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An ongoing list of IT companies, technologies and ideas killed off or headed for the end of life (with maybe an occasional one that comes back to life).
Is this any way to treat your kin? Microsoft, after having its much hyped Kin smartphones on the market for just two months, announced in late June it was killing them off.
Microsoft emphasized the social networking aspects of the phones, which were targeted at young people. But in the end, here's what it had to say about its decision to kill off the Kin, which reportedly were sold in embarrassingly low numbers:
"Microsoft has made the decision to focus on the Windows Phone 7 launch and will not ship KIN in Europe this fall as planned. Additionally, we are integrating our KIN team with the Windows Phone 7 team, incorporating valuable ideas and technologies from KIN into future Windows Phone releases. We will continue to work with Verizon in the U.S. to sell current KIN phones."
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.
Google announced in July that it was stopping development of the much hyped Google Wave collaboration technology as a standalone product, though did say it would maintain the service throughout 2010.
Google has already open-sourced much of the Wave code, so Wave could live on in numerous other projects.
Duke University, where the Usenet public messaging system got its start in 1979 as the brainchild of graduate students Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis, pulled the plug on its Usenet server in May, citing feeble usage and increasing costs. Duke initially used the system to communicate with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Here's how Duke announced its move, in part: "On May 20, OIT will be decommissioning Godzilla (godzilla.acpub.duke.edu), an older Solaris login server, and the News Groups server (news.duke.edu) that provides a Usenet news service. The services that were available through Godzilla are now available through the newer, Linux multi-user login servers, login1.oit.duke.edu and login2.oit.duke.edu, and the Usenet services have been made unnecessary by the growing use of blogs, social networking sites and RSS feeds."
Usenet, a distributed bulletin board system that was a precursor to much of today's Internet-based communication systems, generated scads of newsgroups, the most popular of which fell under categories such as computers, news and science. Usenet is credited with spawning terms popular in the online world today, such as FAQ and spam.
Duke's move follows that of many others cutting their Usenet support, including ISPs such as AOL, Verizon and Cox.
EMC said in late June that it was shuttering its Atmos Online cloud storage service, which only lasted about one year.
According to a Computerworld report, EMC offered no immediate "guarantee that any current users storing data on it will be able to retrieve it in the future."
"As a result, we strongly encourage that you migrate any critical data or production workloads currently served via Atmos Online to one of our partners offering Atmos based services," EMC wrote on its site.
Atmos began as a software offering in 2008 and now will serve as a development environment for EMC service provider partners.
AT&T in June said it was killing its unlimited wireless data plan, and instead is shifting to usage-based offerings.
AT&T announced two new wireless data plans based on the amount of data subscribers use. The change spells the end of unlimited wireless data use for new customers and likely higher charges for existing customers who use more than 2GB of data per month for activities such as watching videos and online gaming. Existing customers can keep the unlimited plans they have, but can switch to the new ones without having to extend their service contracts. Also, after a trail of continuous promises and false starts, the carrier finally will let laptops and other devices use some smartphone models, including the iPhone, on the AT&T network as a broadband connection.
Pay your respects (or gossip about the dead). Let us know what you think about the demise of these companies, technologies and Web phenomena.