Is Microsoft innovative? Dave Winer and I argue it out

In the Wall Street Journal online: Is Microsoft Innovative?

And while you’re telling me I’m full of it, I’ll be touring London with the “pissed as newts” tour. Meet at 1 p.m. at the Eros statue. Have a good Friday, I won’t be reachable.

Comments

  1. What? Is this a serious question? MS hasn’t had one innovative product in its life.

    Copy, Steal or Acquire. That has been Microsoft’s MO from day one, when they were still Micro-Soft.

    From wikipedia:
    “The first operating system the company publicly released was a variant of Unix in 1980. Acquired from AT&T through a distribution license, Microsoft dubbed it Xenix, and hired Santa Cruz Operation in order to port/adapt the operating system to several platforms.”

    “DOS (Disk Operating System) was the operating system that brought the company its real success. On August 12, 1981, after negotiations with Digital Research failed, IBM awarded a contract to Microsoft to provide a version of the CP/M operating system, which was set to be used in the upcoming IBM Personal Computer (PC). For this deal, Microsoft purchased a CP/M clone called QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System) from Tim Paterson of Seattle Computer Products for less than US$50,000, which IBM renamed to PC-DOS.”

    Your arguments for MS ‘innovatation’ practices look like this:
    “when they improved the error messages you get in Internet Explorer”
    “when they improved fonts in Windows with ClearType technology”

    Do you hear how lame that sounds?

  2. What? Is this a serious question? MS hasn’t had one innovative product in its life.

    Copy, Steal or Acquire. That has been Microsoft’s MO from day one, when they were still Micro-Soft.

    From wikipedia:
    “The first operating system the company publicly released was a variant of Unix in 1980. Acquired from AT&T through a distribution license, Microsoft dubbed it Xenix, and hired Santa Cruz Operation in order to port/adapt the operating system to several platforms.”

    “DOS (Disk Operating System) was the operating system that brought the company its real success. On August 12, 1981, after negotiations with Digital Research failed, IBM awarded a contract to Microsoft to provide a version of the CP/M operating system, which was set to be used in the upcoming IBM Personal Computer (PC). For this deal, Microsoft purchased a CP/M clone called QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System) from Tim Paterson of Seattle Computer Products for less than US$50,000, which IBM renamed to PC-DOS.”

    Your arguments for MS ‘innovatation’ practices look like this:
    “when they improved the error messages you get in Internet Explorer”
    “when they improved fonts in Windows with ClearType technology”

    Do you hear how lame that sounds?

  3. Winer is either completely ignorant or is just playing the “MS just copies” role for effect.

    Here are some MS innovations off the top of my head (some big, some small, some built on top of previous work, but lots of “innovations” in tech build on previous work):
    * AJAX
    * Web browser component usable by any app
    * OLE
    * Spreadsheet Pivot Tables
    * Tabbed spreadheets (since then, copied by other apps such as browsers)
    * On-the-fly spell check in word processors
    * LINQ (the upcoming tech that will be in C# 3.0 and VB9)
    * Video codec innovations that have led to VC-1 being the premier codec for HD-DVD and BR discs.
    * Mouse scroll wheels
    * Mouse GoForward/GoBack buttons
    * Ergonomic mice (I recall the days where you had to press down on a mouse while moving it in order to move the cursor; Microsoft ended that nonsense).
    * Ergonomic keyboards
    * Office 2007 UI
    * Mac Office floating palette UI
    * TerraServer (precursor of Virtual Earth, NASA WorldWind, Google Earth)
    * Ability to alter compiled code while debugging it
    * User Agents
    * Wizards
    * Intellisense
    * Answer Wizard technology in Office Help
    * ClearType
    * TrueType (collaboration with Apple)
    * Bob (yeah, it failed in the marketplace, but it was innovative (too much for its own good))
    * Dynamic HTML desktops
    * Taskbar
    * Alt-Tab to switch apps
    * Lots of small innovations in .NET that when combined equal large cumulative innovation.
    * ActiveX (yes, it had security issues, particularly before XP SP2, but is great in an intranet setting)
    * Net-DDE, the first tech to allow clipboard functionality over LAN
    * Singularity
    * Combining the Back and Forward history buttons into one navigation stack control in IE7
    * Photosynth
    * XPS (does everything that PDF does, adds graphical effects that PDF lacks, does it in a smaller file size, and does it using XML so the files can be manipulated via XML parsers)
    * Windows Live Contacts (being developed by Danny Thorpe (legendary programmer at Borland, who jumped to Google, then 4 months later went to Microsoft))
    * A bunch of little stuff in IM via MSN Messenger
    * OneNote (I don’t think there’s any other app really like it (and those that try to be like it aren’t anywhere near as good), particuarly when used on a Tablet PC)
    * Mac Word 2004′s notebook layout and microphone support
    * Zune’s WiFi (yes, the RIAA only allowed 3play/3day sharing, but its use will grow into other areas)
    * First console to have a harddrive (Xbox)
    * Browser runs in a sandbox (IE7 on Vista)
    * First browser with anti-phishing tech
    * Multi-core/CPU calculations in Excel 2007
    * XNA
    * Vista’s ability to allow the user to increase RAM simply by plugging in a USB 2.0 flash drive
    * First OS to support delayed clipboard rendering
    * First OS to have a 3D Sound api for games
    * Shadow Copy
    * Media Center Extenders (which iTV looks to be a copy of)

  4. Winer is either completely ignorant or is just playing the “MS just copies” role for effect.

    Here are some MS innovations off the top of my head (some big, some small, some built on top of previous work, but lots of “innovations” in tech build on previous work):
    * AJAX
    * Web browser component usable by any app
    * OLE
    * Spreadsheet Pivot Tables
    * Tabbed spreadheets (since then, copied by other apps such as browsers)
    * On-the-fly spell check in word processors
    * LINQ (the upcoming tech that will be in C# 3.0 and VB9)
    * Video codec innovations that have led to VC-1 being the premier codec for HD-DVD and BR discs.
    * Mouse scroll wheels
    * Mouse GoForward/GoBack buttons
    * Ergonomic mice (I recall the days where you had to press down on a mouse while moving it in order to move the cursor; Microsoft ended that nonsense).
    * Ergonomic keyboards
    * Office 2007 UI
    * Mac Office floating palette UI
    * TerraServer (precursor of Virtual Earth, NASA WorldWind, Google Earth)
    * Ability to alter compiled code while debugging it
    * User Agents
    * Wizards
    * Intellisense
    * Answer Wizard technology in Office Help
    * ClearType
    * TrueType (collaboration with Apple)
    * Bob (yeah, it failed in the marketplace, but it was innovative (too much for its own good))
    * Dynamic HTML desktops
    * Taskbar
    * Alt-Tab to switch apps
    * Lots of small innovations in .NET that when combined equal large cumulative innovation.
    * ActiveX (yes, it had security issues, particularly before XP SP2, but is great in an intranet setting)
    * Net-DDE, the first tech to allow clipboard functionality over LAN
    * Singularity
    * Combining the Back and Forward history buttons into one navigation stack control in IE7
    * Photosynth
    * XPS (does everything that PDF does, adds graphical effects that PDF lacks, does it in a smaller file size, and does it using XML so the files can be manipulated via XML parsers)
    * Windows Live Contacts (being developed by Danny Thorpe (legendary programmer at Borland, who jumped to Google, then 4 months later went to Microsoft))
    * A bunch of little stuff in IM via MSN Messenger
    * OneNote (I don’t think there’s any other app really like it (and those that try to be like it aren’t anywhere near as good), particuarly when used on a Tablet PC)
    * Mac Word 2004′s notebook layout and microphone support
    * Zune’s WiFi (yes, the RIAA only allowed 3play/3day sharing, but its use will grow into other areas)
    * First console to have a harddrive (Xbox)
    * Browser runs in a sandbox (IE7 on Vista)
    * First browser with anti-phishing tech
    * Multi-core/CPU calculations in Excel 2007
    * XNA
    * Vista’s ability to allow the user to increase RAM simply by plugging in a USB 2.0 flash drive
    * First OS to support delayed clipboard rendering
    * First OS to have a 3D Sound api for games
    * Shadow Copy
    * Media Center Extenders (which iTV looks to be a copy of)

