japanese sex robot I ordered from the Internet.  Now I have bumps and bruises everywhere.  I had to trick it to going into the closet and now it has been scratching at the door for the past 48 hours.  I'm scared.

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Revrant

"But between the human rights/privacy controversy in China, the discovery of the Google Streetview fiasco, and a slew of start-up acquisitions, it’s starting to feel like Google is just another company, albeit one that does cool stuff sometimes and generally executes well."

Bowing to the US and violating our privacy rights, Microsoft, Yahoo, check check, logging streetview pictures which is, after all, 100% legal in the US, everyone to ever walk the face of Earth with a camera, check, buying companies with great ideas and then turning those great ideas into giant successes, paging Warren Buffet, Warren Buffet to Maximum PC, Warren Buffet to Maximum PC please.

Let's see, Apple, uses titanic amounts of slave labor in other countries and rips us off with gargantuan markups bears no mention? Shocking, how about Ubisoft forcing crappy OS-corrupting DRM on us from a former USSR country? Not evil? I should just move on, total fail on your behalf.

Phenom continues to sell like gangbusters, I just blew through Crysis 2 on Extreme with it at 40-60 FPS, mine isn't as nice as the latest i7, but it was still highly competitive at the time of release, and the newest quad core ones are battling for #1 at lower price points to Intel's offerings, calling it a failure while it is an ongoing success is a pretty huge failure.

The most notable total fail to me here was the startup of the FX line, I just could not believe the quality fail, the performance fail, the ridiculously false marketing, the exposure of corrupt PC journalists spitting out positive reviews for this atrocity. I liken it to Prescott, also present here, an identical breakdown of quality from the #1 company in their field, and in both instances a long time, but much smaller, rival, stepped up, put out a great product, and cemented their place as the permanent #2 in the market, now large rather than small.

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ImTheDuke

Have to disagree with Google. They ended up pulling out of China. Wasn't that a good thing? Anyway, I'm the other guy that has a Zune and I would never trade it for a iAnything. Great software combinded with Zune Pass works really well. No denying its a bust though

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maleficarus™

Nice list. PS3 I agree with 100%. Anyrthing with the Sony name attached to it makes the list as far as I am concerned! Heck, even there LCD TV's are over-priced and over-rated. I don't agree about Google as I use Google each and everyday. I would have included 3D TV's in this list as this latest fad is a bust like usual. I would also vote bluray, not because it looks bad as I find the movies look amazing, but because it has slowed everything down and did nothing but confuse everyone that walks through a Wal-Mart!! Again, more Sony BS as far as I am concered...

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robthompson

I agree, not a fan of Sony at all, they charge so much more just becuase it says Sony.  The quality isnt even great, crappy as the next, I find that the cheaper stuff most of the time lasts a lot longer (comparing it to my friends that by Sony products versus myself that buys no name components), the no name companies charge less and give you more becuase they want to make a name for themselves.  Dont get me wrong, not saying that everything no name is better, i have had my share of issues but for the most part they are better.

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cabanaeggy

The PS3 fits in this list for one main reason. That reason is removing features from what came out at launch. The PS3 could play PS2 games without any problem since there was PS2 hardware inside of the PS3 system. I know that those components do not cost that much since Sony still mass produces PS2 machines. I have a 60GB model and it is a blessing since I do not need to have a PS3 and a PS2 both connected to my TV. Also removing the "Other OS" feature was another stupid move. This was suppose to be for those that need raw processing power for things like medical discoveries or for military purposes. Though Sony thought, "If we can't make absurd amounts of money on this, then we can remove it without any repercussion!" Well there has been one major issue because of this: the PS3 can now be modified quite easily since the keys have been leaked.

 

Sony has shot themselves in the foot with this generation of gaming console and there is no recovery from this.

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rwwllms

Windows Vista was to Windows XP what Windows Millenium was to Windows 98.

 

It follows the pattern of every other new Windows version being a dud and worse than the version it is to replace. 

