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Top-10 Technology Disappointments in 2006

  • Components
Last response: in Components

What was most disappointing in IT in 2006?

Total: 157 votes

  • Apple iPod
  • 4 %
  • Microsoft IE7
  • 9 %
  • HDTV
  • 7 %
  • Intel Viiv/AMD Live!
  • 3 %
  • 802.11n
  • 4 %
  • Microsoft Zune
  • 5 %
  • Broadband Internet
  • 11 %
  • DRM
  • 26 %
  • UMPC
  • 0 %
  • Sony
  • 35 %
December 11, 2006 3:19:20 AM

You have read our article ( on what we believe were the most significant technology disappointments of 2006.

Do you agree? What do you think was most disappointing in 2006? Particpate in the poll below!

We are looking forward to your comments!

More about : top technology disappointments 2006

December 11, 2006 3:35:45 AM

I think it would be a combo of the PS3 and DRM. PS3 is so weak, and DRM just plain sucks. I'd also throw in the Optimus keyboard.
December 11, 2006 4:13:42 AM

I voted for IE7. They spent how many years developing it...? Seriously, aside from tabbed browsing (which is avail. on IE6), there's not a big difference. I guess we're supposed to be sold on its dashing good looks. WMP11 is complete crap too. It's slower than WMP10 and a lot of my videos look worse!

I knew Sony was going to be a disappointment. However, I did think the PSP would sell better this year. It really is a technological marvel and very, very well designed. It also has some great titles and very un-sony like flexibility. All around it's a great device. I'll take it over a PS3 any day.

The thing affected me the most this year was DRM/HDCP. I finally got digital cable and I can't use the HDMI out port because it's HDCPized. My HDTV does not support HDCP. So I'm stuck using crappy component cables. Oh and good luck trying to find a list of HDCP compatible displays (both on PC and home theater)! I actually sought out HDCP compatible diplays for my new PC... but it was all in vain. Hardly any are made! And the models that are don't explicitly say so.

Anyways, damn fine list and article mate. You hit the nail on the head with just about everything!
Related resources
December 11, 2006 4:36:26 AM

Personaly I think zooooone is nothing compared to ipod cause u have to press the arrows to search (it's for the twich xgen)!! And I don't know who scratches who but my ipod is in perfect shape after dropping it millions of times!!! just a few drools on it ;p (yeas I sleep on it too) .The new design should have replacable bats and flash mem, design could be like um... not telling. Haven't got PS3 but I think if you can play SoulCalibur 2 and 3 on it then it's good to go. Wii games look so simple that I think N64 could play them, but metroid looks pretty coo. XBOx360 is um dunno don't have that eather but i don't like the games for it that they showed in the store. HALO 3 could be good if it could be played with Nunchack Controllers for Wii but it will never happen cause of legal issues ya know. And what is wrong with the new quad core Xeon it's slower than the dual core?!?!? Otherwize I can't think of anymore techs maybe cellphones but I am not in to them, they don't have nuff Memory.

Happy hOly days. All I ask Santa is for Wii and Metroid 3: Corruption.
December 11, 2006 5:46:59 AM

HDTV and iPod are 2 of a very short list of tech products that were actually BETTER that I had imagined when I first tried them. Wow, wow, wow how sweet are these and how utterly crappy do other portable music players and non-hdtv seem once you have had the good stuff. I just don't see any way to complain about these and put them on the disappointments list.

Wireless-N - no kidding; holy man wireless internet technology sucks! It has become the bane of my techie existence.

SONY - following up crappy games with good graphics by making even better graphics for crappy games is just terrible. Watch a real live action movie if you want good graphics. Scooped badly by competitor Nintendo who goes on making great games that are fun to play for both hardcores and casual gamers. The graphics are cartoony but the games are fun! Would the classic game monopoly be better with photo-realistic graphics showing your hat moving ahead with its feather floating in the wind while bullets fly by (of course having to wait for this to load)? If you answered yes, go for the PS3 but I'll sure not be joining you for a game. I'm also recommending away from Sony for personal electronics due to their proprietary memory stick that won't fit in to your PDA / laptop... anything Sony. Get with the program and use SD like everyone else. I once got Sony stuff - discman, digital camera, tv, both my monitors... but no more sony for me.