  5. I just thought of another that I just tried for the first time last week, and that is PowerShell; a system command shell that passes .NET objects around rather than piping text (that you then have to manually parse).

  6. I just thought of another that I just tried for the first time last week, and that is PowerShell; a system command shell that passes .NET objects around rather than piping text (that you then have to manually parse).

  7. It is Business School thinking vs. Engineering School thinking. If you have an MBA, you think you have won if you dominate the market. If you have an MSc you think you have won if you have launched a world-class product. MSc’s never get satisfied, while MBA’s want to dominate markets. Companies start out as engineering companies and become business administration companies. This happened with IBM, it happened with Microsoft, it is happening with Yahoo, and it nearly happened with Apple. The process was reversed when Steve Jobs returned as CEO.

  8. It is Business School thinking vs. Engineering School thinking. If you have an MBA, you think you have won if you dominate the market. If you have an MSc you think you have won if you have launched a world-class product. MSc’s never get satisfied, while MBA’s want to dominate markets. Companies start out as engineering companies and become business administration companies. This happened with IBM, it happened with Microsoft, it is happening with Yahoo, and it nearly happened with Apple. The process was reversed when Steve Jobs returned as CEO.

  9. “Also, back then Microsoft hadn’t invented the word processor, or the spreadsheet, or the database program, nor the presentation package [...]”

    Wow. You said Microsoft invented the word processor and the spreadsheet?

    [Powerpoint was also 'developed' by the M&A department, fwiw]

  10. “Also, back then Microsoft hadn’t invented the word processor, or the spreadsheet, or the database program, nor the presentation package [...]”

    Wow. You said Microsoft invented the word processor and the spreadsheet?

    [Powerpoint was also 'developed' by the M&A department, fwiw]

  11. It doesn’t matter if Microsoft is innovative or not.

    It matters if they’re relevant, and face it Microsoft is rapidly becoming a “who cares” company, ala IBM in the 80s/90s and Apple in the mid-90s.

    What Microsoft did in the PAST doesn’t matter. What is Microsoft doing NOW that is really relevant? Not much. You just don’t need them like you did any more. People are realizing that things like Active X were a trap. They forced you to give up on any solution that was !Microsoft. They forced you to pay Microsoft more and more every year for the same solutions.

    Sure, Exchange 2007 has some neat features, but so what? Most companies didn’t buy Exchange because they did a proper RFI, and compared it to the others. They bought it because they bought into Microsoft’s PR bullshit. Then discovered that it kinda wasn’t what they thought it was. Same thing with IIS.

    But now, you don’t need Microsoft for really, well anything. You don’t need them for Web Servers, you don’t need them for Application Servers, you certainly don’t need them for Database servers. I’d say about the only thing in an enterprise setting that makes me put Microsoft near the top of a list is Active Directory. That’s a kickass product, and I’m amazed it hasn’t been comitteed to death. Then again, people like Ballmer and other salesmen/marketing types don’t understand AD well enough to screw it up. As well, Exchange is, ironically, one of the better groupware servers if you have multiplatform clients.

    So when you realize you don’t NEED Microsoft, well, then you start evaluating them on an equal level with everyone else, and the truth is, with a very small number of exceptions, they just don’t do all that well.

    I also find it amusing just how many of Stan’s items are designed to force you to use nothing but Windows.

    Still waiting to see something out of WPF/E that isn’t a dog and pony show. Love that interview Robert did with them where the guy basically said “Mono? What’s that?”. Waiting for the interop fairies to visit Microsoft…better get me a better chair and some lunch.

  12. It doesn’t matter if Microsoft is innovative or not.

    It matters if they’re relevant, and face it Microsoft is rapidly becoming a “who cares” company, ala IBM in the 80s/90s and Apple in the mid-90s.

    What Microsoft did in the PAST doesn’t matter. What is Microsoft doing NOW that is really relevant? Not much. You just don’t need them like you did any more. People are realizing that things like Active X were a trap. They forced you to give up on any solution that was !Microsoft. They forced you to pay Microsoft more and more every year for the same solutions.

    Sure, Exchange 2007 has some neat features, but so what? Most companies didn’t buy Exchange because they did a proper RFI, and compared it to the others. They bought it because they bought into Microsoft’s PR bullshit. Then discovered that it kinda wasn’t what they thought it was. Same thing with IIS.

    But now, you don’t need Microsoft for really, well anything. You don’t need them for Web Servers, you don’t need them for Application Servers, you certainly don’t need them for Database servers. I’d say about the only thing in an enterprise setting that makes me put Microsoft near the top of a list is Active Directory. That’s a kickass product, and I’m amazed it hasn’t been comitteed to death. Then again, people like Ballmer and other salesmen/marketing types don’t understand AD well enough to screw it up. As well, Exchange is, ironically, one of the better groupware servers if you have multiplatform clients.

    So when you realize you don’t NEED Microsoft, well, then you start evaluating them on an equal level with everyone else, and the truth is, with a very small number of exceptions, they just don’t do all that well.

    I also find it amusing just how many of Stan’s items are designed to force you to use nothing but Windows.

    Still waiting to see something out of WPF/E that isn’t a dog and pony show. Love that interview Robert did with them where the guy basically said “Mono? What’s that?”. Waiting for the interop fairies to visit Microsoft…better get me a better chair and some lunch.

  13. What difference does it make? Innovate, research and legitimize, or buy and legitimize are all great routes to market. The origins of a great idea are not important for users or for shareholders. Heck, when you layer on a large corporate infrastructures, budgets, reporting, accountability, and the bottom line, a seemingly good idea can crumble very easily. The real key is getting a great product to the end user as quickly as possible in an elegant and easy to use manner.

