Mikes Rant – Christmas Edition – 5 Tech Losers of 2019
Mike Sanders / 3 weeks ago
2019 has proven to be a hugely successful year for a number of companies and their respective products. That doesn’t mean, however, that it’s been great for everyone. So, who in my opinion hasn’t really hit the mark this year in terms of their actions or, indeed, inactions? – Let’s find out!
Mikes Rant – Christmas Edition – The 5 Tech Losers of 2019
Now, I should note that this is going to be a contentious subject. Hell, it wouldn’t be a ‘Mikes Rant’ if it wasn’t. Let me, therefore, give you a little preamble (and logic) to my choices.
My picks are simply on my own perceived performance and expectations of them throughout 2019. It’s not reflective of them as a whole and (for the sake of keeping my bosses happy) doesn’t represent the opinion of eTeknix as a whole.
Right! – Let’s start throwing some sparks onto these powder kegs!
It’s hardly anything new, but 2019 was the year in which YouTube seemed to kick agitating its community into a whole new gear! Want some proof? Well, here’s just a sample of some of the controversies seen throughout the year.
- A quirk in the algorithm allowed for ‘disturbing’ videos to avoid deletion
- Masses of advert blocks. Sometimes 2-3 times during a video
- A mod disclosed (or, more accurately, confirmed) that they did take an ‘easier’ stance on bigger channels
- More and more false flags due to their automation
- Flip-flopping stance on channel verification
- New terms of service allowing them to delete your account if they don’t consider it ‘commercially viable’
Even one of the platform’s biggest channels (Markiplier) saw controversy when their algorithm automatically permanently banned hundreds of Google accounts due to ‘spamming’. Incidentally, over the live-streaming of a game that Markiplier had made directly with YouTube. This issue was only compounded further when it because clear that their appeals system was entirely broken with practically everyone getting automated ‘no, you’re still banned’ messages.
Yes, 2019 has been a rough year for YouTube and, quite frankly, we can’t see things getting much better for content creators in 2020.
Ok, so 2019 hasn’t been a bad year for Intel. It is, however, clear that after years of dominance over AMD, Team Red has been making some hugely significant inroads.
The AMD desktop CPU market share is getting towards 30% (and growing) and not just that but even the server market (one that was 100% dominated by Intel just 2 years ago) is starting to see a huge swing towards AMD’s EPYC platform. Current figures show that by the end of 2020, Team Reds’ market share in that market may be as high as 25% which is truly remarkable.
Yes, Intel has managed to squeeze out their 10th-gen releases just before the end of the year. Given that these are more marketed towards the ‘professional’ user, however, there’s not much on offer for us humble gamers. Let’s be honest too, they were pretty underwhelming releases in terms of performance.
We do, of course, expect big things from Intel in 2020. Not just from their processors but also their graphics cards. In regards to 2019, however, while it hasn’t been an awful year, they have left the door wide open for AMD to get a foot firmly wedged in and Team Red has happily obliged.
Of all of this, however, of the biggest issues that have dogged Intel throughout 2019 has undoubtedly been their CPU supply problems. This is something they’re simply going to have to fix in 2020!
Huawei has some very decent tech products out there. Between their smartphones and tablets, they’ve actually gained a lot of popularity with consumers. I would, in fact, go as far as to say that their P30 Pro is one of the best (relatively budget-friendly) smartphone alternatives to Apple.
There is one major problem that has dogged the company in 2019, however, and that is the US ban. Admittedly, Huawei has simply found itself largely caught in the middle of an America/China trade war, but still, it has impacted the company rather significantly.
Looking towards Europe, Huawei has also seen problems over spying concerns with many countries either issuing bans or, at the very least, currently debating the use of their telecoms technology in the roll-out of their respective 5G networks.
Yes, 2019 hasn’t been good for Huawei, but I can’t see 2020 getting much better unless companies such as Microsoft and Google continue to look to find licensing workarounds.
In terms of ‘console’ releases in 2019, Google Stadia pretty much had the market to itself and still failed to deliver a product that consumers could really rally behind.
As best, ‘professional’ reviewers of the system have given it a C+ to a B- rating. General consumers, however, have (largely) been a lot less forgiving about its shortcomings. Even Google themselves seemed to know that they were releasing a moderate turkey onto the market by adding a dozen new games to it well ahead of its planned schedule.
Don’t get us wrong, the Google Stadia isn’t bad and the problems it has can undoubtedly be fixed. A dodgy launch, however, rarely leads to long term success. As I sit and write this now in 2019 though, I honestly can’t call the launch of the Google Stadia anything other than a failure.
Red Dead Redemption 2 – PC Launch
By this point, Rockstar Games has largely fixed most of the major and minor problems with the PC port of Red Dead Redemption 2, but boy did it have a lot of them when it was released.
On launch day (for the PC port) as many as 70% of people were unable to play Red Dead Redemption 2 due to problems with either the game itself or the Rockstar Launcher. This figure does vary depending on your source, but most agree it was at least 40%. Even a week (and around 3-4 updates) later and for many, the problems still persisted. I know this because I was one of them. It was getting so bad in fact that I was already gearing up a ‘Mikes Rant’ for it!
Quite frankly, I expected better from Rockstar Games. If nothing else, that they had learned from the mistakes of the semi-rough PC launch of Grand Theft Auto V. As a PC gamer, however, I yet again felt like I’d been treated with more than a little contempt.
Dishonorable Mention – Magic Leap One Creators Edition
The Magic Leap One was supposed to be the augmented reality headset that changed the way we considered the technology and its applications in the future. While that may still be true, one thing is clear. Sales are bad. Really bad!
To put this into context, they expected to sell around 100,000 units within the first year of the product’s launch. So far, just 6,000 have left their shelves. You don’t have to have a degree in business to clearly see that there is a major problem here!
Mikes Rant – Christmas Edition – What Do You Think?
So, there you have it. My five biggest tech disappointments from 2019, but what do you think? What products or companies do you feel let you down over the course of this year? – Let us know in the comments!
If you enjoyed Mikes Rant, you can check out more via the link here – Alternatively, for more of his Christmas related rantiness, check out the link here! They’ll be a new rant (nearly) every day between Christmas and New Year!