Don't Call It A Comeback: 7 Products That Saved Their Companies (And 2 That Didn't)



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RIM's problem is that it's exactly like the guy who lived in Bratislave in "EuroTrip." When asked by the main characters if there was a train nearby by they could take to Berlin, he said, "Yes. They're building it now."

RIM doesn't realize that the it's building a train to nowhere. The PlayBook was a great idea marred by terrible implementation (really? No email on a RIM device?!?). The designs of their phones are not meant for consumers; they're meant for business people desperately trying (and failing) to look cool. In trying to capture the "cool" market, RIM lost itself. It needs to find an industrial designer who will revamp the comsumer end of their products, kinda like when Sterling Cooper hired young people to get in touch with youth in the 1960s. The put out two products: one for the coporate people who love them (and their functionality and email service) and one for consumers, which is a completely different, consumer-friendly design (alternatively, scrap the corporate wing and just redesign the phone from the ground up; I'm not sure how much money RIM has laying around or if they can support two separate groups).

Compounding this problem is the OS. RIM clearly rushed both the PlayBook and OS 6.0 (or whatever it is). They need to either push updates to all the phones or else stop supporting all phones before a certain year. Make sure to offer free upgrades so the consumer doesn't migrate to Apple or Android.



I remember having a Radeon 9200 128MB PCI card replace my VooDoo3 2000 card. It served very well for its price. I have been an ATI (now AMD) graphics fan since. I still like the way their cards are conservative on power, low heat, and low price. I also work repairing phones at sprint, and between the number of blackberry pda's we need to repair (whether it's software or hardware), and the blackberry OS user interface, they are now a horrible platform with little support for upcoming technology. However, windows phone is getting better (slowly but surely), so there is still hope. Don't get me started on palm devices. I'm glad they're done with.



Man, that Radeon 9800 Pro was a beast, ran everything I threw at it right up till it finally burned out in early 2007.  I was already an ATI convert from my Rage128 but that 9800Pro sealed me in for good.  Won't buy anything but now.



Just one thing, and it's minor, but I'm a geek, and I knew the 286 was 80286.  I think the line should have read "After striking gold with the 80286 – better known to everyone else as the 286 – in 1982..."


Hell, I was only a year old when the 286 launched.  Give us some credit  ;) 


Brad Chacos

Ha! Touche, sir!



RIM is not on the ropes.  RIM cannot be compared to Palm.  RIM is profitable and continues to ship record units each quarter.  They are on the decline in the US and under powered devices and the delay in new line were part of the problem.  QNX is awesome, and even if things actually start looking grim for RIM, they easily can produce Android devices.  RIM can easily become a leader in the Android market by producing Android phones and adding the many advantages of a Blackberry.


Peanut Fox

I don't think Blackberry can succeed pushing Android.  Not when the Android market is saturated by manufacturers.  Motorola, HTC, Samsung, and LG all make Android phones and there are many more that make devices.  Does RIM want to even attempt to step into that market?  And even if they do what product do they bring to the table that can shine through the overwelming number of Android devices?  Because no one seems to be responding to the things they're making now.  



What could they possibly add to an Android phone to make it any different or better than the current or unreleased Android phones?

Add a screen that clicks?  Yeah that was a great idea.... NOT!!!

Scroll Ball?  HTC has done that and kinda kicked it by the wayside.

Or maybe a flip phone with a scroll ball... yeah that phone went over well.... :S

Sliding phone?  Blackberry took a long time to come out with one of those and almost evey other company that makes Android phones currently make a slider of some sort.

Maybe a native Brick Breaker game, because lets be honest with our selves, that was the best part of a Blackberry.




wow, I really enjoyed this article. I love all the flash from the past stuff you guys do, though I wasn't born yet some of us really enjoy learning things from the past we didn't know.




If anyone cares...the upper left emblem on the RIVA chip "ST" is ST Microelectronics...Stamped chips here in Big D for years at ST until they shut'em down and moved to Asia...It's French/Italian owned company with sites all over the world, but the USA sites were far and away the most productive and had the highest yields...The Italian side always loved us and the French side always hated us. The French side took over around 2009 and soon after, we got the chop...I guess that's how the crossiant crumbles.


I wonder if we will still be able to make a produce any chips here before it's all over.  



Man, I WISH Lotus didn't matter to me. Unfortunately, Spain's pretty deep in Big Blue's pocket, and my (American) employer is owned by a Spanish company, which means Outlook is out and the utter piece of trash that is Lotus Notes is in. It takes a pretty godawful piece of software to make you pine for Outlook.



Really nice job, guys, this is one of the best articles I've seen on MPC in the last year or so.



Nice piece, men's.



Wow, I would have bet a lot of money that the Apple iPod would be in here somewhere. As far as I remember from the late 90s, PC's were king and Apple was almost dead: all they had were MacIntoshes that no-one wanted anymore; Microsoft and other software makers stopped supporting the Mac. Then came the iPod, followed by all the other iWhatever products and they're not doing so bad right now I think.


Brad Chacos

Hi Jac,

The iPod's one of the biggest success stories ever, and very well known -- no joke, my mother was explaining to my grandmother how it saved Apple just last week. Plus we tried to keep a more PC-oriented focus for this article. So, no iPod. You're right, though, in almost any other circumstance it would have been on the list.



I remember using OS/2.  I remember moving a program directory and the icon on the desktop automatically updated itself to point to the exe's new location, due to the object oriented design of the OS.  That was awesome.

I wish MS and IBM hadn't split, leaving OS/2 to die and MS to go make Win95, which was so simple and clunky compared to OS/2.  How different computing would be had OS/2 grew and become the dominant OS.



Yeah I couldn't believe MS beat IBM on that one.  I guess I was in college at the time, but I never knew why MS won that one.  OS/2 was clearly better.  Anyone know why?




"The future lied in microprocessors"...wouldn't that be "the future lay in microprocessors"?




lol @ 808286.  There was an 8088 and a 80286, but no 808286 AFAIK.

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