    I believe it is important to recognize that these companies have the strength and are much more adept at delivering mainstream products versus small companies. I think that is their most important role (and growing and supporting it of course).

    I would much rather prefer that Microsoft, IBM, Intel, Sun, and HP systemically increase their willingness and organizational capabilities to truly sample disruptive technologies and fully consider the impact on their brands. This could be done in many different ways (devote $1B each to rapid seed rounds and innovation contests). For example, instead of having Linux wars for years, embracing the OS and perhaps porting Office over while working on a Linux offering of their own. IBM plays around with the concept through something called Centers of Excellence; however, these are brand-funded to create an ecosystem around the brand. Intel, as a chip manufacturer strikes me as someone who reaches out beyond their traditional lines to make things happen.

    To close, it is a silly notion to ask if Microsoft is Innovative. The better question would be how willing is Microsoft (and all other large companies) to get new products out into the marketplace? How much are they willing to fail? Is it too costly now to get something into the market or are small companies always more adept at doing so? How can the biggies help small companies with disruptive technologies get products into wide release quickly and efficiently(beyond a link on their respective partner websites or a few joint press releases.)

  14. What difference does it make? Innovate, research and legitimize, or buy and legitimize are all great routes to market. The origins of a great idea are not important for users or for shareholders. Heck, when you layer on a large corporate infrastructures, budgets, reporting, accountability, and the bottom line, a seemingly good idea can crumble very easily. The real key is getting a great product to the end user as quickly as possible in an elegant and easy to use manner.

    I believe it is important to recognize that these companies have the strength and are much more adept at delivering mainstream products versus small companies. I think that is their most important role (and growing and supporting it of course).

    I would much rather prefer that Microsoft, IBM, Intel, Sun, and HP systemically increase their willingness and organizational capabilities to truly sample disruptive technologies and fully consider the impact on their brands. This could be done in many different ways (devote $1B each to rapid seed rounds and innovation contests). For example, instead of having Linux wars for years, embracing the OS and perhaps porting Office over while working on a Linux offering of their own. IBM plays around with the concept through something called Centers of Excellence; however, these are brand-funded to create an ecosystem around the brand. Intel, as a chip manufacturer strikes me as someone who reaches out beyond their traditional lines to make things happen.

    To close, it is a silly notion to ask if Microsoft is Innovative. The better question would be how willing is Microsoft (and all other large companies) to get new products out into the marketplace? How much are they willing to fail? Is it too costly now to get something into the market or are small companies always more adept at doing so? How can the biggies help small companies with disruptive technologies get products into wide release quickly and efficiently(beyond a link on their respective partner websites or a few joint press releases.)

  15. No matter where a person stands on this Robert, you lost the debate.

    Anytime somebody goes from redefining what “innovation” is through talking about improved fonts within a proprietary OS all the way to claiming a business is innovative through acquisitions and, urm, organization….

    Well, that’s just weak and lame.

    Stan, that’s quite an impressive list. I can agree with alot of them. Here’s a few I just don’t get:

    Tabbed spreadheets (since then, copied by other apps such as browsers)

    Okay, so now MS created the tabbed browser. Odd how it took them so long to actually release one. Must’ve been an internal relase or something.

    AJAX

    Oh? And here I thought something different….

    Is incrementally enhancing a product you own copyrighted closed code a definition of innovation? Probably not. If it were, then MS was the first to use XML in an Office suite. Just not OpenOffice. Get the distinction?

    Was Microsoft innovative? Yes. Can they be innovative in the future? Obviously. Are they and will they? IMHO no. Not that that’s a bad thing. MS is what it is.

  16. No matter where a person stands on this Robert, you lost the debate.

    Anytime somebody goes from redefining what “innovation” is through talking about improved fonts within a proprietary OS all the way to claiming a business is innovative through acquisitions and, urm, organization….

    Well, that’s just weak and lame.

    Stan, that’s quite an impressive list. I can agree with alot of them. Here’s a few I just don’t get:

    Tabbed spreadheets (since then, copied by other apps such as browsers)

    Okay, so now MS created the tabbed browser. Odd how it took them so long to actually release one. Must’ve been an internal relase or something.

    AJAX

    Oh? And here I thought something different….

    Is incrementally enhancing a product you own copyrighted closed code a definition of innovation? Probably not. If it were, then MS was the first to use XML in an Office suite. Just not OpenOffice. Get the distinction?

    Was Microsoft innovative? Yes. Can they be innovative in the future? Obviously. Are they and will they? IMHO no. Not that that’s a bad thing. MS is what it is.

  17. People tend to confuse invention with innovation. They use the words interchangeably, but they are very different.

    Invention is the creation of a feature or technology that is totally new. Innovation takes a collection of prior invention to the next level by combining them with existing products or technologies, and producing a commercially viable product.

    Both invention and innovation are vitally important to our industry. Microsoft does both but rarely gets credit for it.

    Don Dodge

  18. People tend to confuse invention with innovation. They use the words interchangeably, but they are very different.

    Invention is the creation of a feature or technology that is totally new. Innovation takes a collection of prior invention to the next level by combining them with existing products or technologies, and producing a commercially viable product.

    Both invention and innovation are vitally important to our industry. Microsoft does both but rarely gets credit for it.

    Don Dodge

  19. I agree with Jan Barkhed’s take on MBA driven company culture.

    Microsoft gets off its ass only when it needs to. Look at Explorer. It grew like a hyper teenager on a growth spurt when Netscape had the dominant browser. As soon as it hit 57% or whatever of the market it stagnated & now needs to be killed.

    So who cares about Microsoft’s “innovation”? It appears to be a necessary evil for the company, but not an imperative the way even Yahoo! keeps incrementally improving their products (nevermind Google and Apple).

  20. I agree with Jan Barkhed’s take on MBA driven company culture.

    Microsoft gets off its ass only when it needs to. Look at Explorer. It grew like a hyper teenager on a growth spurt when Netscape had the dominant browser. As soon as it hit 57% or whatever of the market it stagnated & now needs to be killed.

    So who cares about Microsoft’s “innovation”? It appears to be a necessary evil for the company, but not an imperative the way even Yahoo! keeps incrementally improving their products (nevermind Google and Apple).

  21. I think more than anything it’s depressing to see how little comes from Redmond compared to Cupertino, Apple is outpacing Microsoft by years and they’re doing so with less resources and assets.

    Apple should be the one playing catchup, instead they have demos on how much Microsoft is indulging in wholesale ‘theft’.

  22. I think more than anything it’s depressing to see how little comes from Redmond compared to Cupertino, Apple is outpacing Microsoft by years and they’re doing so with less resources and assets.

    Apple should be the one playing catchup, instead they have demos on how much Microsoft is indulging in wholesale ‘theft’.

