The Tragic Death of Practically Everything

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!


109 comments

,

  1. Wired is Dead August 18, 2010 at 4:21 am #

    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 August 18, 2010 at 7:12 am #

    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 August 18, 2010 at 9:55 am #

    "Journalism is Dead…No story at 11"

    • ulysee nardin October 3, 2011 at 7:54 pm #

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

  4. AudibleNod August 18, 2010 at 10:06 am #

    Technologizer is Dead. Long live Technologizer!

  5. Martin Chorich August 18, 2010 at 10:15 am #

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

  6. Scott Rosenberg August 18, 2010 at 10:24 am #

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

  7. Liz August 18, 2010 at 10:26 am #

    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 August 18, 2010 at 10:30 am #

    The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated – Mark Twain

  9. @tlc808 August 18, 2010 at 10:30 am #

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

  10. Kevin August 18, 2010 at 10:35 am #

    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 August 18, 2010 at 10:47 am #

    Call me when Wired is dead.

    • Eina August 19, 2010 at 7:17 am #

      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.

  12. Hojo58 August 18, 2010 at 10:49 am #

    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 August 18, 2010 at 10:50 am #

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

  14. @Entroporium August 18, 2010 at 10:54 am #

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

  15. @game_on August 18, 2010 at 11:24 am #

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

  16. @tomforemski August 18, 2010 at 11:34 am #

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

  17. Rob H August 18, 2010 at 11:38 am #

    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 August 18, 2010 at 11:51 am #

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

  19. David Grober August 18, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    Is sharing dead too? I like to share

  20. Mark Beckwith August 18, 2010 at 12:33 pm #

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

  21. CS Clark August 18, 2010 at 12:35 pm #

    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 August 18, 2010 at 1:59 pm #

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

  23. laverdadnoshacelibres August 18, 2010 at 2:10 pm #

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

  24. Skanoza August 18, 2010 at 2:42 pm #

    Death prediction is dead.

    • Robinthehood August 18, 2010 at 2:30 pm #

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

    • Eric Johnson August 24, 2010 at 10:37 am #

      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.

  25. Erin August 18, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    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 😉

  26. @pganns August 18, 2010 at 3:19 pm #

    Death is dead!

  27. Fred Davis August 18, 2010 at 3:22 pm #

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

    • Matches Malone August 19, 2010 at 6:12 am #

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

    • your123 August 19, 2010 at 3:38 pm #

      I would say same thing FD

  28. quickbrownfox August 18, 2010 at 4:19 pm #

    "God is dead." — Nietzsche

    "Nietzsche is dead." –God

  29. DAN August 18, 2010 at 4:58 pm #

    Don't worry – Elvis isn't dead…

  30. jeremy August 18, 2010 at 6:51 pm #

    videodrome is dead. long live the new flesh.

  31. fjpoblam August 18, 2010 at 7:51 pm #

    I am dead. Everything I say is a lie.

  32. DevineLines August 18, 2010 at 10:43 pm #

    Bela Lugosi is dead. Same with rock & roll.

  33. Matches Malone August 19, 2010 at 6:16 am #

    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 🙂

  34. John Erickson August 19, 2010 at 6:40 am #

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

  35. Jason Baldwin August 19, 2010 at 6:54 am #

    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.

  36. Theo August 19, 2010 at 7:12 am #

    "Does anyone know when the internet died ?"

  37. Jonathan Leal Rdz August 19, 2010 at 8:06 am #

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

  38. average joe August 19, 2010 at 9:34 am #

    DEATH is DEAD!!

  39. Skippy McSkipperson August 19, 2010 at 10:16 am #

    Blog comments are so dead

  40. Dave W August 19, 2010 at 10:46 am #

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

  41. Yacko August 19, 2010 at 11:16 am #

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

  42. Pamela Lieber August 19, 2010 at 11:20 am #

    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.

  43. len August 19, 2010 at 11:42 am #

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

  44. Johnny29 August 19, 2010 at 11:46 am #

    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.

  45. @hickeroar August 19, 2010 at 11:47 am #

    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.

  46. DjonesAX August 19, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

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

  47. Lucila August 19, 2010 at 1:04 pm #

    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

  48. Sparky McNugget August 19, 2010 at 1:04 pm #

    Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.

