December 16, 2013 2:05 pm

From MSN Messenger to iPhone 5: Saying goodbye to tech we lost in 2013

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TORONTO – This year has been a tremendous one for technology – from big product releases, to major developments in areas such as wearable tech. But the world also lost many tech gadgets and services.

From the last breath of MSN Messenger to the loss of the iPhone 5 and Google Reader, Global News looks back at some of the biggest tech products the world lost in 2013.

The original Myspace.com (2003-2013)


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The Myspace.com that we grew to know and love from the mid to late 2000s was quietly put to rest after a new, music-focused redesign of the website was introduced in June, at the age of 10.

When the redesigned Myspace.com was unveiled, users who still had active accounts on the site lost all of their data – including blog posts and photos – without warning. Myspace was bought by Specific Media Group and Justin Timberlake in 2011 and now focuses on music.

Windows Live Messenger (MSN Messenger) (1999-2013)

Windows Live Messenger, remembered by many as MSN Messenger, was switched off on April 8, at the age of 14, to the displeasure of instant messaging fanatics and emoticon buffs around the world.

In April, Microsoft began forcing users to switch from Windows Live Messenger to Skype, which the company acquired back in 2011.

The Skype acquisition put the final nail in the coffin for the chat service which will forever be remembered for its “Nudge” feature, emoticons, and such “riveting and enjoyable conversations” users may remember, like this one from Vyralize:

Person: “hey!”

Me: “hey”

Person: “sup?”

Friend: “nm.”

Me: “cool.”

*5 minutes later

Person: “gtg, bye!

iPhone 5 (2012-2013)

The iPhone 5 was discontinued in September 2013 at the young age of one, loved by over five million fans who purchased one within the first three days of its release; and missed by those who didn’t understand Apple’s choice in keeping the iPhone 4S around.

Apple retired the iPhone 5 to make way for the new budget iPhone 5C and high-end iPhone 5S. The iPhone 4S stayed with the smartphone lineup to become the “free” option for customers upgrading their devices.

Online black market Silk Road (2011-2013)

Silk Road, used worldwide as an online black market to purchase drugs and other illicit substances, was shut down in October, at the age of two, dearly missed by the nearly one million registered users of the site.

Only one month after the site was shut down by U.S. authorities, a new site opened up shop under the same name – inviting Silk Road users to “return home.” According to a report by Forbes, the new Silk Road already has more than 3,000 listings of drugs, forged documents and other goods.

Google Reader (2005-2013)

Google Reader was laid to rest by its creators on July 1, 2013, at the age of seven. The announcement of its death shocked Google users all over the world. It was remembered for being one of the web’s most popular RSS readers, and dearly missed by web researchers everywhere.

Google announced the shutdown in March due to “declining usage.” Rich Site Summary (RSS) feeds – which use very simple web feed formats to display frequently updated information – saw a decline in use thanks to sites like Twitter.

Google axing Google Reader was arguably one of the biggest tech “deaths” of 2013 – with many users taking to social media to express their disappointment.

HTC First (The Facebook Phone) (April 2013 – May 2013)

The world said goodbye to HTC First – remembered as “The Facebook Phone” – in May 2013, just a month after it was introduced. Farewell, Facebook phone – we barely knew you.

The HTC First was released alongside Facebook Home – a family of apps for Android devices. But thanks to poor reception in the U.S. HTC decided to abandon its U.K. launch and release Facebook Home in the Google Play store for all users.

© 2013 Shaw Media

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