  23. From http://www.m-w.com

    Main Entry: in·no·va·tion
    Pronunciation: “i-n&-’vA-sh&n
    Function: noun
    1 : the introduction of something new
    2 : a new idea, method, or device : NOVELTY
    - in·no·va·tion·al /-shn&l, -sh&-n&l/ adjective

  24. From http://www.m-w.com

    Main Entry: in·no·va·tion
    Pronunciation: “i-n&-’vA-sh&n
    Function: noun
    1 : the introduction of something new
    2 : a new idea, method, or device : NOVELTY
    - in·no·va·tion·al /-shn&l, -sh&-n&l/ adjective

  25. Can you go a day without having an HDTV orgasm? Even the HDTV with XBOX is not innovative. Hasn’t it already been proven you can do the same with a Mac?

    MS hasn’t innovated since Flight Sim

  26. Can you go a day without having an HDTV orgasm? Even the HDTV with XBOX is not innovative. Hasn’t it already been proven you can do the same with a Mac?

    MS hasn’t innovated since Flight Sim

  27. Now to be fair, I call Winer out,too. His Google Calendar example is really a corner case. He’s the only one I’ve ever heard of whose life apparently came to a screeching halt because he couldn’t get at his Google calendar. An online Calendar? That’s HARDLY an example of innovation.

  28. Now to be fair, I call Winer out,too. His Google Calendar example is really a corner case. He’s the only one I’ve ever heard of whose life apparently came to a screeching halt because he couldn’t get at his Google calendar. An online Calendar? That’s HARDLY an example of innovation.

  29. People… get over your anti-Microsoft mentality. There are huge benefits to use all MS technologies in your environment. Where else can you get so many applications working together from one company?

  30. People… get over your anti-Microsoft mentality. There are huge benefits to use all MS technologies in your environment. Where else can you get so many applications working together from one company?

  31. Ok, I’m about ot fall over laughing, Where exactly outside of the iPod is Apple inovating?

    I just can’t help but laugh at the different standards that people use when holding Micrososft and Apple under a microscope.

    Outside of search where is Google changing the world?
    Have I missed something,Spread sheets? No, Video? No.

    Come on People, lets be a little more objective.

  32. Ok, I’m about ot fall over laughing, Where exactly outside of the iPod is Apple inovating?

    I just can’t help but laugh at the different standards that people use when holding Micrososft and Apple under a microscope.

    Outside of search where is Google changing the world?
    Have I missed something,Spread sheets? No, Video? No.

    Come on People, lets be a little more objective.

  33. Its become fashionable to blame MS for everything on everything. If MS releases any product X, the blogs will rip it off alive, burn it and slander it. If Google releases the same shitty version of X (online word docs for example), the blog world will praise it as if God himself has sent it down from heaven to salvage the earth.

    Google Finance, Google Video, Google Answers were all great innovations as claimed in technical blogs, but MSN Money, Soapbox and Windows Live services are rip offs…well…

    I think technical bloggers/commenters should get over this “I hate microsoft” syndrome and evaluate products or companies with an unbiased perspective. Only then I will be able to trust a review or so 100% without wondering if this guy who wrote the review is an Apple fanboy or an MS fanboy.

  34. Its become fashionable to blame MS for everything on everything. If MS releases any product X, the blogs will rip it off alive, burn it and slander it. If Google releases the same shitty version of X (online word docs for example), the blog world will praise it as if God himself has sent it down from heaven to salvage the earth.

    Google Finance, Google Video, Google Answers were all great innovations as claimed in technical blogs, but MSN Money, Soapbox and Windows Live services are rip offs…well…

    I think technical bloggers/commenters should get over this “I hate microsoft” syndrome and evaluate products or companies with an unbiased perspective. Only then I will be able to trust a review or so 100% without wondering if this guy who wrote the review is an Apple fanboy or an MS fanboy.

  35. Scoble, after reading today’s WSJ article, I admire your constant pursuit of objectivity, as well as your patience and diplomacy.

    “Today the dominant vendor in software is Google. How do I know? This morning their calendar service went down, and all of a sudden I could see how dependent on them I had become. That’s why Microsoft stock is in the dumps…”

    Yeah…and Apple invented the MP3 player and liberates us with their ‘products for the people’ built on end-to-end proprietary systems. People’s stupidity makes my skin crawl. Why are articles like this allowed to be published in the WSJ, and why would someone forward one to me? Gotta love the one-man market decider; and any journalist who pits Google’s fun little add-ons against huge operating and productive software suites should be fired, then shot.

    Steve Forbes wrote a great editorial a while back, in which he cited America’s paradoxical celebration of wealth and entrepreneurs like Gates and loathing of megacorps like Microsoft. It’s just so fun to sh** all over the big guys, isn’t it?

  36. Scoble, after reading today’s WSJ article, I admire your constant pursuit of objectivity, as well as your patience and diplomacy.

    “Today the dominant vendor in software is Google. How do I know? This morning their calendar service went down, and all of a sudden I could see how dependent on them I had become. That’s why Microsoft stock is in the dumps…”

    Yeah…and Apple invented the MP3 player and liberates us with their ‘products for the people’ built on end-to-end proprietary systems. People’s stupidity makes my skin crawl. Why are articles like this allowed to be published in the WSJ, and why would someone forward one to me? Gotta love the one-man market decider; and any journalist who pits Google’s fun little add-ons against huge operating and productive software suites should be fired, then shot.

    Steve Forbes wrote a great editorial a while back, in which he cited America’s paradoxical celebration of wealth and entrepreneurs like Gates and loathing of megacorps like Microsoft. It’s just so fun to sh** all over the big guys, isn’t it?

  37. There’s always time for a classic Mac vs PC flame war isn’t there? My experience is that almost everyone I know who has a PC says their computer is riddled with viruses and spyware and has a “mind of it’s own”… if that isn’t innovation….

    Shame I’m not around London town this fair evening, I would have loved to got pissed in the smoke with you and Hugh…

  38. There’s always time for a classic Mac vs PC flame war isn’t there? My experience is that almost everyone I know who has a PC says their computer is riddled with viruses and spyware and has a “mind of it’s own”… if that isn’t innovation….

    Shame I’m not around London town this fair evening, I would have loved to got pissed in the smoke with you and Hugh…

  39. It’s impossible to argue that Microsoft doesn’t innovate in any kind of credible way.

    Dave Winer appears to confuse *innovation* with *creating new markets*. It’s not the same thing. The point is – you can creating something *new*, without it needing to be in a *new market*.

    Just one example: Microsoft didn’t create the games console market, invent the games console, invent the video game or invent the on-line video game. However, Microsoft’s innovated with its Xbox Live platform, which led the way in terms of how on-line console gaming should work.

  40. It’s impossible to argue that Microsoft doesn’t innovate in any kind of credible way.

    Dave Winer appears to confuse *innovation* with *creating new markets*. It’s not the same thing. The point is – you can creating something *new*, without it needing to be in a *new market*.

    Just one example: Microsoft didn’t create the games console market, invent the games console, invent the video game or invent the on-line video game. However, Microsoft’s innovated with its Xbox Live platform, which led the way in terms of how on-line console gaming should work.