  49. kateshrewsday August 19, 2010 at 1:30 pm #

    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!!

  50. Shameless August 19, 2010 at 1:51 pm #

    @Wired Is Dead

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

    You say that like it’s a bad thing!

  51. Hamranhansenhansen August 19, 2010 at 2:16 pm #

    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.

  52. Shawn Honnick August 19, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    Well done. The sky never stops falling.

  53. Guest August 19, 2010 at 3:03 pm #

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

  54. Joe Cassara August 19, 2010 at 6:57 pm #

    Wired's relevance and credibility died a decade ago.

  55. Free will August 19, 2010 at 6:59 pm #

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

  56. ag2uki August 19, 2010 at 7:04 pm #

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

  57. Profitman August 19, 2010 at 10:37 pm #

    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 !

  58. anonymous August 19, 2010 at 11:41 pm #

    Schrodinger's cat is PROBABLY dead…

  59. Brent August 20, 2010 at 6:54 am #

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

  60. BobB August 20, 2010 at 10:08 am #

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

  61. Vera Badertscher August 20, 2010 at 4:09 pm #

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

  62. j-g-faustus August 20, 2010 at 9:56 pm #

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

  63. technogeist August 21, 2010 at 3:46 am #

    Based on this story. Worthwhile reading is dead.

  64. Cata August 21, 2010 at 11:50 am #

    Michael Jackson is dead.

  65. Billy Pilgrim August 21, 2010 at 7:03 pm #

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

  66. Gozmos August 22, 2010 at 4:09 am #

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

  67. @thatandywhite August 22, 2010 at 4:31 am #

    Claiming everything is dead is dead.

  68. King Arthur August 22, 2010 at 7:29 am #

    OMG! RUNAWAY!!!1

  69. David August 23, 2010 at 1:41 am #

    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 !

  70. Craig August 23, 2010 at 6:14 am #

    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?

  71. dholyer August 23, 2010 at 7:08 am #

    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.

  72. TK August 23, 2010 at 10:44 am #

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

    Monty Python

  73. SanityInspector August 24, 2010 at 6:11 pm #

    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…

  74. AskelKana August 25, 2010 at 7:28 am #

    Did Web died?

  75. PT1 August 25, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

    God died long ago.

  76. David Lavenda August 26, 2010 at 8:17 am #

    Dead is dead. Long live the living….

  77. Bob Snyder August 27, 2010 at 12:25 am #

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

  78. brenosasouza August 27, 2010 at 11:23 am #

    Haa, very good! 😀 hahaha

  79. Voicedude August 28, 2010 at 6:54 pm #

    Articles about the passing of fleeting technologies are dead!

  80. Jonathan Dunn August 30, 2010 at 8:38 am #

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

  81. Rick August 30, 2010 at 10:17 am #

    Still waiting for someone to declare that porn is dead.

  82. @TheMarkGlidden August 30, 2010 at 10:18 am #

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

  83. sunspot September 1, 2010 at 10:41 pm #

    everything must die, to be reborn

  84. Sumiko September 3, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

    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.

  85. husky September 5, 2010 at 8:31 am #

    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.”

  86. DaveK September 5, 2010 at 9:11 am #

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

  87. Ben September 18, 2010 at 6:01 pm #

    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……

  88. James Cann April 22, 2011 at 1:37 am #

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

  89. i need my ex boyfriend back August 22, 2011 at 7:02 am #

    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!

  90. cheap clothes September 2, 2011 at 2:03 am #

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

  91. bellaly September 20, 2011 at 2:30 am #

    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

  92. ic dealer September 26, 2011 at 12:24 am #

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

  93. oil presses October 26, 2011 at 6:08 pm #

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

  94. Solicitors Leeds November 19, 2011 at 3:18 am #

    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.

  95. Business law November 19, 2011 at 3:20 am #

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

  96. Solicitors November 19, 2011 at 3:22 am #

    Viva la revolution !

  97. legal aid November 19, 2011 at 3:23 am #

    Tech and legal aid are dying ?

  98. Solicitors November 19, 2011 at 3:24 am #

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

  99. TomPeris November 25, 2011 at 5:15 am #

    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

  100. Michel Rumeru December 12, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

    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,

  101. sportsbook February 4, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

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