Microsoft recently withdrew support and patches for Windows XP SP2. The decision marks the latest in a string of moves by the company to kill of products and technologies that either outlived their uselessness or never became useful in the first place. We look at the eight products that have been withdrawn by Microsoft this year.
Well, it was no Apple iPad. Microsoft confirmed in April it had cancelled further development and production on its tablet project, codenamed Courier. The device had been expected in the second half of this year, reportedly formatted in the shape of a book with two 7in screens, a built-in camera and Wi-Fi. The device also was said to support a variety of user inputs such as touching, handwriting and drawing.
But as Frank Shaw, corporate vice president of communications at Microsoft, put it: "At any given time, across any of our business groups, there are new ideas being investigated, tested, and incubated. It's in Microsoft's DNA to continually develop and incubate new technologies to foster productivity and creativity. The 'Courier' project is an example of this type of effort and its technologies will be evaluated for use in future Microsoft offerings".
While tablet-mania has only really begun with the iPad's introduction earlier this year, Microsoft has had a long history with tablets. And Microsoft's tablet story isn't over yet. Company CEO Steve Ballmer recently said a slew of tablets and smart devices are forthcoming over the next several months.
What won't be coming are Windows 7 tablets from HP, which decided instead of delivering those devices that it would focus on WebOS-based tablets given its buyout of Palm.
Xbox Live service for Xbox Original games
Microsoft 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. Don't worry about Microsoft's Xbox Live business though. Bloomberg reported earlier this month that the business is worth a cool $1bn to Microsoft.
Microsoft announced in June plans to shut down Bing Cashback, the service that offered online shoppers cash rebates for buying products after searching for them on Bing.
It appears that the offering, which was based on technology developed by Jellyfish.com, a company Microsoft bought in 2007, didn't do as well as hoped.
Microsoft attracted more than 1,000 merchant partners who offered cash back to shoppers, said Yusuf Mehdi, senior vice president for Microsoft's Online Audience Business Group, in a blog post.
"But after a couple of years of trying, we did not see the broad adoption that we had hoped for," he said.
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