  41. I think more than anything it’s depressing to see how little comes from Redmond compared to Cupertino, Apple is outpacing Microsoft by years and they’re doing so with less resources and assets.

    Apple should be the one playing catchup, instead they have demos on how much Microsoft is indulging in wholesale ‘theft’.

    Comment by Bob Jones — December 1, 2006 @ 8:11 am

    And exactly how much is Apple doing?, please indulge me, what is it they’ve done, in software? with developers? how about in the enterprise?

    What exactly has Apple created outside of the iPod that is really setting the world on fire?

  42. I think more than anything it’s depressing to see how little comes from Redmond compared to Cupertino, Apple is outpacing Microsoft by years and they’re doing so with less resources and assets.

    Apple should be the one playing catchup, instead they have demos on how much Microsoft is indulging in wholesale ‘theft’.

    Comment by Bob Jones — December 1, 2006 @ 8:11 am

    And exactly how much is Apple doing?, please indulge me, what is it they’ve done, in software? with developers? how about in the enterprise?

    What exactly has Apple created outside of the iPod that is really setting the world on fire?

  43. “23. Scoble, after reading today’s WSJ article, I admire your constant pursuit of objectivity, …”

    I just hope that one day he will come close to catching it. Changing the definition of innovation to “writes software I like” doesn’t quite make it so.

    As for Apple, iPods are getting a bit long in the tooth as an example of CURRENT Apple innovation. I don’t think switching to Intel counts either (quite the opposite in fact).

    Please, MS, Apple and other big companies, drop the innovation claims which just don’t stand the smell test and pick another word to flatter yourselves with.

    We ain’t buying it.

    I DO agree that IBM is innovative in that it does a lot of FUNDAMENTAL research… talking molecular stuff here, not “mouse wheels”. Innovation in software is not only hard to define, but regardless of definition hard to prove, which means that it keep lawyers wallets bulging.

    In any event, to paraphrase: past innovations are no guarantee of future results. The only “innovations” customers are interested in is the next one and no amount of bragging will substitute for a product grabbing mindshare.

  44. “23. Scoble, after reading today’s WSJ article, I admire your constant pursuit of objectivity, …”

    I just hope that one day he will come close to catching it. Changing the definition of innovation to “writes software I like” doesn’t quite make it so.

    As for Apple, iPods are getting a bit long in the tooth as an example of CURRENT Apple innovation. I don’t think switching to Intel counts either (quite the opposite in fact).

    Please, MS, Apple and other big companies, drop the innovation claims which just don’t stand the smell test and pick another word to flatter yourselves with.

    We ain’t buying it.

    I DO agree that IBM is innovative in that it does a lot of FUNDAMENTAL research… talking molecular stuff here, not “mouse wheels”. Innovation in software is not only hard to define, but regardless of definition hard to prove, which means that it keep lawyers wallets bulging.

    In any event, to paraphrase: past innovations are no guarantee of future results. The only “innovations” customers are interested in is the next one and no amount of bragging will substitute for a product grabbing mindshare.

  45. “What Microsoft did in the PAST doesn’t matter. What is Microsoft doing NOW that is really relevant? Not much. ”
    ———————–

    Winer contends in the article that, quote “Microsoft isn’t an innovator, and never was. They are always playing catch-up, by design. ” So he’s talking about the PAST too. So PAST achievements can indeed be brought to bare to refute his idiocy.

    And Apple fanboys really take the cake, by claiming that Apple is a fountain of innovation. What have they done that’s not a copy?
    iTV – copy of Media Center Extenders
    Front Row – lame copy of Media Center itself
    iPod – copy of iRiver, Rios, et al
    OSX – Next Step with Carbon API bolted on
    Time Machine – copy of Shadow Copy
    Dashboard – copy of Konfabulator and Stardock’s Desktop X
    Fast User Switching – copied from Microsoft
    Tablet Macs (rumored) – copied from Microsoft
    .Mac – copied from various other services (poorly, I might add)
    System Update – copied from Microsoft
    Alt-TAB – copied from Microsoft
    Dock – copied from Microsoft
    Carbon Manager’s Automatic dispatching of system events – copied from Microsoft and others
    OpenDoc (now defunct) – copied from Microsoft’s OLE

  46. “What Microsoft did in the PAST doesn’t matter. What is Microsoft doing NOW that is really relevant? Not much. ”
    ———————–

    Winer contends in the article that, quote “Microsoft isn’t an innovator, and never was. They are always playing catch-up, by design. ” So he’s talking about the PAST too. So PAST achievements can indeed be brought to bare to refute his idiocy.

    And Apple fanboys really take the cake, by claiming that Apple is a fountain of innovation. What have they done that’s not a copy?
    iTV – copy of Media Center Extenders
    Front Row – lame copy of Media Center itself
    iPod – copy of iRiver, Rios, et al
    OSX – Next Step with Carbon API bolted on
    Time Machine – copy of Shadow Copy
    Dashboard – copy of Konfabulator and Stardock’s Desktop X
    Fast User Switching – copied from Microsoft
    Tablet Macs (rumored) – copied from Microsoft
    .Mac – copied from various other services (poorly, I might add)
    System Update – copied from Microsoft
    Alt-TAB – copied from Microsoft
    Dock – copied from Microsoft
    Carbon Manager’s Automatic dispatching of system events – copied from Microsoft and others
    OpenDoc (now defunct) – copied from Microsoft’s OLE

  47. Scoble’s and Winer’s field of view are too narrow to debate this seriously. They only care about web services and gadgets, which is why they talked about trivialities like online calendars and video games.

    When you look at products targetted toward developers, Microsoft blows away the likes of Apple and Google. When you look at products targetted toward the enterprise, Microsoft blows away the likes of Google and Apple. Microsoft has many innovations that are under the hood. Users and the idiot media might not be directly aware of them, but people like developers know of them and build things on top of them to create things that help users.

    For example, OpenOffice’s programability sucks, but many business have built many custom apps on top of MS Office using its programability. A bufoon like Winer and a geek like Scoble are unaware of such things, which is why the debate sucked.

  48. Scoble’s and Winer’s field of view are too narrow to debate this seriously. They only care about web services and gadgets, which is why they talked about trivialities like online calendars and video games.

    When you look at products targetted toward developers, Microsoft blows away the likes of Apple and Google. When you look at products targetted toward the enterprise, Microsoft blows away the likes of Google and Apple. Microsoft has many innovations that are under the hood. Users and the idiot media might not be directly aware of them, but people like developers know of them and build things on top of them to create things that help users.

    For example, OpenOffice’s programability sucks, but many business have built many custom apps on top of MS Office using its programability. A bufoon like Winer and a geek like Scoble are unaware of such things, which is why the debate sucked.

  49. Bob Jones, Apple was the one playing catch-up for the entire 90′s. Microsoft had a modern OS long before Apple did. Apple tried for years to come up with one, but failed (Copeland), and basically shipped Next Step as their OS (first modernizing the primitive Classic Mac api into Carbon and adding that to NextStep as an additional api besides Cocoa, which NextStep already had).

