Prepare to Die: 2010 Tech Industry Graveyard

These IT companies, technologies and ideas are dead or doomed to disappear this year.

Dead Man Walking

Here we pay respects to a slew of companies, technologies (including from Google and Microsoft) and ideas that mainly held lots of promise but met or will soon meet their demise for any number of reasons: being ahead of their time; getting whacked by the economy; being surpassed by something new. A few of the bodies are still warm, and there's even the occasional life-after-death experience.

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2009 IT industry graveyard

2008 IT industry graveyard

2007 IT industry graveyard

Internet Explorer 6

OK, Microsoft says it will continue to support IE6 until April 2014, but this is going to be one long goodbye. Google says it will stop supporting IE6 in Gmail and Calendar services in the wake of a big Google break-in enabled at least in part through IE6 flaws. A Web design firm in Denver even announced plans to hold a mock funeral for IE6 in March (cause of death: workplace injury).

Red Hat Exchange

Launched in 2007 by Red Hat as a sort of Linux apps showcase for third parties, RHX is no more. A Red Hat official told LinuxPlanet in February: "When we came out with RHX we were hoping for more ambitious adoption but we've learned that selling third-party applications via a marketplace is challenging. When you've got marketplaces that offer buyers the choice of buying in the marketplace or directly from the vendor themselves, which is what our marketplace was, there isn't a real efficient marketplace."

Xbox Live service for Xbox Original games

Microsoft's "Major Nelson" revealed in early February that it would be discontinuing "Xbox Live service for original Xbox consoles and games, including Xbox 1 games playable on Xbox 360" as of April 15. The multiplayer gaming service launched in 2002. Microsoft says it is extending its Xbox Live services in a way that wouldn't be compatible with the older systems.

YouTube "Rickrolling" video (but wait!...)

Panic spread across the Internet in February when it was discovered that YouTube had spiked the original Rick Astley "Never Gonna Give You Up" video that has become famous as a prank destination for those falling for various online tricks. (You've been "Rickrolled" if you fall prey to one of these.) Alas, YouTube discovered that it had only mistakenly taken down the video, enabling its impact to endure.

Supercomm trade show

The annual telecom industry gathering, originally slated for October in Chicago, was shelved in February by the TIA and USTelecom after getting weak financial projections for the event. TIA and USTelecom did say they looked forward to "future collaborative efforts."

BlackBerry Curve 8900

The BlackBerry Curve 8900, introduced on the T-Mobile network in early 2009 as the thinnest and lightest RIM model to that point, has been given the end-of-life sentence by the carrier. Of course, it will be far from the only mobile device to be discontinued this year given the incredibly rapid pace of smartphone innovation. Other carriers, such as Verizon, are expected to retire phones such as the BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230.

Apache Beehive

The Apache Software Foundation's Beehive project, whose goal was "to make J2EE programming easier by building a simple object model on J2EE and Struts," was shifted to the Apache Attic in January. The Attic is where Apache projects go to die when they become inactive. Beehive had its roots in the BEA WebLogic Workshop development tool runtime.

Project Wonderland support from Oracle

Project Wonderland, a Java-based platform for developing 3-D virtual worlds, announced on Jan. 30 that Oracle was pulling the plug on the Sun project in the wake of Sun's buyout. However, Wonderland's team did say at the time it was hopeful of keeping the project going and launched a blog to let supporters keep up. Wonderland certainly won't be the last Sun project to get terminated once Oracle and Sun become more integrated.

Video Web site Veoh

Veoh announced in February that it was bankrupt and that its assets would be sold off to repay creditors. Dmitry Shapiro, Veoh's founder and CEO, blamed the company's collapse on a pricey legal battle with Universal Music Group that Veoh ended up winning as well as tough economic conditions. Veoh raised $70 million dollars from investors to deliver TV and other video content on its site.

Google Gears

Google announced in February that its Gears project, which allowed offline use of Web services, would be discontinued as the company turns its attention to supporting standards like HTML5. For Google, which seemingly launches a new project or two daily, end-of-life (or "retirement") stories are inevitable. The company announced in February on its Gmail blog, for example, that it was retiring a handful of projects/features, including Email addict and Muzzle.

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