Dearly Departed: Companies and Products That Didn't Deserve to Die

Some products just didn't deserve to die. But they did, because the companies made bad business decisions. We revisit several of our favorites--from minicomputers to software utilities--and mourn the best and brightest that died an untimely death.

The computer industry is an unforgiving place. One slip, and today's darling becomes tomorrow's footnote, regardless of its previous track record. One lousy upgrade can be enough to do in a company, especially if a nimble-footed competitor leaps in with smart marketing and a usable product.

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Then there are the companies whose missteps were not in their products, but in their business practices. Let's face it; geeks are not necessarily good accountants. Or marketers. Or distribution experts. And, sadly, some get taken advantage of by savvy businessmen who see an opportunity for profit.

Nostalgic souls that we are, we pulled together a list of a few of the dearly departed to honor their memories with a brief look at their prematurely truncated lives. Some of their products live on with other vendors, but the essence that made each company special has disappeared into the annals of time.

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