December 11, 2006 11:53:23 AM

Hello to all! It is the first time I post something, as I have just registered.

I voted for the DRM, as it simply seems like too complicated and disregards consumers.

If I buy a regular CD or a DVD from a store I can play it in any cd player and dvd player, I can bring one to my friends house and we all sit in the living room and watch a movie there.

With DRM however I will probably have to fill in a form to request authorization to do this! DRM protect content simply ignores reality, and this year we saw how unreasonable it is.

On the other hand the Broadband scenario in the US surprised me. I live in Europe (Portugal) and we have just reached 24mbps ADSL2 speeds

(It seems like in the US you talk about DSL, which just means the upload speed is equal do the download speed. The "A" in Adsl means it is Asymetric, the download speed is much bigger than the upload speed, but for the regular consumer, this doesn't matter that much. For example 24mbps speed here relates to the download speed, upload may only be 1mbps).

The regular subscribers like me have just been upgraded from 4mbps to 8mbps! 1mbps on the other hand is now almost entry-level.


December 11, 2006 11:53:37 AM

I'm surprised to see Apple's Ipod in the list: The product was more of the same, but fundamentally, it still worked.

My biggest dissappointment was 3d physics cards. I mean, really what was the point!!!!
December 11, 2006 12:09:39 PM

What about Vista?
December 11, 2006 12:14:32 PM

I voted for Broadband as it absolutely ridiculous in its speed vs. price. Here in the USA 768kps is considered broadband hard to believe we went from the worlds greatest telephone system ATT to the crap we have today.
December 11, 2006 12:15:56 PM

Why are Viiv and Live even mentioned here? I've heard so little buzz about them that I can't really imagine anybody being excited about them.

Was anybody really expecting these things to set the world on fire?
December 11, 2006 12:31:33 PM

Meh, not being able to develop a revolutionary browser isin't exactly a negative, it's not a positive. IE7 may not seem like it's worth the 5 years of work, but seriously, how important did you think MS deemed a new IE to be until FireFox was out and whipping it's butt. IE7 is nice, I like it, and it works fine for me. Any upgrade is better than no upgrade at all...

DRM.. meh, I stay away from it. All I have to say there...

HDTV's... yeah, they're hella complicated, but I like to feel smart when I explain it to others. However, I stay away from them also, at least until SED TV's come out and there's a greater range of choices. Prices however, have never been cheaper, even though they might not live up to the hype. Best thing to do here is wait for a better standard.

Apple... same ol same ol... nothing good, nothing bad.

Sony, Sony, Sony... I don't even know where to begin. So much smack we can talk about them, and it's all justified. Hopefully next year will be better for them, or I fear one of the great electronic powerhouses disappearing, would be a sad day...

802.11n... not touching that until IEEE ratifies it...
December 11, 2006 12:33:03 PM

you made some excellent choices. I also agree with the other person about physics cards being a huge useless product, which I am sure would be ranking up there, but probably not in the top 10 due to its small market.

I had a very hard time choosing my vote. I eventually went with Broadband because it really pissed me off this year when my ISP increased the cost of their top broadband speed product (6mbit download, 1mbit upload), and moved their second tier product up to 5mbit download, 500k upload, for the same price as the previous top tier. I always loved cable internet because it always had better upload speed even from early iterations, than adsl. It would seem that ISP's now wish to discourage you from actually utilizing the bandwidth you are paying for. In a continent where the expansion and improvement of high-speed is behind most of the rest of the world, this is insane.

I am also 100% agreed on Sony, DRM, HDTV and 802.11n. I would now actually rather buy an inferior product than buy anything Sony (for so many reasons, but generally I just hate the company). DRM has gone over the deep end, and in combination with HDTV have totally prevented consumers from being able to enjoy their HD content in a convenient and AFFORDABLE way. Once 100% of cable television is digital only, I'd better be able to buy a tv-in video card and simply plug in my coax cable and watch/record paid for HD content. If not, I will cancel my cable subscription because I have seen the cable boxes which come with Rogers and they are CRAP.

If all content is heading for HD, why do cable companies charge more for those channels? Why should I pay extra until everybody gets with the program and brodcasts HD content only? Will I still have to pay extra then, when it is standard? It is currently only partially available, and heading towards being the standard definition, so should it not be at LEAST free, if not rebated because it is only partially available?

