The Tragic Death of Practically Everything

Microsoft, Firefox, Facebook, the Mac--they live on in our hearts.

By  |  Wednesday, August 18, 2010 at 9:41 am

Wired Editor in Chief Chris Anderson is catching flak for the magazine’s current cover story, which declares that the Web is dead. I’m not sure what the controversy is. For years, once-vibrant technologies, products, and companies have been dropping like teenagers in a Freddy Krueger movie. Thank heavens that tech journalists have done such a good job of documenting the carnage as it happened. Without their diligent reporting, we might not be aware that the industry is pretty much an unrelenting bloodbath.

After the jump, a moving recap of some of the stuff that predeceased the Web–you may want to bring a handkerchief.

Internet Explorer, as you’ll recall, died in 2004.

In 2005, the Macintosh suffered a trauma which inevitably led to its death earlier this year.

Linux absolutely, positively died in 2006.

The venerable technology known as TV died in 2006. too.

By 2007, Microsoft Office had bit the big one.

Microsoft itself also passed away in 2007.

E-mail had a good long life, but it too went to its reward in 2007.

I hope this doesn’t come as a shock, but Facebook died in 2008.

The people of the world shed a collective tear when BlackBerry met its demise in 2008.

Firefox may have passed away last year, but it’s hard to tell. (I for one still hold out hope that it’ll be found alive.)

The desktop may or may not have died last year, but boy, it didn’t look good.

The iPod definitely died last year.

We also mourned the loss of RSS.

And there were horrible rumors that Twitter had been…murdered.

2010 is turning out to be another crummy year for tech products. For instance, the Wii died in February.

The netbook croaked in April.

After a long illness, Print was declared dead in April.

OpenOffice died in May. (I didn’t even realize it was still with us!)

Flash, too, is dead as a doornail.

And earlier this week, I myself was the bearer of bad news about e-readers.

If you found this story depressing, I understand–it’s difficult to be reminded of so many untimely passings in one post. I do have some good news, though: It turns out that the reports of vinyl’s death were wrong!

 
110 Comments


Read more: ,

110 Comments For This Post

  1. Wired is Dead Says:

    The controversy errupts because Anderson has the temerity to dress up his otherwise harmless, sensational fluff (like as depicted above) as some kind of bona fide 'theory' he can sell magazines, books, and speaking engagements off of.

    Even that migh be tolerable except the research he uses to support these little 'theories' isnt just weak, it's often used without citation or attribution, and in this case of this one, completely manipulated from its original context to make points he wants to make with it. (see Boing Boing's take on the graph used for this story)

    Basically, The guy's a shamless hack riding on the shirt tails of whatever credibility remains from the once-great publication he works for– sensational headlines and claims notwithstanding.

  2. Rex Hammock Says:

    And don't forget the most famous 'is dead' magazine cover in history — just to show these are on good company: http://www.time.com/time/covers/0,16641,19660408,…

  3. Tim Conneally Says:

    "Journalism is Dead…No story at 11"

  4. AudibleNod Says:

    Technologizer is Dead. Long live Technologizer!

  5. Martin Chorich Says:

    Mark Twain is dead, too, but reports may have been exaggerated.

  6. Scott Rosenberg Says:

    Excellent. Don't forget "blogging is dead" e.g. http://is.gd/enx8q comes around every year or two.

  7. Liz Says:

    I love this! I'm a relative newcomer (3 years) to reading technology blogs but it seems like people are eager to claim something is dead and over. I guess they want to be the one who can claim they said so first. I hope some of the authors of these pieces see this blog post and feel a little humbled. What hubris for someone to declare a technological platform, software or computer dead just because they (or their kids or their colleagues) no longer find it as useful!

    Time to go check Twitter, answer some email and write up a report on Microsoft Word/Office because I hear that they are on their last legs for 1% of the population.

    Besides, everyone knows it's cars that are dead. Where's my jet pack? ; )

  8. Scott Berkun Says:

    The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated – Mark Twain

  9. @tlc808 Says:

    Technology is dead! It's back to the stone-age for all mankind.

  10. Kevin Says:

    Remember… according to Wired, the Web was really dead in 1997.
    http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/5.03/ff_push.h

    "Remember the browser war between Netscape and Microsoft? Well forget it. The Web browser itself is about to croak."

