Zune, Cisco email and Guitar Hero filling up 2011 tech industry graveyard

Our running list of IT companies, technologies and ideas killed off or headed for the end of life in 2011.

Even as the Apple iPad 2 and other technologies are born, 2011 will mark the end of life for a list of companies, products and brands across the networking and IT landscape. Here, we pay our last respects in a list that we'll update throughout 2011 (Take a trip down memory lane to view our tech graveyards from 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2007.):

  • Google Video. After Google bought YouTube in 2006 for $1.65B it was only a matter of time until Google erased Google Video, a video sharing service launched at the start of 2005. That time came in spring of 2011, when Google announced that users had a limited time to save their videos from obliteration. Google did say its Google Video technology would live on as a video search offering that would fetch more than just YouTube creations.
  • Zipping Zune? Dr. Ballmer hasn't formally pronounced the Microsoft Zune music players dead, but Bloomberg and other news outlets reported in March that Microsoft would kill off the would-be Apple iPod killer in hardware form, and allow it to live on only as software and services. Zune players made their debut in 2006, the same year that songs with appropriate titles such as "Crazy", "Hurt", "Be Without You" and "Save a Life" topped the charts.
  • T-Mobile Sidekicks kick off...but come back. T-Mobile announced in February that the Danger Service (a Microsoft subsidiary) used by T-Mobile Sidekick smartphone users would no longer be available as of the end of May. T-Mobile first started selling black and white Sidekicks in 2002, making the cloud-based devices among the first smartphones.  Of late, though, Sidekicks didn't make much news, other than when the network suffered a major outage in the fall of 2009 and threatened the loss of data for many customers. But in March, T-Mobile reintroduced the Sidekick as the Sidekick 4G, which will run on T-Mobile's HSPA+ network, feature a full pop-out QWERTY keyboard and use Google Android 2.2.
  • Google's DroidDream nightmare. Google in March flipped a remote "kill switch" to nix malware-infected apps called DroidDream downloaded by users of Android mobile devices.  Google had discovered more than 50 apps on its Android Market infected by DroidDream. Google said it's "adding a number of measures to help prevent malicious applications using similar exploits from being distributed through Android Market."
  • Microsoft can't wait for IE6 to die: OK, Microsoft's IE6 browser isn't officially dead and will probably hang around pretty much forever on someone's Windows XP machine, but don't blame Microsoft for prolonging the browser's life. Microsoft launched a site in March featuring a countdown clock showing what percentage of the world is still using the software. The site reads: "10 years ago a browser was born. Its name was Internet Explorer 6. Now that we're in 2011, in an era of modern web standards, it's time to say goodbye." Shortly after introducing the countdown site, Microsoft made available IE9.
  • Cisco kills hosted e-mail product: We know what you're thinking: Cisco had a hosted e-mail product? It's true. But proving that the cloud isn't a sure thing, Cisco offed its cloud-based Cisco Mail service just 13 months after introducing it. Cisco folded the service after investing $250 million in it because customers have come to "view their e-mail as a mature and commoditized tool," apparently making it less juicy for Cisco as well. Not that Cisco has any shortage of other products to sell beyond its traditional routers and switches. 
  • Activision's Guitar Hero: It seems like it was only yesterday (well, January 2009) that Activision was crowing about Guitar Hero III being a billion dollar baby, the highest grossing video game ever to that point.  But in February of this year Activision announced it was pulling the plug on Guitar Hero, which debuted in 2005. "We simply cannot make these games profitable given the current market," said the publisher in an earnings call. But if we know anything about rock n' roll, there will be a comeback tour not too far down the road and you better get your earplugs ready.
  • HP Neoview no more: HP in January said it would stop actively selling Neoview less than four years after bringing the company's core business intelligence offering to market. "Our customers are demanding options for addressing an emerging set of requirements around the explosive growth of data, new types of information, new classes of analytics and new delivery models," HP said in a statement, not immediately saying what would become of existing customers.  HP did say it would work with partners to address customer needs in this area.

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