- This year is shaping up to be a year of technology battles-Microsoft vs. Google, iPhone vs. Android-but just last month, we saw the end to a momentous tech showdown. On Feb. 19, the high-definition disc format war was finally over. And when the dust settled, Toshiba's HD DVD technology lay beaten on the ground-left for dead by its former friends (Warner Brothers, Amazon, Best Buy) in favor of Sony's Blu-ray format.
HD DVD, someone had to go. Sure, your picture quality was every bit as stunning as Blu-ray's, your price point was mildly more tolerable and your multimedia functionality probably would have been pretty good if it had ever really had a chance to develop. Nevertheless, members of the buying public weren't going to go out and buy two machines, so the world had to pick one-and it just wasn't you.
But take heart. When you reach the sweet hereafter, you'll be in remarkable company, hanging with some of the most promising nonstarters in the history of video technology. Every one of these formats was a brilliantly engineered technological flop–and maybe Toshiba can reap some consolation from the fact that rival Sony's name shows up more than once, proving that for every sip of marketplace success, a company must swallow an ocean of consumer rejection.
10. DIVX DVD (1998, from Digital...