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Facebook Home had promise, but nobody wanted to move in
Countless rumors over the course of more than two years pointed to Facebook eventually building its own phone. Despite the social networking giant's insistence that it won't, the lid was lifted on what it had been working on: Facebook on a phone, a dedicated phone. So it was a Facebook phone (sort of).
Launching with the HTC First, Facebook Home was a part-loader, part-skin that was the company's big push into the mobile world. But it flopped, badly. Home barely took off, and HTC's flagship social phone barely resonated with buyers. Following AT&T's decision to drop the price from $99 to 99 cents, it was written off as an unmitigated disaster. One of the core reasons to the lack of interest was that users could already get Facebook on their phone, and didn't have to fork out close-to one hundred big-ones for it.
Healthcare.gov wasn't even close to being fit for use on its first day
Dubbed "Obamacare," the Affordable Care Act would go on to help millions of Americans find cheaper health insurance among other benefits. In spite of the political controversy that went with the bill, it eventually passed and rubber-stamped into law by President Obama. But the website, designed as a gateway for Americans seeking new and better healthcare, became a controversy in its own right shortly after it launched in October.
To put it bluntly: it just didn't work. In the first few days, just a few hundred Americans were able to secure insurance using the site. Months later, only a few thousand have been able to use the site, which has been dogged with problems, erroneous data-sharing issues, privacy and security problems, and significant amounts of downtime.
The White House eventually called in the big guns: Google, Oracle, and Red Hat to help fix the troubled site. Registration was extended into 2014 as a result of the issues.
Surface, Windows RT launched but burned up in orbit
Anything "Windows" this year has been at the top of the contentious list. Microsoft may not be the Windows-making giant it once was — instead transforming into a devices and services company. But a good selection of its flagship devices struggled to get off the ground
Windows RT, the low-power ARM-based operating system, has barely taken off and forced Microsoft to take a $900 million inventory writedown on its Surface RT tablet in its fiscal fourth quarter earnings in July. The wider Surface picture isn't great either. Even the company itself said the fact it had three versions of Windows is confusing. Many still don't even know what the difference is between Windows 8 and Windows RT.