  11. djguapo Says:

    Call me when Wired is dead.

  12. Hojo58 Says:

    What you really mean to say is that "[whatever] is dead among a few hundred thousand early adopters and trend setters, however hundreds of millions of us still like and use [whatever] "

  13. Sean Gallagher Says:

    Now that the Web is dead, I suppose I'll have to get all my technology news from the radio.

  14. @Entroporium Says:

    History was declared 'over' in 1989: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_End_of_History_a

  15. @game_on Says:

    PC gaming, under the bus in 2008. http://is.gd/enBf9

  16. @tomforemski Says:

    Geeks live in a binary world where things only have two states of being.

  17. Rob H Says:

    Commenting is dead! As Erik Schmidt said on 4th August,
    ( http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/google_ceo_s… )
    soon Google will know what it is we want and where we are going. Surely then it will know what comments we would make about various things as well. So I will simply be able to go to a webpage and google will automatically comment on it for me. I guess that means Free Will is dead too, but I'm not sure if I'm at liberty to say that…

  18. MMM Says:

    NO, Mark Twain IS NOT dead! His autobiography in 3 volumes is coming out in November!

  19. David Grober Says:

    Is sharing dead too? I like to share

  20. Mark Beckwith Says:

    Kicking myself for throwing away that turntable. I thought vinyl was dead!

  21. CS Clark Says:

    Given that every new product is described as a something-killer (not by the makers mostly), it’s hardly surprising that there are so manu casualties.

  22. laverdadnoshacelibres Says:

    "WEb SHALL OVERCOME", http://laverdadnoshacelibres.wordpress.com

  23. laverdadnoshacelibres Says:

    "WEb SHALL OVERCOME" http://www.adlandis.com

  24. Robinthehood Says:

    "Google will know what it is we want and where we are going." …
    and this is how they do that -
    http://current.com/shows/supernews/91659341_the-g

  25. Robinthehood Says:

    Death is over rated… Lets just live and let live!

  26. Skanoza Says:

    Death prediction is dead.

  27. Erin Says:

    Crap– I'm still using Microsoft Office AND checking my email and facebook from my netbook–there must be something wrong with me–I even continue to run with my iPod (well, I don't want to break my iPhone 4… though I relentlessly hear rumors of its imminent assassination as well)!

    I'd better get with the times!

    Glad Technologizer isn't dead… yet ;)

  28. @pganns Says:

    Death is dead!

  29. Fred Davis Says:

    Ha! Good one! We're all living in a world of tech zombies!

  30. quickbrownfox Says:

    "God is dead." — Nietzsche

    "Nietzsche is dead." –God

  31. DAN Says:

    Don't worry – Elvis isn't dead…

  32. jeremy Says:

    videodrome is dead. long live the new flesh.

  33. fjpoblam Says:

    I am dead. Everything I say is a lie.

  34. DevineLines Says:

    Bela Lugosi is dead. Same with rock & roll.

  35. Matches Malone Says:

    In which case, we should prepare ourselves for the tech zombie apocalypse….

  36. Matches Malone Says:

    While none of the above are dead, most have fallen into disuse, at least by this reporter….

    The key here is to see how long these things actually last after they've been declared dead. I don't hold out too much hope for Flash surviving another five years. IE or exploder as I call it, is not the dominant browser anymore, and should goto its grave in peace.

    Twitter isn't dead, however, its functionality has changed significantly from when I started using it. In fact, this may be a blog post in the making…. I'll tweet it, don't worry :)

  37. John Erickson Says:

    I desperately feel the urge to comment on this "LOL" post, but I just learned via Twitter that blogs are dead…

  38. Jason Baldwin Says:

    That's nothing. Do you realize how many killers are on the loose?!? The iPhone killer? The iPod killer? The cable TV killer? The PC killer? The laptop killer? And the worst part of it all is that they're all already identified, but nobody in authority seems to care, because they all just skate.

    Harumph. Journalism really *is* dead, Mr. McCracken.

  39. Theo Says:

    "Does anyone know when the internet died ?"

  40. Eina Says:

    Wired is dead! I haven't been able to find a copy on the shelves for months!

