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The Top-10 tech demo flops

Anyone can fail, but to really fail big time there's nothing quite like a major technology conference, a big product release, and a live audience of tens of thousands.
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1 of 10 Steven Vaughan-Nichols/ZDNet

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It was indeed a special moment. Surface, Microsoft's attempt to transform itself into a major hardware tablet vendor, in front of a hand-picked group of journalists and, eventually, millions of people around the world thanks to YouTube, and then... “Whoops!

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2 of 10 Steven Vaughan-Nichols/ZDNet

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But that wasn't too bad. I mean it's not as if were Bill Gates and buddy were showing up Windows and he got a Blue Screen of Death. “Whoa!”

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3 of 10 Steven Vaughan-Nichols/ZDNet

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While not a failure as such the moment when Gates discovered his spokesperson, NBA superstar Kareem Adbul-Jabbar, didn't know how to use a mouse is especially cringe-worthy.

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4 of 10 Steven Vaughan-Nichols/ZDNet

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Did you ever wonder why Microsoft dropped Windows Media Center from Windows 8? Well, you see, it never did work that well as Conan O'Brien and Bill Gates found out. “Who's in charge of Microsoft!? Uh..”

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5 of 10 Steven Vaughan-Nichols/ZDNet

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Voice recognition is always tricky as this poor Microsoft rep found out when he tried to show off Vista's voice recognition software.

The words that produced the sentence above were: Dear Mom (aunt) comma, fix aunt (let's set), delete that (nothing), delete that (so), delete select all (double the killer delete select all.

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6 of 10 Steven Vaughan-Nichols/ZDNet

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While Bill Gates always did seem to have bad luck with his demos, even the master of the demo, Apple's Steve Jobs has had bad days too. Here's a collection of his worst moments.

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7 of 10 Steven Vaughan-Nichols/ZDNet

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Perhaps Jobs' worst demo though was when the iPhone 4 demo went terribly wrong. First the Wi-Fi failed and then AT&T's 3G couldn't come through.  Even after Jobs ordered the audience to turn  off all their Wi-Fi devices, things still didn't go so well.  Here's a hint: Never, ever rely on Wi-Fi for any tech. demo.

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8 of 10 Steven Vaughan-Nichols/ZDNet

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The iPhone isn't the only phone to show its teething problems in public. There was this sad moment when Samsung's Galaxy Nexus facial recognition software just wouldn't work at all.

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9 of 10 Steven Vaughan-Nichols/ZDNet

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The previous clip for Microsoft's Kinect was definitely quite embarrassing. But this is how it ended. Maybe the Microsoft employees knew the clip was so bad they wanted the audience to think it was made by Sony.

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10 of 10 Steven Vaughan-Nichols/ZDNet

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At least they the one actor in the previous demo was meant to fall down, the Honda Asimo robot, alas, was not meant to fall when it tried to climb the steps. I'm still not sure what was with the rush to shield the fallen robot from the audience's eyes. Perhaps there was someone inside the casing!!

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