    Since then, they’ve just built on that NextStep OS incrementally. Nothing earth shaking by any stretch of the imagination. Besides that, Apple makes mp3 players.

    Apple is absent in so many areas that Microsoft competes in that it’s not even funny.
    Server OS, Mobile OS, Tablet OS, databases, groupware, comptuter games, video games, hi-def video codecs, finantial software, etc. So don’t sit there and try to say that more comes out of Cupertino than Redmond, that ‘s idiocy and fanboyism.

  50. Bob Jones, Apple was the one playing catch-up for the entire 90′s. Microsoft had a modern OS long before Apple did. Apple tried for years to come up with one, but failed (Copeland), and basically shipped Next Step as their OS (first modernizing the primitive Classic Mac api into Carbon and adding that to NextStep as an additional api besides Cocoa, which NextStep already had).

    Since then, they’ve just built on that NextStep OS incrementally. Nothing earth shaking by any stretch of the imagination. Besides that, Apple makes mp3 players.

    Apple is absent in so many areas that Microsoft competes in that it’s not even funny.
    Server OS, Mobile OS, Tablet OS, databases, groupware, comptuter games, video games, hi-def video codecs, finantial software, etc. So don’t sit there and try to say that more comes out of Cupertino than Redmond, that ‘s idiocy and fanboyism.

  51. I think MS does innovate, I don’t think we necessarily see a lot of it, or necessarily realize we see it or consider it as innovative.

    What is Microsofts R&D budget again? It’s more than most companies even make in a year. Like Scoble said about Clear Type and such, sure they may not be “Popular” or “Cool”, but it helps millions of people eyes because it’s easier to read. I’m also pretty sure “Innovation” doesn’t mean that something has to become popular like the IPod.

    MS has lots of people working on lots of different things that we probably don’t even know exists yet. Time and time again on Channel9 videos you hear people at MS say that they are waiting for the Hardware to catch up so they can actually implement some of the stuff they have been working on.

    Someone else mentioned this as well, even if MS doesn’t innovate, look at all the innovation that does take place simply because MS has some software to help develop it. Look at Visual Studio, thousands of companies are using VS to develop software, to me that is really quite amazing, it would be very tough to make most of that software without VS or something similar.

    People complain that MS acquires other companies or “copies” everything, and that is why they are where they are today. Do you honestly believe that Google, or Ford, or Target, etc would be where they are had they not “copied” or aquired other companies along the way. That is how Business works, you adjust and move on. Look at Donald Trump or Hilton Hotels, it happens everywhere. Pretty sure Yahoo was around before Google, you don’t see everyone complaining that Google “Copied” Yahoo.

    My two cents.

  52. I think MS does innovate, I don’t think we necessarily see a lot of it, or necessarily realize we see it or consider it as innovative.

    What is Microsofts R&D budget again? It’s more than most companies even make in a year. Like Scoble said about Clear Type and such, sure they may not be “Popular” or “Cool”, but it helps millions of people eyes because it’s easier to read. I’m also pretty sure “Innovation” doesn’t mean that something has to become popular like the IPod.

    MS has lots of people working on lots of different things that we probably don’t even know exists yet. Time and time again on Channel9 videos you hear people at MS say that they are waiting for the Hardware to catch up so they can actually implement some of the stuff they have been working on.

    Someone else mentioned this as well, even if MS doesn’t innovate, look at all the innovation that does take place simply because MS has some software to help develop it. Look at Visual Studio, thousands of companies are using VS to develop software, to me that is really quite amazing, it would be very tough to make most of that software without VS or something similar.

    People complain that MS acquires other companies or “copies” everything, and that is why they are where they are today. Do you honestly believe that Google, or Ford, or Target, etc would be where they are had they not “copied” or aquired other companies along the way. That is how Business works, you adjust and move on. Look at Donald Trump or Hilton Hotels, it happens everywhere. Pretty sure Yahoo was around before Google, you don’t see everyone complaining that Google “Copied” Yahoo.

    My two cents.

  53. I used to argue this point but i gave up already. Who really cares! Both MS and Apple have had their share of innovations. Both have bought, borrowed, and stolen. Both have stifled innovation. In the end a user will get the job done with whatever tools they are given. A spreadsheet is a spreadsheet, a wordprocessor is a wordprocessor, an email client…..well you get the idea.

  54. I used to argue this point but i gave up already. Who really cares! Both MS and Apple have had their share of innovations. Both have bought, borrowed, and stolen. Both have stifled innovation. In the end a user will get the job done with whatever tools they are given. A spreadsheet is a spreadsheet, a wordprocessor is a wordprocessor, an email client…..well you get the idea.

  55. In the Developer space, Microsoft has more innovative products than any other company. But then it may not fit the ‘innovation criterea’ of the Apple fan boys. So lets just say MSFT copies….

  56. In the Developer space, Microsoft has more innovative products than any other company. But then it may not fit the ‘innovation criterea’ of the Apple fan boys. So lets just say MSFT copies….

  57. Stan –
    * Ability to alter compiled code while debugging it

    Smalltalk has had this since the ’70′s. In fact edit in the debugger and proceed on.

  58. Stan –
    * Ability to alter compiled code while debugging it

    Smalltalk has had this since the ’70′s. In fact edit in the debugger and proceed on.

  59. “In the Developer space, Microsoft has more innovative products than any other company.”

    I think this is true. Outside of dev tools they just play the copy and catch up game.

  60. “In the Developer space, Microsoft has more innovative products than any other company.”

    I think this is true. Outside of dev tools they just play the copy and catch up game.

  61. Being innovative is not as important as being viewed as innovative. There’s not much new under the sun, but it’s pretty powerful for an industry leader to pick up a niche technology and bring it to the masses. The innovative part is to figure out which of these niche pieces are ready.

    I don’t want to put down the real research that MS is doing. That’s valuable, but in a different way.

  62. Being innovative is not as important as being viewed as innovative. There’s not much new under the sun, but it’s pretty powerful for an industry leader to pick up a niche technology and bring it to the masses. The innovative part is to figure out which of these niche pieces are ready.

    I don’t want to put down the real research that MS is doing. That’s valuable, but in a different way.

  63. “Dock – copied from Microsoft”

    You mean Microsoft copied from NeXT’s dock, don’t you? Microsoft did not invent the dock.

    “Time Machine – copy of Shadow Copy”

    The Shadow Copy tab in the properties dialog is a joke. Apple completely changed how backups and restores are done. The UI for Time Machine is awesome. Especially seeing it in action. That took the idea and completely changed how it’s done. To actually interact with the same app, just being back in time, is innovative.

  64. “Dock – copied from Microsoft”

    You mean Microsoft copied from NeXT’s dock, don’t you? Microsoft did not invent the dock.

    “Time Machine – copy of Shadow Copy”

    The Shadow Copy tab in the properties dialog is a joke. Apple completely changed how backups and restores are done. The UI for Time Machine is awesome. Especially seeing it in action. That took the idea and completely changed how it’s done. To actually interact with the same app, just being back in time, is innovative.