I'm already paying for the bandwidth coming accross the cable via my internet connection! Stream all television via the internet and get rid of these rediculous antiquated methods of broadcast distribution. Put network ports in TV's and some secure authentication ability, now I have television, VOIP and internet all coming from one coaxial wire.

Then move on to broadband over power lines, and even eliminate coaxial and telephone wire from your home. What's taking so long? I don't want all this junk hardware in the way.
December 11, 2006 12:33:58 PM

Vista is simply too new to have the public to see how screwed (or good) it is.

As for Sony, I think it is a good thing that thier failures are all within a short time frame, maybe that's how they manage to make any money.

Here is the new iPod slogan Apple should use from now on in order to sell their crap: "100 million buyers can't be wrong"

Seriously, They should have Steve Jobs as the foreign minister or UN ambassdor for the US. With this guy's marketing skills to market the US, World peace will be a bit closer to reality. [Imagine what this guys can't sell when he managed to sell 100 million of this]

And there is the DRM... well, given that the pirated stuff has no DRM (or get circumvented), ever sophisticated DRMs will simply discourage the consumers to actually buy them (at least if they have no DRM it's a tradeoff between your time and money)
December 11, 2006 12:51:42 PM

As much as I love Sony's products in general and my 20GB PS3, I still voted for Sony. The launch was disappointing, and all those PS3s sold on eBay is just ridiculous. Many people saw what happened to xbox360 last year and tried to take advantage of it, so partly I blame the eBay situation on MS lol. The lack of upscaler really sucked for a lot of people who had older HDTV. And the lack of unified online community and playstation store content hurt the launch as well, but hopefully future firmware will fix these issues.

But to be honest, PS3 is an engineering masterpiece. It runs very very quiet and never gets hot, at most warm. The blu-ray player quality is arguably the best compared to stand-alone blu-ray players according to tech reviews.. The option to install linux OS, ability to upgrade the hard drive without voiding the warranty, compatiblity with USB keyboards, mouse, and the newest update allows usb PS2 accessories to work with PS3 is a great plus. The potential is definitely there.

Broadband in the United States is very very far behind comparing to Japan or South Korea, where they have 100mbps lines. Comcast is the biggest ripoff ever, charging $60 for a 6mbps line in Hartford, CT. I'm glad I decided not to move there and got Cox's 15mbps for only$50. I really don't like how there's only 1 cable company in each area, it's like a monopoly to me. If I move to Hartford, I have to choose Comcast, or if i move to Manchester, I have to use Cox.
December 11, 2006 12:53:54 PM

I voted Broadband, however I would like to point out something that is true in Eastern PA.

The big company isn't the issue, it's the "small protected" company who's territory is regulated or newly de-regulated 2-3 years ago.

Verizon offers a great price point at $15/$29.
At least you have a $15 option for lower BW.
Epix DSL, provided by Commonwealth $39.99 for "1.5" actually 1.2 Mbps!
The 3Mbps product is $42.99 but you have to be with 3 miles of the CO.

I've reported Epix to the BBB and their official response is, "We think it's competitive".

Anyone else feel like calling their Broadband provider and registering some complaints?
December 11, 2006 12:55:57 PM

I agree with most of the choices. Some of them like 802.n does not matter as its a mass market failure. Also hdtv cannot be considered a failure as we can buy one for as low as $300. 1080P or 2160P etc does not matter as we do not have any broadcasts at that resolution. Also blu-ray is too expensive to justify 1080P TV.

Broadband Internet has stagnated in US and its monopoly for all cable companies. We need WiMAX or other similar technologies so that customers have more choices. Currently if live in appt u cannot have FIOS, Dry DSL is too slow and phone providers do not advertise them at all.

I cannot consider IPod as a failure bcos Apple released only 5.5 and not a new version. Adding Gapless play back was good and they brought the price down. Zune was forced to launch at 249 bcos of ipod. I bought zen vision m bcos it supports more formats.
December 11, 2006 12:56:53 PM

I had to vote for Sony. Like the author stated, there were just too many things going wrong. Individually, I would be less displeased with Sony's battery fiasco than I am with DRM for ostracising customers. However, the root kit deal has had a lasting impression on me. Sony deliberately put my computer at risk? No thanks. In general, I've just lost any "trust" in the company (foolish to trust any company, they're not people after all).