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cmnetworx

I wonder if part of xbox selling units 2:1 vs the playstation has anything to do with how many failed units they had. I had 2 different xbox 360's that red-ringed on me and died, and I have ran into at least 4 other people that have had 1 or more do the same thing to them. Even though they outsold playstation the 360 consoles had some serious problems themselves, not even including how terrible xbox live is.

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molly33

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tom_stone

When the XBox 360 first came out, I thought it was too soon. Having owned a Playstation since it came out in 1994, then PS2 in 2000, I didn't think the XBox 360 had any longevity built into it. After taking one apart I was shocked by what I would call the shoddyness of it, it's filled with so many holes you could use it as a strainer and a dust magnet. My PS3 was hell to take apart, and even though it sat next to my XBox 360, there was hardly any dust in the PS3, no overheating, disk errors and such and I got my PS3 the month it came out, my XBox 360 is not even a year old. I can no longer count how many people I know have had to return theirs, either for the Red Ring of Death or the constant Can't Read Disk Error. The XBox 360 to me just looks plain shoddy and is built that way, hence the 3rd party cases available for it, to improve cooling and such. Because of the cheap price maybe consumers don't think twice about getting the new latest edition of the XBox to replace the broken one. Not built to last, I wonder how many of those Units Sold are even still functioning and I wonder how many are returns. Oh as for Microsoft, why do you keep us PC Gamers out of the loop! Either no PC Version or maybe years of waiting for a port. Now don't get me started on lack of BluRay.

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AEB152

I've had my netbook for awhile and it's still damn good. all the hardware is still stock and you know what surfs the web very well, makes a good tool for school and just surfing in general. And besides at least I HAVE functioning flash! so Netbooks are good and not that much of a fail as you say it cuz you used it like a laptop that's twice as expensive! so yeah netbooks are still awesome, get better and less expensive every year! so take it back. 

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btdog

I don't understand how anyone can disagree.  Sony went from first to worst in one console.  It was late to the game, it has undersold the other 2 consoles, its Move system is a horrible, Frankenstein-esque, amalgamation of the Kinnect and the Wiimote.  When the PS3 first came out, Sony had to sell them at a loss just so the price was competitive (and it was still the most expensive unit out there).  How could it not be a fail?!  Sorry, guys - good call Loyd.  Personally, I would have ranked it higher.

Also, excellent call on Vista, stereoscopic 3D, DRM, BTX and Phenom.  While I hate netbooks, I don't think I could call them a blunder (and probably ASUS wouldn't either).  Not sure I would agree with Google.  Iffy on Prescott and Zune.  The Zune HD is a pretty decent unit; I think MS gave up on it too early.

What about Hulu Plus?  APB?

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Eoraptor

Microsoft ALSO sells its consoles at a loss, has since the first heXbox. I think that's pretty well industry standard practice these days. It will only become more prominent as as more games move to digital distrobution, and you cut out the price of physical packaging and disk distrobution, making it easier to recoup those profits. Granted, the move is indeed a fail in and of itself, a clumsy hack to get around Nintendo's motion controller patents, but that's hardly the whole shebang.

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XoRn

The Wii sold at a profit because of it's focus on the controller mechanics rather then the hardware tech. The 360 sold at a loss but at less then $100 a console (the origonal arcade version almost broke even IIRC). The Sony lost over $250(!) for every console they sold. Yes it's part of the practice but never a console had to cut a thrid of it's production value, at such a high number, off the sales price in order to be competitive.

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JohnP

1999 was the 1st year of Rambus. We all know how well that went over. And how about the Itanic err Itanium processor? USB wireless? Bluetooth as a PC implementation. Finally, dang, senior moment, forgot what the last one was. Oh, UWB Ultrawideband. How about WiMax, still working on that one. All of these were way bigger failures than Lloyd's list.

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Eoraptor

Yeah, I have to agree with the masses, the PS3 may not be a world-beating comercial sucsess, but it is definitely a viable console with good support, no fail here. (and how many super computers have you seen built around an Xbox or a Wii?)

