The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time

Just as there are some very big winners in tech history, there are also some very big losers. PC World’s Dan Tynan showcases 25 of these distinguished duds. Here, AITS highlights some of his best (worst) picks.

#1 America Online

If it wasn’t bad enough to be using a PC in the era of dial-up modems, in 1989 Quantum PC-Link introduced this ISP whopper. With inaccessible dial-up numbers and unsavory marketing practices, it’s no wonder PC World ranked it the #1 worst tech product of all time.

#2 RealNetwork’s RealPlayer

Just looking at a screen shot of the RealPlayer’s user interface is enough to set the spine shivering. Never mind that its media files seldom worked at all, though its advertising and marking aspects functioned all too well, sending annoying pop-ups while unscrupulously tracking user habits.

#15 Iomega Zip Drive

Those in the field of graphic design especially will remember this data scourge. Some drives worked fine, saving those precious Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop files that were artfully crafted with toil and sweat. Other drives self-destructed with all the user’s dreams and passions inside, making the Iomega drives the Russian roulette of design.  

(Dishonorable Mention) Circuit City CiVX DVDs

How anyone could stomach the idea of a “disposable DVD” enough to market it is beyond comprehension. The business logistics of a pay-per-view movie service that required proprietary set-top players is outdone only by the DiVX movie discs themselves, which expired 48 hours after the first viewing, only to be thrown in a drawer or sent to a landfill.

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