The general feeling I've gotten from big companies telling you what you have to do with your own hardware or legitimately purchased entertainment content has spurred me to avoid buying anything with the Sony badge (sad, because I've liked their DVD burners) and to move over to more open-source software projects. I now use Linux for everything that doesn't require Windows just because I'm in control of what happens on my computer.
December 11, 2006 1:46:27 PM

I wont vote on this one cuz it'll be unfair...pretty much all of them suck hard..

The ipod: well, it could be better, but it's not so bad that it has to be put on that list, hell, I want one...

IE7: no thanx I like my firefox...

HDTV: I don't have the money to buy one so I dont give a damn about them...

viiv/live: pointless......

802.11n: dont have wireless stuff so, again I dont give a damn

Zune: I'd rather get an Ipod :p 

Broadband: don't be such a sissies, I'm running on a 512kbps DSL connection, here the minimum (besides dial up :p ) is 384kbps and until xmas 05 I was on a 33.6kbps external US Robotics modem (only to switch to 49.2kbps internal modem til march when I got broadband), thoug I agree on the "America lagging in tech stuff"

I know it's not the same, but xD (and also messes with sony)

UMPC: nah, I'd rather get a laptop

Sony: is that japanese for "masochist"?
December 11, 2006 4:56:41 PM

HDTV's... yeah, they're hella complicated, but I like to feel smart when I explain it to others. However, I stay away from them also, at least until SED TV's come out and there's a greater range of choices. Prices however, have never been cheaper, even though they might not live up to the hype. Best thing to do here is wait for a better standard.

Don't think HDTV is the same market as PC's, people tend to keep their TV longer than they upgrade other stuff. The market takes a lot of study, but waiting until the tech clears up and the prices go down is like waiting to buy your first computer...don't hold your breath, it's a dynamic living breathing thing :)  but my personal delight at 1080i every day is something like the first computer, absolutely facinating.
December 11, 2006 6:36:08 PM

Man i gotta say dsl was quite the bummer for me. why you ask, its simple I CANT GET IT!!! Well i could get sat internet but yeah several hundred bucks for equipment then 50 bucks a month i dont think so.

Oh and one more lovely thing i read, I think on toms, internet 2 is never planned on being publicly available, jeez thanks guys for keeping America further behind the rest of the world.
December 11, 2006 7:03:22 PM

Lets see.
Not really disappointed because there was nothing new I was expecting.

I don't use IE... I haven't used IE for years... I have no intention of using IE again. Just having a desktop icon to it I consider to be a huge security risk (because of other people who might be tempted to use it).

Meh, its a developing field. I long for the simple days where a TV was a TV was a TV and they all worked at the same resolution more or less, but I don't think we will see those days again for a long long time, if ever. I also do not see much of a need for it.

Viiv and Live
In my view, Viiv is just an extension of DRM which I hate with a passion that burns hotter than the sun.

Premature, will get better, currently sold to people with more dollars than sense.

Couldn't care less. I can't afford to have an mp3 player attached to me in my job. (teaching)

This is just a travesty, plain and simple. There is no excuse for this short of corporate greed and stagnation.

Three little letters that anger me more than Sony and Microsoft combined, mainly because both of them feed my larger hatred of DRM. The fact that out of the last 6 video games I have purchased, half of them did not run at all on my computer until after I cracked them is nothing short of insanity. The fact that I need to find what is probably technically illegal software to bypass the copy protection so I can just use what I have rightfully purchased is lunacy of the highest order and I have begun to shun any software that forces me into that situation again. There is now starting a new revolution to eliminate DRM and I call for ALL to endorse it. THQ games lately have come 100% DRM free as well as some legitimate music downloads. Stardock is a company heading up the charge with their Galactic Civilizations games. HATE HATE HATE DRM.... Betcha can't guess how I voted ;-)

Meh, Doomed little PC replacements. Too little functionality for too much money. Can't imagine why anyone was ever excited about them.

Ahh Sony. One of my favorite companies.... to HATE. Really, every time I turned around there was Sony screwing up something else. They are at the forefront of the DRM charge and one of the largest culprits in the spread of that vile disease. I hold a faint but present hope that this coming year will see them destroyed as everything they did in the past year and a half falls apart and fails utterly.