And no, Google may not be the avenging arc angel we like to pretend, but they are hardly a flop. They are dominating not one, but two competitive industries, and unlike Microsoft of the 90's, they got there by having a superior product to offer, rather than ruthlessly and illegally crushing all competition.

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ABouman

Yeah, perhaps we should have added our own SPAM snafus as an honorable mention...

However, to our credit, there's not a single spam post up now (24 hours after the story posted), in part because many editors are taking the time to manually delete anything that gets through. Since our attempts to find a solution to the spam have been frustratred (problems during the final testing stage), we're doing our best to get rid of it asap, even if that means manually deleting spam over the Christmas holiday. Hang in there, we appreciate y'all sticking it out.

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nickb64

Phenom II wasn't bad, but original Phenom was well behind the current Intel architecture at the time and AMD wasn't able to get it to clock speeds where it was competitive with Conroe, the last Intel architecture at the time.  Clock for clock, it was about on par with Conroe, but it was too little too late as Penryn was already out and had much better performance.

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poee

The original Phenom was never on par with Conroe, clock-for-clock or otherwise.

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joeking

I mostly agree with this article but still, I wouldn't consider "Google" or "Stereoscopic 3D" as "tech blunders", even in the slightest sense.  Not sure what the author was smoking when he came up with that.

And sorry Sony fanboys, the PS3 is a hunk of garbage.  People buy it to play games, that's why it's called "PlayStation".  Any gamer with half a brain knows the PS3 is technologically inferior to it's cousin Xbox360 in this aspect.  PS3 is holding back cross-platform game development, giving us crappier games in the longrun.  I could care less if it has Blu-Ray, mostly cause I agree with Microsoft's prediction about optical media becoming obsolete by the end of the next decade.  Everything is being streamed now, i.e. Netflix.  It's already happening.

And again, sorry for beating a dead horse but I would include the Maximum PC online comment section a "tech blunder" in itself.  An atrocious spam filter that doesn't even work are among some of problems.  That coupled with that fact we have idiots on here who use semantics and grammar mistakes as the basis for their arguments, makes this a unpleasant experience to say the least.

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MrGeek

Spores:  I'll never ever know if it was good or bad... the fact that it has some flaky-ass copyprotection scheme was enough to keep me away.

 

Vista: Nothing like running a game under XP and get 60fps, then switch to Vista and get 10 fps in same game!

 

CIA's "Wikkileak's Task Force" or WTF...  HELLO?!

 

PS3? I don't have enough fingers in my hands to use any of those console controlers...! I'll stick to WASD and mouse, or my HOTAS, thank you! As far as I am concerned all consoles failed because of their weird cumbersome controller's scheme.

 

Ltr!

 

PS: Old age and treachery shall always overcome youth and skill... and anyone using a frigging console controller!

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dcdannyf

First of all, I do not really care about search engines, but to downplay Google as a whole is outrageous. You can't hate them because they have a lot of money, that's just not right. And also, how did you put PS3 on this list? That was supposed to be replaced by the Red Ring of Death via the Xbox 360. The Xbox consoles are much worse valuewise, too, because to play with your own neighbor across the street, you have to pay to get a Gold membership. And also, the Xbox should have the most featureless console, because where is the Blu-ray inside of the 360? To put HD-DVD inside, you have to pay $200, which is horrific. You made a bad choice putting Google and the PS3 on this list, Loyd. BTW check out 360's failing... i53.tinypic.com/2wnvif9.jpg

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loyd

Glad to see you feel passionate about these things, and to share your personal list of things that disappointed you.

These were the 13 things that I felt pretty keenly about when they hit. Eveyone's list will, no doubt, be somewhat different.

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OCNoob

The PS3 has already outsold the original Xbox and the Gamecube worldwide (almost combined, too), neither of which you mentioned. It's a disappointment compared to the PS2, but really, it hasn't been THAT bad.

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Ceadderman

Ummmmm no.

