5 technologies that went the way of the dodo!
The Sony MiniDisc has been around for a surprisingly long time now, somehow battling on alongside the MP3 player for the past few years. Sadly, for fans of high-quality music, it’s set to die in September this year, and it got us thinking about other decent products that lost out.
The Sony MiniDisc was a revelation when it launched, offering staggeringly good quality in a compact package that was ideal for a life on the road. You can name tracks, battery life on MiniDisc players lasted for ages, and it was smaller than both tapes and CDs.
Then the iPod came along, and the MiniDisc never recovered. It still offers better sound quality, but the fact you can’t store anywhere near as much music has proved to be the all important nail in the MiniDisc’s coffin. The MiniDisc isn’t the only decent gadget to die a death, however.
Betamax Sony’s Betamax video format was another cracker, and more advanced in many ways than the VHS format most of us finally adopted. You may not remember Betamax, but in the end it lost out to VHS because it’s rival was considerably cheaper.
HD DVD Toshiba spent millions of pounds developing its high-definition DVD format – a rival to Blu-ray. It couldn’t offer as much storage space as Blu-ray, but it was cheaper than its rival. In the end though, this wasn’t enough, and with Blu-ray also appearing in devices like the PS3 Toshiba finally killed off HD DVD.
Sega Dreamcast Sega’s Dreamcast was supposed to be the next big thing, following on from the success of consoles like the Sega Megadrive. Introduced in late 1998, the Dreamcast only lasted until 2001, and nearly killed Sega as a company. Sega now makes software, and has abandoned the console hardware market completely.
UMPC A short-lived concept in the mobile computing world, Samsung was one of the pioneers of Microsoft’s UMPC format, introducing the tiny Q1. Battery life was poor, however, performance was even worse, and the onscreen controls were just too fiddly to make it a usable device. Not long after, the netbook was introduced, and the UMPC was forgotten.
Asus Eee PC? The Eee PC shook the world when Asus launched it, offering a staggeringly cheap way of working on the move. Tiny, light, affordable and with a great battery life, the Eee PC was everything the UMPC failed at. Although it kick-started the netbook market, it seems the world now wants tablets – a trend started by the Apple iPad. Is it the end for the traditional netbook?