    They should have come out with an electronic version on Zinio years ago & I wouldn't have missed a copy. Yes, I know there is some iPad version but I'm not gonna buy an iPad to read a magazine when I have a PC with 2 x 24" monitors already. And that is if the iPad were even available here in Malaysia.

  41. Jonathan Leal Rdz Says:

    Some of the dead stuff is still among us… So Linux, facebookTwitter etc are zombies now??

  42. Jonathan Leal Rdz Says:

    Heck, even music is dead…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Day_the_Music_Di

  43. average joe Says:

    DEATH is DEAD!!

  44. Skippy McSkipperson Says:

    Blog comments are so dead

  45. Dave W Says:

    Someone should declare that the "pronouncing something dead" article is dead!

  46. Yacko Says:

    I'm dead and this is typing of the dead.

  47. Pamela Lieber Says:

    I guess these technologies can come back when we have our flying cars <g> Stuff evolves, get over it. things transform on their own. I won't hold my breath for any pronouncement.

  48. len Says:

    VRML is definitely dead. Ok. It just smells funny.

  49. Johnny29 Says:

    Technology is dead.

    People are realizing what a waste of time and money it is. They are going back to handicrafts, calligraphy and more personal things, like spirituality, which are more rewarding than the empty digital wasteland.

    The revolution is happening now.

  50. @hickeroar Says:

    On the subject of print media, having worked a bit in print media….It's not dead but it's not long for this earth either. There's a mass exodus going on right now to put together profitable online alternatives to local print media. In-industry estimates put an optimistic lifetime of 10 years left for printed news, less than 5 years on the pessimistic end. At that point only a handful of holdouts will be left…

    The seattle post-intelligencer is one of the early local newspapers that went all-online last year. Printing news is just becoming a money-sink.

    The whole print industry is bleeding money like crazy. They jack up newspaper prices to try to stay afloat which only forces more people away from buying. Mass layoffs are happening across the board at print media companies.

  51. DjonesAX Says:

    I am dead. No wait, I'm not, sorry.

  52. Lucila Says:

    I've notices that wired only want's blogger speaking of them. Otherwise there is no sense on that statement. Internet won't die any time soon, internet is constantly evolving into something different and that's why we all love it so much, cause we can't get tired of it! There is always something great or new to see!
    Internet Gurus' really make me nervous! Just shut up and enjoy! :)
    See you arround… online!
    Lucila.- http://www.condiminds.com

  53. Sparky McNugget Says:

    Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.

  54. kateshrewsday Says:

    It is s no more! It has ceased to be! It's expired and gone to meet its maker! It's a stiff! Bereft of life, it
    rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed it to the hard drive it'd be pushing up the daisies! Its technologic processes are now 'istory! It's off the net! It's kicked the bucket, it's shuffled off its mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile!! THIS IS AN EX-WEB!!

  55. Shameless Says:

    @Wired Is Dead

    “Basically, (Anderson)’s a shamless hack …”

    You say that like it’s a bad thing!

  56. Hamranhansenhansen Says:

    Context is the thing that seems to really be dead. So I really articles like this that bring a little history to a topic.

    The Wired article about the Web being dead is predicated on the idea that apps are something new, but they are not. We had email apps, file transfer apps, search apps, but there was no central app that you could rely on every user and server having in common until the Web. We still need it now for all the reasons we needed it then. Every file transfer server has a Web server, every iPhone app has a website, every user no matter what platform they are on has a Web browser. So the Web is anything but dead.

    A significant number of iPhones were purchased on the Web, and a significant number of those that weren't were discovered on the Web. So saying iPhone apps can kill the Web is pretty ridiculous. Especially when iPhone has the best Web platform in it as well.

  57. Shawn Honnick Says:

    Well done. The sky never stops falling.

  58. Guest Says:

    no the monster is dead now and forever… *cable goes out* teh tv is dead! death we are surrounded by it!

  59. your123 Says:

    I would say same thing FD

  60. Joe Cassara Says:

    Wired's relevance and credibility died a decade ago.

  61. Free will Says:

    Someone please tell me the office is dead that I don't have to commute anymore.

  62. ag2uki Says:

    Nice post. But there's something has been forgotten.
    We have to keep in mind that there're life after death.

  63. Profitman Says:

    If it does not make money, then it is dead ! Funny isn't it ? Even death can be measured by the ever unchanging money which remains the same at al seasons and versions ! At the end only money will be living and it will let live all those who wants it to live..if anything is not worth it or not making money – just declare it dead as it is not useful..Just too sad for all !

