Let us now bury Sony and Flappy Bird, not praise them

Unlike those quitters, real tech leaders like Microsoft, AOL, and Dell hang on, market share and analyst reaction be damned

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If at first you don't succeed, just update Windows

Sony could look back over the last 12 months and find several inspirational lessons in overcoming corporate adversity. For example, Microsoft didn't up and sell its Windows business after it launched Windows 8 and all anyone could write about for six months was how to make it look like Windows 7. Rather, Redmond kept trying and enthusiastically screwed up Windows 8.1, too. And now it's dropkicked the senior leadership associated with that disaster, hired a new buzzword-capable CEO, and took a cue from classic '80s karaoke by bringing back its own Personal Jesus: Mr. Gates.

And when no one was interested in selling Windows Phones, just those darn Android and iPhone thingies, Microsoft didn't quit. It had a meeting at the Mobile Futility Pub and decided, "Dammit! We'll sell our own Windows Phones," and went out and bought Nokia. Take a good look, Sony -- these are people who don't give up.

Then there's Dell, which must be feeling the phablet punch in its consumer PC business, too. But Dell is fighting back with grit and inventiveness like big-time layoffs and opting for a leveraged buyout so that it doesn't have to disclose so much pesky information. It's finding new ways to pinch pennies in unnecessary areas like customer support with advanced smokescreen tactics such as blaming hardware problems on software. And it's powering ahead in corporate sales, where Sony never had the smarts to succeed, while trying manfully to invent a tablet/phablet/smartphone/dammitanythingportableandsexy, so it can maintain eye contact with Apple, Google, and anyone else not sobbing in a corner at CES.

You even see determined resilience in some of last year's biggest losers, like AOL. I'm not sure what the company should do about its sinking Patch platform or its anti-infant CEO, though I can almost guarantee it shouldn't be using its "digital prophet," a man named "Shingy" who looks like a living troll doll, as its televised spokesperson. But AOL isn't giving up either. The CEO backed off his damn-those-babies stance, and the company managed to get Patch an inverse cash infusion by selling most of it to someone else. Hey, it might work.

Even companies truly staring down the double barrels of total market defeat -- BlackBerry, anyone? -- aren't giving up. No organization witnessed as many of its own death knells last year as BlackBerry, but the company is still swinging. It almost landed itself a life preserver from the Pentagon, and I'm sure it's still out there reaching for other opportunities like a kitten flailing around in a shark tank.

Point is: It hasn't quit. You shouldn't either, Sony. As for Nguyen -- call me, baby!

This article, "Let us now bury Sony and Flappy Bird, not praise them," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the crazy twists and turns of the tech industry with Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Field blog, follow Cringely on Twitter, and subscribe to Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter.

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