RROD was a 1st Generation issue. It happened due to Microsoft rushing it out to the console hungry market. They also extended the warranty from 1 year to 3 years to make up for it.

However I don't think that the PS3 has outsold either Nintendo or Microsoft in this market. Not by themselves but DEFINITELY not together.

There are a handful of games that I miss from the PS2 era but since I don't need to spend $50 a movie for BluRay format discs (reminds me of the old Laser Disc technology) I don't need a BluRay player either.

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DJSPIN80

Seriously?  Google?

Google has had its certain share of fiasco's but Google is still the same "Do No Evil" company as it was in the 90's.

Google provides services that are often free to people.  Their pricing structure makes sense and their AdWords system is far from the obtrusive ad engine that others are.

Yes, Google executes well on some things and fails on a lot of things.  But Google is still far from Microsoft.  Microsoft's actions are so ludicrous that I often find myself asking why people still buy their crap.

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cepheus42

How about we re-title this to "Some of the Bigger Tech Disappointments." I, for one, do not consider PS3 a "blunder". Yes, it was late to the party and has done little that XBox360 or Wii does better, but it is almost entirely responsible for the death of HD DVD technology in favor of Blueray.

Similar, Google may no longer be the smart little "do no evil" company we grew to love in the late 90's, but that doesn't mean it has blundered by acquiring and growing its corporate image. That's what all companies do if they want to survive in the market.

Now Vista was probably a blunder. Zune, definitely a blunder. How about the Segway as a tech blunder, at least in terms of the marketing and hyperbole (sure revolutionized city travel, didn't it). Does anyone remember Iridium and satellite phones now that every person in the world has a cell phone? Now that was a huge tech blunder.

Yeah, there are lots of REAL tech blunders to talk about, but clearly the author is posting more on the topic of things they personally are disappointed by.

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chipmunkofdoom2

I'm an Xbox fan, make no mistake about it, but how did the PS3 make it on here and Microsoft's RROD disaster not even make a mention? That's horribly unfair and biased. Also, in the Maximum PC article where you reviewed Spore, you gave it a 9 (Kick Ass) rating. What the hell is going on? If you have a very narrow and biased view of the technology field, that's fine.. maybe Maximum PC should at least do some basic fact checking on the articles published though? You guys are just dragging your site through the mud again and again. A lot of people like PS3s, a lot of gamers liked Spore (and Sim Copter, for that matter), and a lot of people own and use netbooks every day. This article reads a lot like that of a child who got beat up on the playground and is writing in his diary about how mean the bully is...

Also, it's quite comical that you would write something about the spam filter hopefully working.. all you people have been saying for the past 3 years is that you'll hopefully get one working soon. Where's THAT fail in your article?

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smashingpumpin

I agree on most of the list but the rest gets me scratching my head til the scalp has open sores.

PS3- really? back when Blu-ray players cost almost $1000 or more, it was a no-brainer that a "non-gamer" or a hardcore PC gamer would've bought one of these just for its Blu-ray.

Google- c'mon! despite of everything else, how can you not love 'em for Android alone.

Netbook- to me, responsiveness issues aside, you forgot one major factor that makes the netbooks still favorable in the midst of regular laptops, UCMPC, and tablets and that is the PRICE!

Only just "recently" did laptop makers wake up to realize that lowering the prices for regular small-screened laptops (sub 15') to match netbook prices ($sub 500) would totally obliterate netbook sales while still being portable.

As for the Ipad, everyone knows why it's successful: barf it's Apple, and though it's just one-giant-Ipod touch, it's just-one-giant-Ipod touch of its kind. I for one, sure can't wait for CES 2011 for the darn Android or probably even Chrome tablets with WAY better pricing and features despite the chance of not matching/exceeding Apple's, Oh-so-shiny aesthetic appeal.

