Microsoft’s biggest flops of the decade

Windows 8, Windows RT, and Windows Phone earn a thumb’s down as three of Microsoft’s biggest failures during the 2010s.

Microsoft Silicon Valley Center - Mountain View, CA

Image: iStockphoto/jejim

Microsoft can certainly be credited for helping kick-start and revolutionize the personal computer industry. From the early days of DOS to the current landscape of Windows, Office, and other popular products, the company has, in many ways, expanded the benefits of technology for both consumers and businesses. But as Microsoft has attempted to keep up with the market or try different strategies, the company has also stumbled with certain products that failed to catch on for a variety of reasons. Here are three of the biggest flops that Microsoft has unveiled over the past decade.

SEE: 20 pro tips to make Windows 10 work the way you want (free PDF) (TechRepublic) 

Windows 8

After achieving success with Windows 7, Microsoft attempted to try something different with the next iteration of Windows in 2012. Realizing that people no longer worked just on personal computers, the company strove to create a new version of Windows that would be equally at home on PCs and tablets. But therein lies the problem: By trying to be all things to all people, Windows 8 flunked on all fronts.

In its attempt to be more tablet friendly, Windows 8 failed to appeal to desktop users, who were still more comfortable with the Start menu, the standard Desktop, and other familiar features of Windows 7. Windows 8 also proved too radical a departure from its predecessor. Rather than slowly transition users to a new way of working, Microsoft unleashed a slew of abrupt changes all at once. No more Start button, the Start menu was replaced by a Start screen, an awkward Desktop mode, hot corners that weren’t intuitive, an uneasy mixture of the new Settings app and the old Control Panel.

Users who had grown accustomed to Windows 7 now…