Top 10 Most Embarrassing Technological Failures Ever

When a company releases a new technology to the public, they honestly believe that it will work. In some cases, they are right. In most instances, they’re wrong. The fact is that no one can accurately predict how a certain technology will take within the market.

Many of the technologies listed below were in fact failures. However, the people who supported and endorsed these products and service believed that they would be viable. A few of them were not and many of them failed over a short time period. The following technologies were embarrassing failures for their company.

Here are the Top 10 Most Embarrassing Technological Failures Ever

10. Microsoft Vista


Microsoft Vista was a huge failure in terms of computer operating systems. All of the previous versions of Microsoft OS have been successful. However, this one was not that great. Vista was designed for security purposes. This operation system was not much better than XP in terms of security. Also, it was noticeably slower and it could not be used on older machines or with previous Windows operations systems. Vista came out in 2007 and it ended up being a huge failure. Windows Vista was replaced by Window 7 in 2008. Many people ended up liking this version better.

9. Gateway

Gateway Top 10 Most Embarrassing Technological Failures Ever 2017

Gateway was once a thriving computer company that sold desktop and tower PCs to businesses and consumers. However, by 2006 they started to go into serious decline. Gateway’s primary failure was due to them not moving into the laptop or mobile computing market. They also were not as fast other computer companies with getting their products to business buyers. In the end, Gateway was purchased for a relatively low price of $710 million dollars by Acer.



Toshiba tried to push HD DVD in 2002 and by 2008 it lost nearly a billion dollars trying to standardized this product. The problem with HD DVD is that it never caught on with the average consumers. Sony was also in competition with HD DVD and convinced movie theaters to stick with Blu Ray technology.

Many movie studios released movies direct to Blu Ray disc technology after a film made its rounds in theaters. The bottom line is that Toshiba took a chance with Blu Ray technology and it didn’t pay off. While Blu Ray technology is running behind DVD, it still is strong enough to hold its position within the home entertainment market.

7. Vonage


Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) gives people the ability to make free calls over the internet. One of the leading companies in this field was Vonage. This company was established in 2001 and is no longer a major player in the market that they helped to create.

Vonage just could not compete with internet telephone companies and Skype. As a result, the company lost many customers and it had to deal with many legal issues. Ultimately, the company has been weakened by various different factors that have brought it down. Currently, Vonage is still in operation but it is one of the most insignificant companies within the internet calling business.

6. YouTube


YouTube is the world’s number one leading video content site. Most people might not think that YouTube is a failure but the truth is that this company is not generating a good return to its owners. Google purchased YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion dollars. As a result, Google has not been making back the money that it spent on this organization. The problem is that advertisers are not willing to pay for low quality content. In other words, most of the videos on YouTube are not good enough for advertisers to run commercials on most users channels or videos.

Even the videos that have good viewership still, might not get enough advertising dollars if they believe that audiences will not be around for long watching the material. The bottom line is that YouTube must have more people making better content, otherwise it will take this platform an extremely long time (if ever) to break even.

5. Sirius XM


Most people know about Sirius XM from their automobile. This service is an audio platform that allows consumers to listen to specific types of commercial free music genres. Sirius came out in 2001 and it did well. However, the company was spending a lot of money to grow its business. By 2005 the company had peaked to close to 6 million users. This figure was not big enough because the company needed at least 10 million subscribers to be profitable.

At first, the organization was expected to hit these numbers; but the organization started to lose customers due to other musical formats that competed with them. In 2007 Sirius had to merge with XM so that both audio satellite companies could survive. Even though these two companies have merged they are still losing money. They simply do not have enough subscribers for their service.

4. Microsoft Surface

Microsoft Surface Top Famous Embarrassing Technological Failures Ever 2018

Microsoft had another tech failure with their Surface tablets. They were first released in 2012 and they did not last long in the market before Microsoft realized the tablets were losing their company money. Surface could not compete with Apple’s iPads or Android based tablets. The unit did not have as many apps as Apple or Android/Google and many people were not sold on the tile features that appeared onscreen.

Microsoft also pushed this tablet to be more suited for business than for commercial use. However, consumers were not interested in a business styled tablet. In the end, this tablet lost billions. The Surface Pro 3 faired better in the market and turned a profit for the company. Still, it remains behind Apple and Android based platforms.

3. Palm


Palm is a mobile technology provider that dominated the 90’s but started to fall off in the 2000’s. This organization was a leading cell or smartphone provider during that time. However, it could not compete once Apple and Android entered the market. The company just did not appeal to consumers in this regard. Their products were not geared toward fun and entertainment. Their products were designed primarily for business purposes. However, many businesses just were not buying Palm products in huge numbers. This company is still around but it is no longer a major player in the mobile device market.

2. Iridium


Many people probably never heard of Iridium global satellite company and there is a good reason why. The company charged a huge fee for people to use this service. As a result, they only had 10,000 subscribers. For a communications company, this is a huge failure. Iridium had also set a complex and very expensive system. As a result, Iridium had to pay out large sums of money just to stay in business. When the customers were not coming in, the company had to file for bankruptcy in 1999. The company is no longer around today.

1. Segway


Segway is a two-wheeled one person vehicle that was released to the public in 2002. It only sold 30,000 units by 2007. This two-wheeled vehicle required people to stand up when they rode it. The unit had a base price of $3,000 for entry models and many states and local communities required licensing to operate one.

The bottom line is that the average person did not want to pay that much money for the contraption. They also did not want to have deal with the licensing requirements to operate one out in public. In short, the Segway was an epic failure because of legal and cost issues.

Not every technology that is available on the market today will be successful. The fact is that many technological products and services fail once they reach the market. Hopefully, a business can learn from their failures and find success in the future.

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