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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.
BlackBerry Z10 crashed the company into a financial brick wall
Out with the old, and in with the new. BlackBerry has burned over the past year. But it was a slow, painful, and agonizing decline. It was like watching the slowest-ever car crash. The company has vowed to clean up its act and get back on the horse.
First it was hit by a massive near-$1 billion loss as a result of the flop of its flagship BlackBerry Z10 smartphone, launched in January. And then the firm said it would put itself up for sale — so-called "strategic alternatives" — but that fell through, despite entering an agreement with an investment firm. Chief executive Thorsten Heins as a result resigned (although how far he was pushed remains unknown) and was replaced with former Sybase chief John Chen, who vowed not to "dwell on the past" and to power through financial hardship.
There is hope for BlackBerry now, however. But whether it's a case of plugging the leaks in the sinking ship, or evacuating before it goes under completely, only time will tell.