It’s not certain exactly what prompted Toshiba’s decline, although there are a number of likely factors. Toshiba’s failed bet on HD DVD didn’t help — it produced media-centric laptops whose main feature became useless once Blu-ray and streaming took over. As The Register observed, rivals like Apple, Dell, and Lenovo also beat Toshiba at its own game with ultraportables like the MacBook Air and XPS series. Add a shrinking PC market and Toshiba was facing stiff competition in a market where there wasn’t much money for anyone but the very largest contenders.
Toshiba is still a major name in computing through categories like printing and storage, and it has fingers in categories like energy and retail. The Dynabook brand will live on, for that matter. Still, it’s a sad moment — whatever you thought of its products, Toshiba was a mainstay in the personal computing landscape.