2012 in Review: Tech Turkeys of the Year

2012 in Review: Tech Turkeys of the Year

Summary: And now, for your reading pleasure, the very worst from the tech world in 2012.


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  • Mozilla Firefox

    Mozilla Firefox is currently the #2 web browser. That position is now threatened by Google's Chrome, which is expected to overtake it in market share by the end of the year.

    In 2012, Mozilla Firefox was mired with various critical bugs over iterative releases that caused the software to act sluggish.

    Once hailed as a high-performance, bloatware-free browser alternative to Internet Explorer, it became the very thing it tried not to emulate, and even Microsoft proved that it could out-fox Firefox in terms of performance and memory utilization with IE 9 and also IE 10, which was released with Windows 8 and has been backported to Windows 7, with a pre-release due at the end of November.

  • GNOME 3.4

    Under development for several years as the replacement for GNOME 2.x on Linux-based desktop OSes, GNOME 3.X has slowly exited "experimental" mode and has finally become the default UI on Redhat's Fedora distribution, which replaced the very much long in the tooth GNOME 2.4 with GNOME 3.2 in Fedora 16.

    Fedora 17, which was released in May of 2012, includes a further refined version, version 3.4.

    While GNOME 3.x includes a number of software enhancements over its predecessor, Linus Torvalds, the inventor and maintainer of the Linux kernel has hailed the 3.4 software release as a "total UX failure" and "one step forward, one step back" 

    Look, if the chief penguin himself slaps you down, you know it's time to go back to the drawing board, GNOME-ies.

  • Facebook for Android

    Facebook. You know you gotta have it on your smartphone and tablets.

    Well, maybe not. Facebook for Android is probably one of the most consistently unstable and poorest performing apps on the Google mobile platorm. 

    How bad is it? It's so bad that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has confiscated iPhones from all of his key developers and has forced them to use Android devices so that they can do a complete re-write based on native code like the iOS version currently enjoys, rather than the HTML5 it is written in now.

    Unlike its iOS counterpart, Facebook for Android lacks tablet optimization so it looks like a blown-up smartphone app, even on the highest resolution tablet screens.

    And did I mention it was slow and buggy? Oh my God, so slow.

Topics: Hardware, Mobile OS, Smartphones, Software, Tablets


Jason Perlow, Sr. Technology Editor at ZDNet, is a technologist with over two decades of experience integrating large heterogeneous multi-vendor computing environments in Fortune 500 companies. Jason is currently a Partner Technology Strategist with Microsoft Corp. His expressed views do not necessarily represent those of his employer.

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  • What about....

    The iPad 3 and 4
    iPhone 5

    they sold unit but in terms of innovation and making products that apple see as "revolutionary" they suck crap
    Benjamin Ong
    • That they sold unit...

      Pretty much eliminates them as turkeys.
      • He has a point about iPad 3

        Using the same logic you used for the Lumia, iPad 3 is a Turkey too. It was discontinued only 6 months into its life cycle. For consistency sake, if your logic is at all sound, iPad 3 must be added to the list.
        • iPad 3

          Got an iOS 6 upgrade and is still supported. Lumia 900 was orphaned.
          • Not exactly true

            Lumia 900 gets the WP7.8, which Apple would call WP 8, but with little asterisks that list which features don't work.
          • Wow resizable Icons

            That's one hell of an upgrade. I find it funny the Microsoft trolls hae two seperate standards: If Microsift screws over current customers, it's the customer's fault. If Apple is percieved to do something close, then Apple is Evil!
            Troll Hunter J
    • Agreed

      Although successful, in terms of amounts sold, the ipad3, iphone 5, and iOS6 (esp. apple maps), have started to change peoples opinions (that is consumers) of Apple. Id call that a turkey. Or maybe Tim Cook could be the turkey?
  • Such a troll article.

    My oh my, I bet beardy also walks around art galleries thinking he has a clue there as well.

    Watch out for him if you're ever in one. He walks up to you, and talks utter drivel to you, whilst scratching his beard whilst wearing a smug look on face, totally oblivious to all those around him whom consider him clueless, and rather annoying.
    • Beardy...

      That's a good one. Original as well.

      FWIW, my family has been in the art business for over 50 years.
    • Dude

      Honestly man, trying contributing something worthwhile instead of this type of spiteful post.
      • Some people just don't like it when Android gets thrown

        in the trashed bin of 2012.

        You would think he was insulting a loved one.

        Or maybe he was...
        William Farrel
  • Android ICS

    Fastest-growing version of Android to date.
    • ICS and Firefox don't belong on this list

      Safari goes on the turkey list way before Firefox.
      Nothing wrong with ICS, put the fragmented mobile carriers on the turkey list.
      • Firefox is a turkey

        First, crappy decision to go on very fast incremental release numbers which originally broke add-on compatibility.

        Second, it really had stability problems, though it ain't as bad now as it was a few months ago my browser still hangs for up to 1 or 2 minutes now and then for no apparent reason and after opening and closing several tabs it becomes so slow I've got to close and reopen it to make good again... I'm running in on a Core2 Quad 2.5Ghz with 8GB of RAM with plenty of it free, Win7 64bit so the computer is not the issue.

        As for ICS, the issue is more with OEMs promising ICS and never delivering (HTC promised ICS for my Incredible S in February, my carrier promised it in July and everything got cancelled in August... So I'm still on Gingerbread even though I wanted to upgrade... Not important anymore, I'm switching to WP8 soon!
  • Carrier-Specific Nexus Device?

    Sounds like a contradiction in terms. Maybe the real turkey in this case is the entire US mobile market?
  • ICS

    My Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7 with dual core Exynos 1.4ghz processor, Super Amoled Plus display, was and is the flagship Android tablet that also was available with Verizon. My international 3g version received regional updates in Malaysia ONlY. iCS was released for the aversion version, but Samsung abandoned the rest of its customers around the globe.

    This fragmented approach of upgrades with headline teased upgrade announcements with No DATeS just underscores why Apple reigns supreme in its ability to serve its customers.
  • Motorola Mobility

    Was resurrected from the dead with the android. Quickly became a "B" player and started losing money each quarter as Samsung and HTC'S prospered through growth with multiple handsets on multiple carriers.
    Motorola released a half finished Xoom product and since put ALof its chips into the Verizon basket by subjugating its remaining Jewel of a brand, Razr, underneath Verizon's Droid. Stranding its best handset and brand on Verizon, who seems to be more interested in promoting HTm Samsung, Nokia and now RIm in 2013, Motorola just doesn't seems like it wants to make money.
    They recently announced that keeping Razr exclusive to Verizon is a good business model. Check your earnings for the past 2 years, Motorola.
  • Nexus Fail

    No wonder Google went with LG on Nexus 4 AND with T Mobile
  • RIM

    RIM is, by far, the biggest Turkey with everyone, dumb and smart, betting against their often delayed BBOS 10 handset. When it launches, the world will wonder why they threw money away on poisoned fish
    • And yet

      The the version 10 Balckberry will outsell Windows phones. So what's the biggest turkey?