  64. anonymous Says:

    Schrodinger's cat is PROBABLY dead…

  65. Brent Says:

    And of course the end of the world has been documented since man first began to write.
    http://www.abhota.info/end1.htm

  66. BobB Says:

    Look at all the tech stuff that has already died this year alone…..so grim: http://www.networkworld.com/slideshows/2010/2010-

  67. Vera Badertscher Says:

    I just heard that WIckipedia is dead. No wonder there is a strange smell coming from my office–it's putrification of technology.

  68. j-g-faustus Says:

    The great thing about declaring something or someone dead is that you are bound to be right eventually.

  69. technogeist Says:

    Based on this story. Worthwhile reading is dead.

  70. Cata Says:

    Michael Jackson is dead.

  71. Billy Pilgrim Says:

    Invention is dead. “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” – Charles H. Duell – 1899.

  72. Gozmos Says:

    Nothing is dead which cannot die,
    Yet with strange aeons, even death may die…

  73. @thatandywhite Says:

    Claiming everything is dead is dead.

  74. King Arthur Says:

    OMG! RUNAWAY!!!1

  75. David Says:

    I agree. According to the tech press everything is dead except Apple,Facebook and Google.
    We may as well all go back into the real world and hand over to these titans, bow down even.
    Or, we can innovate,develop,startup and compete. Back to work !

  76. Craig Says:

    Now I'm confused. It is a truism that as soon as Wired puts something on the cover, call your broker and SELL SELL SELL–beacause, baby, that stuff is headed for the dumpster. Dead as disco dancing dodo birds. So what happens when Wired says something actually IS over?

  77. dholyer Says:

    It seems the only thing that has not been pronounced dead today is the undead. How can we kill off this stupid Vampire craze that the teeny-bobs have today. My solution is make them all politician, they suck the life out of everyone's bank accounts, so you do not even need blood anymore. As our bank books get sucked dry we will all die anyways. As a result there will be no one to report or hear of the death reports.

  78. TK Says:

    “I’m not dead…I feel fine…I’m getting better…I think I’ll go for a walk.”

    Monty Python

  79. Eric Johnson Says:

    2/3 of the way through this article, that is the impression I got. Tech journalists should remove" …is dead. from their repertoire," Just as TV journalists should stop using the phrase "crackdown," and politicians and police should knock it off with, "zero-tolerance."

    We are sick of being told what we like, what is dead, what is being killed at the moment and what must remain, "dead, dead, dead."

    Telling other people how the world is going to be has been big business since Nostradamus, or even before. The industry of psychics and their predictions and prognostications employs tens-of-thousands… just like tech reporting industry, the news business, and the political industry.

    Guys… just give us the numbers and perhaps put them on a graph… we'll decide if something is dead.

    After All, Apple was supposed to die in 1983, when IBM decided the little guys were getting in on something good. Michael Dell even suggested that Apple be liquidated and the money be returned to the stockholders. The New York Times and its David Pogue agreed… Just as the meteoric rise of Apple that started with its introduction of the Imac began, when nobody could believe the floppy disk was doomked and that USB would be any kind of success whatsoever.

  80. SanityInspector Says:

    I'm going to go out and buy some high quality stationary, maybe a fountain pen, and use my very best cursive penmanship to send a snail mail to Google's tech support. Because, they seem to be unavailable in any other way…

  81. AskelKana Says:

    Did Web died?

  82. PT1 Says:

    God died long ago.

  83. David Lavenda Says:

    Dead is dead. Long live the living….

  84. Bob Snyder Says:

    So everything goes, everything changes. DEATH is like… REAL LIFE.

  85. brenosasouza Says:

    Haa, very good! :D hahaha

  86. Voicedude Says:

    Articles about the passing of fleeting technologies are dead!

  87. Jonathan Dunn Says:

    Just like Mark Twain, when technologies lose their status as sexy & shiny, they simply enter midlife and carry on as productive members of society.

  88. Rick Says:

    Still waiting for someone to declare that porn is dead.