On a side note, I agree about the PhysX processor being a huge disappointment. Early price quotes sounded downright reasonable, but when it came out it did too little for the price tag associated with it. Ageia was the little company that could but it failed.

Vista is another side note. I've gone from wary, to interested, to excited, to wary, to downright fearful. Too expensive, too power hungry, too proprietary, and too DRM laden. I am NOT looking forward to its release.
December 11, 2006 7:03:36 PM

I agree with pretty much all of thing on the list, but I have to vote for DRM. It was the one thing that is actually a major step BACKWARDS from the status quo. Two or three years ago, the digital music scene was much better than it is today, simply because DRM has turned most people off of online music purchasing. That being said, I think we are starting to see a changing of ideas at some of the major music labels in regards to DRM.
December 11, 2006 7:10:13 PM

I wasn't a big fan of the PS3 to begin with, and what I've seen in stores backs that up. to begin with, the PS3 suffers from overheating problems, so most places I go have nonfunctioning PS3s. The graphis are cool, but when I watched motor storm, I noticed that it suffered from horrible frame rates. I don't think It's worth the $600/$9,000 people are willing to pay. It doen't even have rumble. I'd rather buy a nice processor.
December 11, 2006 7:28:46 PM

I think it would be a combo of the PS3 and DRM. PS3 is so weak, and DRM just plain sucks. I'd also throw in the Optimus keyboard.

Don't forget Zune....and I agree with everything you said
December 11, 2006 7:35:23 PM

I forgot to mention that I would have added AMD's 4x4 (now QuadFX) to the list. Then again, most people probably didn't even hear about it and the enthusiasts like me already knew it was going to suck before it even came out. Still, I for one was really hoping that AMD would come out with a contender for Intel before the end of the year.
December 11, 2006 7:48:10 PM

Had to vote broadband on this one. When I moved to Chicago last month, I couldn't just get DSL without a phone line (I use vonage), so I went cable. Turns out I could have saved more from ordering through some website besides the cable compnay directly as they were offering a better 6 month deal (29.99 vs 39.99). But why on God's green earth am I still expected to pay 49.99 after six months for a 6MB connection. My friends in Toyko just laugh at me as only those who live in the middle of nowhere in Japan (there are some rural places left) get speeds that slow. And I am downtown in a MAJOR US city. Much of Toyko now has 100MB throughout.
Yes DRM sux, but if it still takes hours to download a HD movie, then I won't even run into the DRM thing 'cause I won't download it in the first place.
Now I know there are children dying of AIDS in Africa, so I am a moron for complaning about my Internet speed, but dang it, if the cable company would charge me $20 less I month, I'll friggin' donate the whole thing to AIDS relief. How 'bout it Comcast? Deal or no deal.
December 11, 2006 7:50:42 PM

For example 24mbps speed here relates to the download speed, upload may only be 1mbps).

The regular subscribers like me have just been upgraded from 4mbps to 8mbps! 1mbps on the other hand is now almost entry-level.



Net de 2M com 128k de upload....

cabovisão... :cry: 

yeah, and drm sucks big time, but I´m waiting for the total crash of MS Zune. If gates wasn´t the richest guy on the planet, I´d laugh at his face without any reply.... :) 
December 11, 2006 7:52:25 PM

Thanks guys for your feedback. There is a lot of insight in those posts and we will keep them in mind for articles that will appear in the not-too-distant future.

As they popped up, let me comment about a few items that we did not include. AMD's product line, not just Quad FX, was a hot contender that just barely missed the top-10. AMD did a marvelous job on working with new customers, but underestimated Intel.

It is too early to call Vista a disappointment, it's not even out yet :-) But I am certain we will have plenty to say about it next year. The Optimus keyboard had really no impact at all, if there is a disappointment with that then it is the manufacturer who needs to step down its arrogance. But who cares?

PhysX, yes, there's a point. Disappointing a bit, but can you blame a company who is being caught between SLI physics, Crossfire physics and multicore physics? Look around and there are signs that Ageia may be obsolete once physics matures. My guess: It will be acquired or will be dissolved. Physics right now is a developing topic and we will have to keep our eyes on it.

December 11, 2006 8:08:10 PM

I have to say it was accurate...

It's a shame for sony's bad year... but they pissed me off most with there damn LCD screens....such crappy color and response..... Nice looking case tho....