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XoRn

I gotta laugh at people defending the PS3. In terms of dissapointments its gotta be top on the list! First of they released bogus tech demos at 2005. Only a few years later did Sony admit they were pre rendered "Goal" vidoes that they wanted to show the PS3 whould be capable of generating, which it still isn't. Then when it finally released it simply couldn't compete. Only in recent months has Sony begun see the numbers they want insofar as sales, unfortunatly the Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii are out selling it month to month by double and triple the amounts, not to mention the tremondus software sales gap between the systems. Sony went from the undeniable dominiant market holder in the PS2, Xbox, Game Cube generation to dead last. If that's not a blunder I don't know what is.

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vistageek

Soooo much WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! +1

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DogPatch1149

The spam filter has to be the top of the tech blunder list.  Epic fail doesn't begin to describe it.

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Ghok

I actually put an old DVD in my PC the other day and my player couldn't read it because the DRM had gone wonky. So stupid. I just went online and downloaded it.

Spore was kind of a boring game, but its creature creator was pretty fun.

 

 

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vcbb10

PS3, netbooks, 3d, Google as biggest 'blunders' of the decade?  Terrible list.  Google?  Really?

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RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

Yeah, the retarded spam filter at Maximum PC has to rank the number one tech blunder--a monument to ineptitude, a drool-worthy historic record of someone's stupidity written in freaking crayon. Seriously, dudes, your spam filter is a total joke and the zipperheads keep reminding us of it every freaking day.

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scoop6274

I just have to disagree on a few of these.

Phenom - I love my Phenom 2 processor. When I built my computer, it cost me about 50% of an Intel quad core for about 85% of the performance. A huge value for me.

Netbooks - I agree they aren't the most powerful machines on the market. However, the portability is awesome. I use it to help solve IT problems around the office (much easier then unhooking my full size laptop and carrying that around). It does flash, has a physical keyboard and doesn't scream yuppie sheep like an iPad (and it doesn't have an crappy name) and they aren't over priced, oversized iPod Touches.

Zune - now I don't own one but I am all for alternatives to Apple products. The Zune is a nice piece of equipment that seems to perform quite well. The interface is by far better than an iPod Touch and ultimately a better value.

 

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Ceadderman

There was a Phenom before the Phenom II. It wasn't that good. It wasn't bad but at the time the Intel CPU wasn't laced with wallet draining price points like they are now, though Sandy Bridge is in the same target range as the latest AMD chips.

Phenom was meh, Phenom II is better and sells at a better price point than any Intel chip. lol

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tonymus

     Seriously, Loyd, you make a few good points, but couldn't you have done a lot better?

13) Spore wasn't a tech blunder, and it wasn't a bad game.  For casual gamers, it was fairly entertaining.  Some people got their panties in a bunch because they thought it somehow favored intelligent design over evolution.  The tech blunder here was Spore's DRM, which blunted its momentum, and hassled legitimate users; that wasn't Wil Wright's fault.

12) Google - It's hard to say the entire corp is a tech blunder when they are the most popular search engine on the planet, and their various technologies are keeping other tech leaders awake at night.

10) Microsoft Zune - I don't see how a device that works as advertised is a tech blunder.  Sales shouldn't dictate quality; otherwise, McDonald's dollar cheeseburgers would be the finest you could buy.

At least with the others, you could at least argue their merit for inclusion, even if many don't agree with you.  I submit a few glaring omissions you chose not to include:

1) the Mac G4 cube, which developed cracks in its case;

2) the Palm Audrey;

3) Commercial Desktop Linux, as proposed by Lindows/Linspire, Xandros, Lycoris, and a few others.  While linux is itself a success, commercial OSes trying to use linux to copy the Windows desktop model were doomed from the start.

 

 

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Frameboy

You have the PS3 (not a fail...) and yet not your own site, which actually stopped MY post due to spam and didn't stop the actual spam below.

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afatgoat

The spam filter on this site has gotta be near the top of the list for the year.

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RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

You've never met a goat's anus you didn't like, have you?

