The year in technology industry apologies

Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft among those publicly saying they were sorry

Kanye West , President Obama and David Letterman grabbed headlines this year when they apologized for assorted ill-advised acts or rash statements. But they more than met their match in the high-tech industry, where big names from Amazon to Apple to Microsoft were forced to issue mea culpas in the wake of bad and worse decisions. Here's a recap of what the tech industry has been most sorry about in 2009.

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Amazon apologizes for Kindle book deletions

Amazon apologizes for Kindle book deletions: In what might have been the most blunt apology of the year, CEO Jeff Bezos in July pleaded stupidity and thoughtlessness for his company's decision to delete copies of George Orwell's "1984" and other books from Kindle e-readers that Amazon had not gained permission to sell in the first place.

iPhone apologies

iPhone apologies: Granted, Apple does have a lot of apps to keep track of in its App Store – the number was at 100,000 as of November – but that didn't excuse it from letting the notorious "Baby Shaker" app onto its site in April. That app, if you don't recall, involved shaking the iPhone vigorously to get an on-screen baby to stop crying.

Separately, Pepsi in October apologized via Twitter for and eventually pulled an App Store entry called " Amp Up Before You Score " that offered guys advice on how to pick up various types of women and document all this on a "brag list" online.

Microsoft\'s Danger lives up to its name

Microsoft's Danger lives up to its name: T-Mobile and Microsoft went into big time damage control after an outage at Microsoft's Danger subsidiary threatened to wipe out data from users of T-Mobile's Sidekick smartphones. In the end, the vendors were able to recover most of the data, T-Mobile offered $100 gift certificate, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer characterized the episode as " not good " and Microsoft issued an apology .

The reviews are in for Belkin

The reviews are in for Belkin: Belkin's admission that an employee had been offering to pay for favorable Web-based peer reviews of its network gear raised the question of not only how widespread such practices are but whether they undermine community and trust in the connections and relationships that the Web seems to foster so easily.

Rackspace cloud outage

Rackspace cloud outage: Rackspace found itself apologizing to its users in November and promising to earn back customers' trust after a power outage in its Dallas-Fort Worth data center. Rackspace previously suffered outages in June and July. The fall outage occurred during maintenance work that was meant to solve the problems that caused the previous outages.

Major League Baseball Web video a slow starter

Major League Baseball Web video a slow starter: MLB's fee-based MLB.TV game video-streaming service had technical problems related to a plug-in that affected the quality of Web broadcasts to start its season in April. The league acknowledged as much in posts on Sunday and Monday — the first days of the season — in the official MLB.TV blog.

A virtual apology from VMware to Microsoft:

A virtual apology from VMware to Microsoft: VMware's Scott Drummonds was forced to publicly apologize after anonymously posting a YouTube video that misled viewers on the reliability of Microsoft's Hyper-V. He also removed the video from YouTube.

Dancer "Woz" steps on some toes

Dancer "Woz" steps on some toes: Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, suspicious of the judges' intentions on the Dancing with the Stars TV show he was competing on, laid out those suspicions on his Facebook page in March. That was followed shortly by an apology from Wozniak, who fell short of winning the contest.

Google apologizes again and again and

Google apologizes again and again and…: Google has so many darn services these days that it seems the company is always apologizing for some outage or other, but as some point out, it's not so bad when you consider so much of the stuff is free. Gmail, Google News and Google Docs all got users up in arms at one point or another this year because of outages, and Google kept apologizing. One example (shown here), from the Gmail blog on Feb. 24 .

Hotel comes clean

Hotel comes clean: Data breach apologies are tricky. Companies might want to share their regrets, but lawyers might instruct them otherwise. Regardless, many organizations are forced by law to at least acknowledge leaks and some, such as Radisson Hotels & Resorts , do issue honest to goodness apologies.

Related stories:

Tech companies had lots to be sorry for in 2009

Rating apologies

Corporate apologies don’t mean much

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.