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The Worst Tech Companies of 2013

July 19, 2013 – by Per Christensson

Websites often like to publish their "best of" and "worst of" lists at the end of the year. I thought I'd change things up a bit and provide my own mid-year rankings. I will publish my "best of" list soon, but I think it's best to get the worst ones out of the way first.

#3: Facebook

Facebook has done a number of things right, but it's been awhile since the company did anything to impress me. They created the best social networking website on the web and did a good job handling the dramatic growth they experienced over the first few years. However, over the past two years, Facebook hasn't made any substantial improvements.

My biggest complaint with Facebook is how difficult it is to manage your privacy settings. There is no central interface to view and change all of your privacy settings. Additionally, Facebook doesn't let you control how individual users can view your profile. Most of Facebook's privacy settings are very general and difficult to understand, if you can even find them in the first place. What's worse is that Facebook has been making more and more information public without their users knowing it. I hope the company realizes they are alienating their user base before it is too late.

#2: Adobe Systems

Regular visitors know my opinion of Adobe has steadily declined over the past few years. After several lackluster versions of Dreamweaver, it has become clear that Adobe is not the same company it used to be. A few months ago, when Adobe forced all their loyal users to sign up for their Creative Cloud service, the company hit a new low.

Adobe has put me and many other professionals in the awkward position of reluctantly giving into Adobe's demands or having to look for other software solutions. While I still like using Photoshop, it is frustrating that Adobe will no longer let me buy the software. I have to subscribe to it with a minimum 12-month commitment and if I don't renew my subscription at that point, I can no longer use the software. Pretty lame, if you ask me.

#1: Comcast

It's no secret that Comcast is the worst company in the world. What is less known, however, is that Comcast actively hinders the progress of technology. About two years ago, Comcast stopped providing me with an HD signal from the wall and sent me a few analog standard definition adapters instead. When asked why they would do such a thing, they said most of their customers didn't have HD televisions. Apparently, the majority of Comcast's customers are living in the 1980s.

Comcast lives in their own make-believe bubble where they pretend they are a cutting-edge technology company. The truth is they are anything but advanced. Their on-screen guide system is still standard definition and looks like the interface from an original NES video game. Their DVRs constantly crash and when they are running, they use up more energy than most refrigerators use each year. Their remote controls haven't been updated in two decades and they are unnecessarily difficult to use. While all other types media are advancing, Comcast stubbornly holds back the the television industry with a tight leash.

I hope Apple or some other company will soon take the TV industry by the reigns and lead it into the future, or at least the present. Until then, I will have to keep calling Comcast every six months to ask why my monthly bill increased another $30 for no apparent reason.

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