The 1980's species that did not survive or only got a niche footing, were Amigas and Ataris, and OS/2 to some extent, as these computer ecosystems either failed to have enough popular application software to garner widespread appreciation and acceptance going forward or their development was stopped. NeXT was downright expensive, but it became the first-ever web server (working at CERN must have its perks :-).
I have been trying draw the same parallels with today's tablet platforms, whereby:
- From the developer standpoint, the iOS is a bit like OS/2, as software development APIs for OS/2 were not free of charge, if memory serves me right (this was SOP for some other manufacturers' developer kits, too. Most ironically, OS/2 outlived Windows 9x in terms of available free software), and so iOS also has restrictions on developing for it;
- Android, therefore, offers more latitude, like Windows did at the time, and is just as well plagued by viruses.Furthermore, Android, being half-open, sees itself right now in waters similar to BSDi.
- WebOS... The most similarities with an older system that strike me wrt WebOS are with Atari ST, because Atari released their ST series computers to much acclaim and then suddenly stopped developing them.