  65. Robert: Yes I think they are. It’s what is not mainstream that impresses me. They are developing a visual search engine for mobile devices and holographic computing in their labs. I can only imagine what I don’t know. But to read the blogs and papers of their scientists is frankly like reading about bending time and space. Are they innovative in terms of responding quickly to consumer needs with mainstream services and platforms? Well they are a large business and are rather adept at withholding just enough innovation to monetize the “current release”. Does Microsoft have to invent everything? Bill Gates talked a storm up about web platforms and web-based services long before anyone. Microsoft was too early and got jaded in my opinion. Timing is everything to be seen as innovative. I do like the philanthropic Bill though.

  66. Robert: Yes I think they are. It’s what is not mainstream that impresses me. They are developing a visual search engine for mobile devices and holographic computing in their labs. I can only imagine what I don’t know. But to read the blogs and papers of their scientists is frankly like reading about bending time and space. Are they innovative in terms of responding quickly to consumer needs with mainstream services and platforms? Well they are a large business and are rather adept at withholding just enough innovation to monetize the “current release”. Does Microsoft have to invent everything? Bill Gates talked a storm up about web platforms and web-based services long before anyone. Microsoft was too early and got jaded in my opinion. Timing is everything to be seen as innovative. I do like the philanthropic Bill though.

  67. Microsoft, by dent of sheer resources, retains the potential to do amazing things going forward. While it remains vogue to bash Microsoft (and every other big outfit) they have achieved a significant share of market,legacy and also continue to introduce new products. The best years for Microsoft are ahead not behind. For now they have leadership issues and my sense is they’ll get it right to the surprise of most.

  68. Microsoft, by dent of sheer resources, retains the potential to do amazing things going forward. While it remains vogue to bash Microsoft (and every other big outfit) they have achieved a significant share of market,legacy and also continue to introduce new products. The best years for Microsoft are ahead not behind. For now they have leadership issues and my sense is they’ll get it right to the surprise of most.

  69. Someone really wants to resolve this?
    Start by comparing the common stuff.
    Windows vs OSX
    Mediacenter vs Frontrow
    Office vs iWork
    Zune vs iPod
    and assigning points (each multiplied by an importance factor)
    and then points for non-common stuff determined by how it does with respect to competition(also multiplied by the importance factor).

    NOW its boring, ain’t it???? :)

  70. Someone really wants to resolve this?
    Start by comparing the common stuff.
    Windows vs OSX
    Mediacenter vs Frontrow
    Office vs iWork
    Zune vs iPod
    and assigning points (each multiplied by an importance factor)
    and then points for non-common stuff determined by how it does with respect to competition(also multiplied by the importance factor).

    NOW its boring, ain’t it???? :)

  71. “Outside of search where is Google changing the world?”

    One word… AdSense.

    Comment by Diego — December 1, 2006 @ 5:10 pm

    Once again, related and intertwined with their search product,what about their other products?
    As I’ve said before, I don’t see anything else to write home about.

  72. “Outside of search where is Google changing the world?”

    One word… AdSense.

    Comment by Diego — December 1, 2006 @ 5:10 pm

    Once again, related and intertwined with their search product,what about their other products?
    As I’ve said before, I don’t see anything else to write home about.

  73. Stan –
    * Ability to alter compiled code while debugging it

    Smalltalk has had this since the ’70’s. In fact edit in the debugger and proceed on.
    —————–
    Was that compiled code or interpreted? Regardless MS was the first to do it for C/C++.

  74. Stan –
    * Ability to alter compiled code while debugging it

    Smalltalk has had this since the ’70’s. In fact edit in the debugger and proceed on.
    —————–
    Was that compiled code or interpreted? Regardless MS was the first to do it for C/C++.

  75. How about help documentation? Isnt that an innovation?

    Next to calc.exe and sol.exe the F1 help was a major guy in Windows. I say this is also “an innovation”.

    And what about being able to install an operating system like it were ‘just another program’?

    what abt “plug and play”? ( i am not sure if any OS before win98 had that. So i might be wrong) But i am sure Windows was the first OS to recognize a whole range of devices without having to install the SW that came along ( read digital cameras, USB devices etc)

    I am not even going to talk about the dev space. Just that theres no ‘second’ guy to talk about there.

  76. How about help documentation? Isnt that an innovation?

    Next to calc.exe and sol.exe the F1 help was a major guy in Windows. I say this is also “an innovation”.

    And what about being able to install an operating system like it were ‘just another program’?

    what abt “plug and play”? ( i am not sure if any OS before win98 had that. So i might be wrong) But i am sure Windows was the first OS to recognize a whole range of devices without having to install the SW that came along ( read digital cameras, USB devices etc)

    I am not even going to talk about the dev space. Just that theres no ‘second’ guy to talk about there.

  77. Scoble said “Live.com lists scobleizer.com, which is my currently-kept-up-blog first, while Google lists scoble.weblogs.com as first, despite the fact that I haven’t updated that blog for more than a year”

    Hmmm ;-)

  78. Scoble said “Live.com lists scobleizer.com, which is my currently-kept-up-blog first, while Google lists scoble.weblogs.com as first, despite the fact that I haven’t updated that blog for more than a year”

    Hmmm ;-)

  79. That list of supposed Microsoft innovations was obviously from someone that knows not what they are talking about. Nor know anything outside the Microsoft sandbox.

    “Tabbed spreadheets (since then, copied by other apps such as browsers)”

    Tabs in applications was in no way pioneered by Excel. It was first done by NeWS (Network extensible Window System). Many years before.

    “On-the-fly spell check in word processors”

    This was first done by a product called Spellbound, 10 years before Word.

    “Mouse scroll wheels”

    First introduced by Genius.

    “Ergonomic keyboards”

    Microsoft was not the first to release one of these. Even Apple had one before them.

    “TrueType (collaboration with Apple)”

    This was not in collaboration with Apple. Apple developed TrueType and then licensed it to Microsoft. Apple developed it, Microsoft were allowed to use it.

    “Alt-Tab to switch apps”

    SideKick was allowing you to do this back in the DOS days. Even though it used CTRL-ALT and not Alt-Tab.

    “Lots of small innovations in .NET that when combined equal large cumulative innovation.”

    Like what?

    “XPS (does everything that PDF does, adds graphical effects that PDF lacks, does it in a smaller file size, and does it using XML so the files can be manipulated via XML parsers)”

    You mean they copied someone else’s innovation?

    “Zune’s WiFi”

    The Zune was not the first MP3 player with wifi.

    This is a list full of errors. Don’t just go off spouting inaccuracies like these when obviously you don’t know what you are talking about.

    You’re making Microsoft seem much more innovative than they really are.

  80. That list of supposed Microsoft innovations was obviously from someone that knows not what they are talking about. Nor know anything outside the Microsoft sandbox.