  89. @TheMarkGlidden Says:

    I'm not dead….yet. Monty Python 1975

  90. sunspot Says:

    everything must die, to be reborn

  91. Sumiko Says:

    That article is hilarious. As I recall, Macintosh was also declared dead several times in the 90s but it seems like it was just in a coma. And Print – well Print has been declared dead multiple times going back to before I was born – I think it may have started with the invention of television.

  92. husky Says:

    The iPod was already declared dead in 2001 when it was released, according to this thread from back then on MacRumors: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=500

    Some highlights for the lazy:

    “Great just what the world needs, another freaking MP3 player. Go Steve! Where’s the Newton?!
    “are you really aiming to become a glorified consumer gimmicks firm?”
    “Who cares about an MP3 player? (…) It’s so wrong! It’s so stupid!”
    “The Reality Distiortion Fieldâ„¢ is starting to warp Steve’s mind if he thinks for one second that this thing is gonna take off.”
    “trully revolutionary MY ASSSS!”
    ” sorry apple, yer cool styling and faster transfer rate only count for so much”
    “This iPod is for spoil rich kids with insane parents or an Apple fan as fannatic as a Taliban.”

  93. DaveK Says:

    How can you have a whole article full of “X is dead” without once having said “… Film at 11!”? For shame!

  94. Ben Says:

    Oh….I Didn't Realize That All Of Technology Died within the past 5 years, thank you for enlightening me. Oh Hey Blogger! You Forgot To Mention, Blogging was dead a long time ago……

  95. James Cann Says:

    This post is so confusing. How can everything be practically dead when its all infront of me?
    builders london

  96. i need my ex boyfriend back Says:

    great put up, very informative. I ponder why the other experts of this sector do not realize this. You must proceed your writing. I am sure, you have a great readers’ base already!

  97. cheap clothes Says:

    Wow,you have a quite exceptional view.I really wonder how you can do that.So marvelous

  98. bellaly Says:

    http://www.louisvuittonaustraliaoutlet.com We have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, but less time; we have more degrees, but less sense; more knowledge, but less judgment; more experts, but more problems; more medicine, but less wellness .http://www.uggbootscanada-online.com

  99. ic dealer Says:

    NO, Mark Twain IS NOT dead! His autobiography in 3 volumes is coming out in November!

  100. ulysee nardin Says:

    I think journalism will be here for a while, maybe the reporters will die but hopefully not too soon.

  101. oil presses Says:

    Keep on pursuing good things so that you can help many peoples. You are a good author!

  102. Solicitors Leeds Says:

    What a strange post, although I can see th argument, but tech is only getting bigger, it;s just the direction that's in debate.

  103. Business law Says:

    Is it me or is firefox not nearly as good as it was ? Is it worth switching to chrome ?

  104. Solicitors Says:

    Viva la revolution !

  105. legal aid Says:

    Tech and legal aid are dying ?

  106. Solicitors Says:

    High street solicitors are far more vulnerable than tech, trust me.

  107. TomPeris Says:

    The controversy errupts because Anderson has the temerity to dress up his otherwise harmless, sensational fluff (like as depicted above) as some kind of bona fide 'theory' he can sell magazines, books, and speaking engagements off of.

    Even that migh be tolerable except the research he uses to support these little 'theories' isnt just weak, it's often used without citation or attribution, and in this case of this one, completely manipulated from its original context to make points he wants to make with it. (see Boing Boing's take on the graph used for this story)

    Basically, The guy's a shamless hack riding on the shirt tails of whatever credibility remains from the once-great publication he works for– sensational headlines and claims notwithstanding.
    Tennis Elbow Treatment

  108. Michel Rumeru Says:

    Crap– I'm still using Microsoft Office AND checking my email and facebook from my netbook–there must be something wrong with me–I also get far cry 3 (wich was brillant)… though I relentlessly hear rumors of its imminent assassination as well)!

    I'd better get with the times!

    Glad Technologizer isn't dead… yet ;)

    Michel,

  109. sportsbook Says:

    what a pessimistic view point. how about a little optimism?

  110. https://play.google.com/Store/apps/details?id=com.abcdappz.bobmarleyquotes Says:

    It’s very easy to find out any topic on net as compared to books, as I found this paragraph at
    this website.

    Feel free to surf to my web site – cute quotes android (https://play.google.com/Store/apps/details?id=com.abcdappz.bobmarleyquotes)

Comment on This Story