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poppy211

you left out google tv a gross failure they allready stopped selling them someone at google forgot to test them

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dakforever

Google has had some problems but their successes outway their failers, #1 search engine, gmail, a cell phone, a browser and DNS. If you call Vista a fail then you should call something google failed at as a fail not the whole (successful) company.

and as for PS3 I think taking away Linux support and having limited backword compatability at least makes it somewhat a fail

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Ceadderman

I can't think of one console that had full backward compatibility with the previous generation software. Not xBox and certainly not Playstation. My PS2 couldn't play any of the blue disc software and even some of the black coated discs as well. Though they did better than my mid level xBox 360 that promised 200 title backward compatibility. Just found out I cannot play Hitman II cause they don't have the update available. Although the title wasn't even 6 months old before the 1st Gen 360 was launched. Go figure. lol

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Bullwinkle J Moose

Microsoft missed its big opportunity to open up the sourcecode to Windows XP and resell it as an open source OS so the public could remove the spyware and fix it properly!

Remember how AVG 8.0 (when it first came out) silently disabled your Sygate firewall and started letting all of your .. Ahem..Illigitimate applications access the Internet without notifying you?

Welcome to the future of Microsoft!

Now Windows 7 can do the same thing, but even better..

Windows 7 can send your wireless encryption key accross the network without notifying you and that can be a real timesaver for Law Enforcement

Need to hide personal info?

Then use BitLocker!

With Windows 7, your encrypted data can be accessed accross the Internet in near RealTime without your knowledge!  Another timesaver brought to you by the friendly folks at the NSA

Who cares if Microsoft stole the source code used in Genuine Advantage Spyware?

The Gov't doesnt seem to mind, but why would they if Windows 7 turns out to be their best spyware platform yet?

Need DRM restrictions?

Microsoft has you covered!

Sure, an open source XP would sell 10 times faster than Windows 7 but Microsoft has never been about Money..

They just want what is best for YOU!

and if you don't believe that, then maybee they should watch you more closely

You do look suspicious after all

 

 

 

 

 

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Ceadderman

Wait, what?

Do you know how long XP has been around? And you want Microsoft to give it to you so you can weed out code?

Isn't that a bit like Intel giving you their permission to fiddle with the P4 to fix its issues?

What company is going to give away their proprietary rights on old hardware these days. These guys aren't Xerox. They aren't going to give you the time of day let alone their product so you can feel all warm and fuzzy inside for them. They are in business to make money. I'm shocked that Linux still gives away their OS for free. But then maybe that's why Microsoft is still number 1. They can afford to tinker with their product, put together security updates and keep steamrolling their competition.

Hell, Win 7 is going to be gone in a year or 2. That means it didn't even last a third as long as XP. And you want Microsoft to give you their rights and make it free like Linux does. 

Dude step back and put down the crack pipe.

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lunchbox73

Same dude. This guy is a joke...

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Havok

Are you periodhyphenunderscore in disguise? You know, the guy that claimed Win 7 was spyware?

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Bullwinkle J Moose

Remember the little sticker that came with your shiney new Vertex-2

The one that said  "My SSD is faster than your hard drive"

HUGE FAIL!

Even after jumping through all the OCZ hoops to get the best possible performance, the Vertex 2 could only deliver up to 3.7MB/sec of ACTUAL throughput during a copy and paste test under Real World conditions

My 7200RPM desk drive is 3 times faster than that!

Can a Vertex 2 boot to Windows 7 in 12 seconds on my ATOM Computer?

HELL NO!  But My ATOM can Boot XP in 12 seconds from a 300X Compact Flash Card from an IDE port

Can a Vertex 2 really write data anything approaching 275 MB/sec?

Not unless you have a RAMDRIVE or other fast drive that you are reading from while writing to the SSD

And now for my New Years Resolution>

I will continue demanding REAL WORLD testing of SSD's in 2011 and ANYONE who promotes Synthetic Benchmarks that cannot be duplicated under Real World conditions will have their ass handed to them!

Oh, and my hard drive is faster than your SSD!

 

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