As for ipod....well its sad that people think Ipod is the only MP3 player in the world....Not that they are bad devices.....

Wireless N.
Wireless sucks....I use i have to...but it needs to move off the crowded 2.4ghz and stay away from the 5 area where phones are going. Cordless phones are just getting good again....lets not ruin that...Also microwaves mess it up and Blue Tooth does bad things when it's near....They need to work things out....
December 11, 2006 8:53:48 PM

A few of these were a toss-up, but two stood out. Some did not affect me personnally, or did so in different ways.

1. Ipod
I'm deaf in one ear. Until someone makes a single earpiece that carries both channels and sounds reasonable (oogly Plantronics-style headsets aren't it), all the MP3 players are disappointing because to me they are useless. Modding a set of earbuds to mono and clipping one off isn't that hard, so perhaps I don't care enough.

2. IE7
Meh. I haven't tried it. I might, or maybe I'll try Firefox.

I don't watch enough TV to care. Hopefully within a few years this market will mature a little.

4. Viiv and Live
A solution (at least in name) in search of a problem.

5. Draft 802.11n
I think most people have had the sense to ignore this, or are geek enough to know what they're getting. I'm inclined to think that companies dumb enough to have rolled this out anywhere it mattered are getting what they deserved.

6. Zune
See #1.

7. Broadband
Bingo! This one affects me daily, when I think of what it is costing to get a merely half-decent speed from the only cable broadband provider in my area. They can be talked down on price for a few months at a time sometimes, but there's no excuse for the poor quality and high price of broadband in the US. Don't get me started on the capacity/condition of the power distribution grid.

8. DRM
This was a close second, but only because it can be ignored and I don't lose anything. I just won't buy difficult DRM-yoked content. I'll buy the DVD or go see the movie.

An expensive toy. Does anyone really need this?

10. Sony
Yeah, but the solution is too easy; don't buy Sony. The market will fix this one, and Management classes now have another ream of material for case studies and analysis. The lessons-learned may actually be useful.
December 11, 2006 8:55:46 PM

I voted for Sony for obviously reasons.

However, 2nd place goes to broadband internet. For one, Charter is awful and has gotten worse. 3mb 2 years ago was 39.99, then 44.99. Now I have 5mb on a year discount for 49.99 (reg like 59.99 or something), but their 3mb is still the same price.

1) The only other competition Charter has in my area is AT&T Yahoo would only works for 1/2 of the city I live in, which is about 70,000. AT&T is cheaper, but access to it is horrible. So Charter can charge and increase their charges whenever they please w/o and really problems in competition.

2) Charter tech support. Last year and prior I got dumb people but they were America or Canadian. This year, I have almost perfected my Indian voice of them saying "Thank you for calling Charter Technical Support, my name is Kevin (LOL yea right) how can I help you?" If you can get past the language barrier, the lag time from calling India is annoying.


3) Instead of waiting for 20 minutes on hold for an operator, they now have an voice automated troubleshooter. Wow, please let me just talk to the Indian.
December 11, 2006 10:52:15 PM

Sony all the way! Shame on you, Sony!

Second, of course, is DRM. But I kind of struck at DRM already by voting Sony ;) .
December 11, 2006 11:31:01 PM

I voted DRM as I believe it does nothing but hinder users enjoying something they have paid for and is holding back new technology.

For all those complaining about broadband suck it up, come live in a country that falls below what you get in the US then you have something to complain about. Broadband here in Australia has been rated just above what 3rd world countries get by some industry observers and spokes people. Many areas here in OZ cant even get basic broadband (adsl) and are still on dial up and this isn't limited to rural areas but major city black spots where broadband isn't available.
December 12, 2006 12:15:51 AM

Sony, should have brought more PS3 to USA

DRM, sucks f*ck micro$oft because of that and the other companies too

Intel viiv who really uses that

Zune, c'mon microsoft you have enough money to make more advertising!

