In Pictures: The good, bad and ugly history of Microsoft hardware

Microsoft built its identity on software development. Just refer to the name, and pay special attention to the "soft." But throughout its storied history, the company has progressively become much more of a multi-discipline workshop, producing physical gear alongside ethereal software code. And now we have the Surface RT tablet, the perfect springboard to recount some of the most memorable (and forgettable) products in Microsoft's hardware history.

1998: Microsoft Cordless Phone System

Today we have the wonders of Skype to make calls from our PCs, but back in the 90s, telephony pioneers relied on a cordless phone. Microsoft's MP-900 was the first 900 MHz phone to link up with a PC. It could work independently to make and receive calls, but required a system in order to utilize the Call Manager software.

The program provided a digital address book, Voice Command dialing, Caller ID, an easy way to manage voice mail, and other various phone-related conveniences. Unfortunately, a year after its release, the product was discontinued and the software was no longer supported after Windows 95/98.

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