Software is a funny thing. You can’t touch it, but you can certainly pay for it. It weighs nothing, but takes dozens or even hundreds of people to make. And sometimes it just doesn’t work out.
No matter how detailed your specs, how solid your market research, and how optimized your code, there are always winners and losers. Sometimes a competitor comes to market with something better. Other times, unforeseen circumstances make your program useless or outdated. On occasion, companies just screw things up to a point that no patch can fix it.
Let’s crawl through the annals of computing history to showcase software releases that went horribly wrong. Some of the biggest names in the industry show up here—Apple, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft are well-represented—which proves that there’s always a second chance. And a third and a fourth, if you play your cards right. For some of the other development houses on this list, though, their software flops killed their businesses.