802.11n, I thought you were gonna be faster, more secure and get at greater distances T_T

HDCP, why you came so late? we should have see u around when the 6600 cards were coming out! 1080P who really knows about you when people is buying a new LCD tv? 10% of the people? c'mon!
December 12, 2006 12:52:37 AM

DRM gets my vote. Protecting peoples' intellectual property or whatever is a good idea but DRMs seem to fail to actually stop or even hurt pirating and in general mainly cause problems for legal consumers. I think you could add microsoft and sony as subpoints under DRM and it would not be far from the truth.
December 12, 2006 3:19:43 AM

Sony, should have brought more PS3 to USA

Uh, they screwed over the rest of the world way more than the US.
December 12, 2006 3:22:19 AM

Sony, should have brought more PS3 to USA

Uh, they screwed over the rest of the world way more than the US.

I prefer to look at it as saved the rest of the world from being tempted to purchase another rushed and broken Sony product.
December 12, 2006 3:23:27 AM

Fair enough.
December 12, 2006 3:28:03 AM

This was a pretty loaded survey and article. Not much journalism and a lot of huff and puff bias and opinion. I like a good read that has reasonable and professional insight.

I'm a Tom's Hardware fan but I have to say that the format and articles are thin and DISAPPOINTING in 2006.

Sony as being #1 disappointment. As frustrated as I am with my PS3, I find it odd that a whole company as a whole would be the #1 disappointment. Not much of a survey when it looks like maybe 100 people participated.
December 12, 2006 5:22:37 PM

Thats a negative way of looking at it. The article was just supposed to be a light summary of the major negatives in the tech industry for the year. All of the topics in the article have been covered elsewhere on this site many times (many links were provided in the article). I wouldn't expect or even want the author to re-iterate all of the news that I read over the past year on this site. Even if I wanted to, I could have click the links. There have been quite a few less than spectacular articles on Toms the last few months, this wasn't one of them.
December 12, 2006 11:47:12 PM


we do appreciate every feedback, it’s the interaction between readers and us that keeps us going and makes this industry interesting. Our view can be biased and sometimes it is necessary that someone tells us that we are off base (though I do have to say, after being with Tom’s Hardware for almost 4 years, that it is the most knowledgeable staff I have worked with in my career.)

In this specific article, I mentioned in the very beginning that it is a subjective ranking. Anyone could list different entries (mentioned in the article), but I felt that it may be interesting for many, what would be chosen by someone who is dealing with IT announcements 365/24/7. And it’s not like I’ve thrown up a headline and said “Xyz is crap” – in fact, I think that the explanations were pretty extensive.

I’d challenge you to let me know what “puff bias” was in the article. I used common sense to take a second look at many products and behind what marketing departments are trying to sell you. If you were interested in the unbiased news behind those opinions (which we do not include in our news coverage by the way) you could have clicked on the links that were supplied. This article was not about providing lots of numbers, you get enough of those throughout the year in regular stories anyway.

For Sony being chosen as a #1 disappointment, please head back to page #10 and you can see why I chose Sony as a whole. I could have mentioned a lot more about why Sony was a big disappointment, but I left it that the company had a really bad year and, I’m sure they now about it all too well. I can’t judge Sony on the inside, but on the outside, the company is failing terribly right now.

Take Stringer’s marriage statement: Yes, there are misunderstandings and I do have those with my wife as well. But at least we both talk English. Sony does not (for examples click into the headlines in the article.)

The survey is not scientific, of course. But I personally find it more interesting to not only encourage you to provide feedback to the article, but also see an overview what the majority of the posters thinks.

December 13, 2006 10:33:51 AM

thank you for that post. I think a lot of people on the forums lose perspective of what website they are visiting. this is not, this is a technology website written for informational AND entertainment value. If I wanted just factual reporting of tech specs, what do I need this website for? I'll just attend,,, etc. I enjoy reading the opinions of a tech editor, who gets to play with a lot more hardware and gadgets than I'll ever see. They give me ideas and good suggestions, and even sometimes help change my opinion. I appreciate that you can write your own biased (or not) opinion, and spark good debate and discussion on the forums. I think you're doing your job!

Actually, I am surprised any of the negative posters even spoke up here, after so many posts agreeing with the editor on just about every element of the article. Look at the poll, just about everything has some votes in it, so obviously they were some good choices that we agreed with!
December 13, 2006 12:43:01 PM

i had to vote Broadband internet in America. Our speeds or utter garabage compared to the rest of the world even Canada. We pay upwards of $80 for an 8mb downrate with only 1-1.5mb upstream, rest of the world gets 2x-5x that speed for half the cost, its ridiculous.

and the people that vote Zune, remember this i am no stretch a fan of the zune like all Microsoft products overhyped, and overrated. But like all Microsoft products they took the "Build First, Fix Later" approach, they didn't care how well it worked, as long as it worked and they created an install base for which they can unload they're updates, and other ways to infect your life. Look at the Xbox 1 and the 360, loads of problems but the consoles worked, they were able to improve them later, Zune will be no different.

