Welcome to Challengers, a blog about the next big things

Harry McCracken kicks off his new blog on CNET, called Challengers, where he'll ponder which new technologies have a shot at success--and which are doomed to fail.

Out with the old. In with the new. That's been the way of the personal technology industry for as long as there's been a personal technology industry. (I cut my computing teeth on Radio Shack's TRS-80--a personal computer that helped render the original personal computer, MITS' Altair, obsolete in the late 1970s.)

It's also the beat I'll cover here in Challengers. This blog is focused on new things--companies, products, services, and technologies--that aim to go head-to-head with established ones. I'll explore what makes them different and, in theory at least, better. And while I'm not in the business of making predictions, I will ponder the new arrivals' odds of success. (For every one that changes the world, there are scads more that never live up to their creators' expectations--anyone remember Iomega's Pocket Zip or the FlipStart PC?)

I've written about technology for a couple of decades now, and for most of that time I've followed CNET--as a reader and, for many years, a competitor. It feels great to finally see my name on the same page as that red logo. (These days, I also run my own site, Technologizer, and contribute to Time and AllBusiness.com.) See you again soon, and frequently. In the meantime, I'd love to know which emerging innovations you're most excited about--and which ones you think don't stand a chance.

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