Inclusion i agree with 80% of tgd's top 10, kudos.
December 13, 2006 4:35:44 PM

Even the most experienced editors and industry analysts are human and I doubt anyone could compile such a list without sparking controversy. I do not mind negative feedback; what I do mind is pointless insulting feedback, which, however, you can't really avoid. In this case, it appears that at least one reader (out of more than 80,000 on this article, by the way) was really, really (I mean, really!) hurt that Sony came in at #1.

We will have a series of top-10 articles until the end end of the year, some with a more positive touch (rather than "disappointments") and some what one could really consider more "fluff" articles (I think called it that way) that have more entertainment value, but hopefully will motivate people think about certain issues that are just out of balance in the IT industry.

Look for these articles every Monday and Friday. Don't take them personal, just consider them as a judgement from a few people who are dealing with these topics around the clock.

Thanks to all of you. This post has tremendous feedback value for us.

December 13, 2006 5:07:32 PM

Its hard to imagine that anybody would take issue with Sony being named as the #1 disappointment this year. That is pretty much the most obvious choice.
December 13, 2006 5:38:46 PM

So when can we expect to see a big expose writeup on DRM technologies?

Its obviously a hot button issue with this crowd so it is practically begging for an article on it.
December 13, 2006 6:11:28 PM

yes, that was one of the most important feedbacks of this post, I agree. We will be looking at a couple different angles and will be working on it.
December 13, 2006 7:04:44 PM

I think broadband includes high-speed 3G-4G cell phone service. Korea, Japan, China, etc. has such a high percent of people on broadband because many simply connect their cell phones to the PC. It's cheap (cheap as in $20 a month unlimited) and no silly 2-year contract. I lived an Asia a few times, I see people do this. Even the rice-village in Thailand had easy access to GSM/GPRS (really). When I go back to the States, people have no idea what I'm talking about. If UMPCs want a jump-start, start with wireless broadband in the U.S. ! Then maybe there will be something for the UMPCs to connect to when on the road.
December 13, 2006 7:08:57 PM

I think an often overlooked disappointment is the DVD format. They increasingly are making them more and more annoying. It seems standard practice now to disable the back, forward, and menu buttons during the FBI warnings, and in many cases, that lame "downloading is illegal" ad. I've even seen many DVDs that don't let you skip the movie trailers they tack on the beginning of the DVD (or that require you to use Fast Forward instead of Track Forward to skip them). It's becoming ridiculous. When I stick the movie in, the movie should start playing immediately. If I want to change something, I should be able to hit the menu button to get to the menu, but it shouldn't be the default. And the FBI/anti-piracy stuff should be printed on the packaging, not on the DVD itself (same goes for the "The commentary track does not represent the opinion of Fox, or any other company, so don't sue us, please" crap). I'm about to the point that I'm going to quit buying DVDs and just pirate them, for nothing else but to eliminate the hassle. Remember when DVDs were promoted because they were easier to use than VHS? Yeah, not any more.

I guess that could be lumped in with the DRM, but I don't have experience with DRM'ed stuff because I refuse to buy anything with DRM of any kind. It's about time that we, as consumers, quit putting up with this kind of nonsense.
December 13, 2006 7:22:24 PM

What about Vista?

I whole heartedly agree. Vista has to be in the top ten disappointments of '06. (Although its not released yet, RC's were awful). The "rolodex alt-tab" thing? So similar to what OS X has had for over a year now. Dock-able apps? Again OS X and Fluxbox. Transparent windows? How about again, OS X or any Linux window manager.

I will secede that DX10 is/will be awesome. Its BS that microsoft will only ship it with Vista. I'll bet that the performance benefits of DX10 will come crashing down with all that "fluf" that microsoft has running in the background. If I wanted a flashy desktop I wouldn't spend hours running through setup menus and registry keys turning all that crap off.
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