    “Tabbed spreadheets (since then, copied by other apps such as browsers)”

    Tabs in applications was in no way pioneered by Excel. It was first done by NeWS (Network extensible Window System). Many years before.

    “On-the-fly spell check in word processors”

    This was first done by a product called Spellbound, 10 years before Word.

    “Mouse scroll wheels”

    First introduced by Genius.

    “Ergonomic keyboards”

    Microsoft was not the first to release one of these. Even Apple had one before them.

    “TrueType (collaboration with Apple)”

    This was not in collaboration with Apple. Apple developed TrueType and then licensed it to Microsoft. Apple developed it, Microsoft were allowed to use it.

    “Alt-Tab to switch apps”

    SideKick was allowing you to do this back in the DOS days. Even though it used CTRL-ALT and not Alt-Tab.

    “Lots of small innovations in .NET that when combined equal large cumulative innovation.”

    Like what?

    “XPS (does everything that PDF does, adds graphical effects that PDF lacks, does it in a smaller file size, and does it using XML so the files can be manipulated via XML parsers)”

    You mean they copied someone else’s innovation?

    “Zune’s WiFi”

    The Zune was not the first MP3 player with wifi.

    This is a list full of errors. Don’t just go off spouting inaccuracies like these when obviously you don’t know what you are talking about.

    You’re making Microsoft seem much more innovative than they really are.

  81. “You’re making Microsoft seem much more innovative than they really are.”

    So Mr. Diego, do you have list of things that Apple or Google has innovated. You send me a list and I can track down to some individual or some small company who owns the invention.

    You have got your idea of innovation totally wrong, because by your logic, nobody is innovating anymore.

  82. “You’re making Microsoft seem much more innovative than they really are.”

    So Mr. Diego, do you have list of things that Apple or Google has innovated. You send me a list and I can track down to some individual or some small company who owns the invention.

    You have got your idea of innovation totally wrong, because by your logic, nobody is innovating anymore.

  83. “XPS (does everything that PDF does, adds graphical effects that PDF lacks, does it in a smaller file size, and does it using XML so the files can be manipulated via XML parsers)”

    You mean they copied someone else’s innovation?”

    Diego I think you are misunderstood what innovation means. Innovation does not mean inventing the wheel. There is an existing technology called PDF which does a lot of great things.

    Now building another technology similar to PDF, adding solutions to all its shortcomings, making it better the way customers want is innovation.

    Just like web browser isnt a novel idea that Mozilla invented, but just improved the way browsers work.

  84. “XPS (does everything that PDF does, adds graphical effects that PDF lacks, does it in a smaller file size, and does it using XML so the files can be manipulated via XML parsers)”

    You mean they copied someone else’s innovation?”

    Diego I think you are misunderstood what innovation means. Innovation does not mean inventing the wheel. There is an existing technology called PDF which does a lot of great things.

    Now building another technology similar to PDF, adding solutions to all its shortcomings, making it better the way customers want is innovation.

    Just like web browser isnt a novel idea that Mozilla invented, but just improved the way browsers work.

  85. “Diego I think you are misunderstood what innovation means. Innovation does not mean inventing the wheel.”

    Firstly, this is the definition of innovation:

    “1. something new or different introduced: numerous innovations in the high-school curriculum.
    2. the act of innovating; introduction of new things or methods.”

    So, according to this, innovation means inventing something new. So when the wheel was first invented, it was innovative. So I am correct in my understanding of what innovation is.

    “So Mr. Diego, do you have list of things that Apple or Google has innovated. You send me a list and I can track down to some individual or some small company who owns the invention.”

    No, I don’t have a list of things Apple or Google have innovated. I was simply relating some facts about a fictitious list of things Microsoft supposedly innovated, that someone posted. That list contained things which were clearly not Microsoft innovations.

    “You have got your idea of innovation totally wrong, because by your logic, nobody is innovating anymore.”

    Not at all. If you look at something like the scrool wheel. Genius came up with that. That was an innovation. Someone said it was Microsoft. That is wrong. If you’re going to say they innovate something, make sure it’s right. That’s all I’m saying.

  86. “Diego I think you are misunderstood what innovation means. Innovation does not mean inventing the wheel.”

    Firstly, this is the definition of innovation:

    “1. something new or different introduced: numerous innovations in the high-school curriculum.
    2. the act of innovating; introduction of new things or methods.”

    So, according to this, innovation means inventing something new. So when the wheel was first invented, it was innovative. So I am correct in my understanding of what innovation is.

    “So Mr. Diego, do you have list of things that Apple or Google has innovated. You send me a list and I can track down to some individual or some small company who owns the invention.”

    No, I don’t have a list of things Apple or Google have innovated. I was simply relating some facts about a fictitious list of things Microsoft supposedly innovated, that someone posted. That list contained things which were clearly not Microsoft innovations.

    “You have got your idea of innovation totally wrong, because by your logic, nobody is innovating anymore.”

    Not at all. If you look at something like the scrool wheel. Genius came up with that. That was an innovation. Someone said it was Microsoft. That is wrong. If you’re going to say they innovate something, make sure it’s right. That’s all I’m saying.

  87. “You send me a list and I can track down to some individual or some small company who owns the invention.”

    BTW, I didn’t create this list. It was created by Stan at the top of this thread.

  88. “You send me a list and I can track down to some individual or some small company who owns the invention.”

    BTW, I didn’t create this list. It was created by Stan at the top of this thread.

  89. I think a lot of people confuse innovative software with cool software. Both Google and Apple are the absolute masters when it comes to shipping cool products that attract lots of media buzz, but these products are not what I would describe as innovative. Microsoft are always accused of either copying, stealing or acquiring, but isn’t this exactly what Google and Apple have been doing. Other than web search and ad-sense what other products as Google put out that they didn’t buy? OS X is just an OS that Apple acquired and incrementally improved with a bunch of freeware apps that were already available for the PC (maybe I’m not being fair), the innovation is in how Apple have put OS X together to make a nice OS, but not really anything they have invented.

    Maybe I’m biased here, but I’ve always believed that there is more innovation that comes from Microsoft than Apple, Google, Yahoo or any other big name software company put together. Microsoft may have not invented the word processor or spreadsheet but they have added plenty of there own innovations to them to make word and excel the most useful and successful products in the field. Microsoft didn’t invent the games console or the hard-drive or online gaming but they have put them all together to make a fantastic product and I’ve even heard plenty of anti-MS people describe the 360s XBOX live service as innovative.

    Who cares though, Microsoft are the most successful software company in history so they are definitely doing something right, if you don’t want to believe they innovate that’s up to you.

  90. I think a lot of people confuse innovative software with cool software. Both Google and Apple are the absolute masters when it comes to shipping cool products that attract lots of media buzz, but these products are not what I would describe as innovative. Microsoft are always accused of either copying, stealing or acquiring, but isn’t this exactly what Google and Apple have been doing. Other than web search and ad-sense what other products as Google put out that they didn’t buy? OS X is just an OS that Apple acquired and incrementally improved with a bunch of freeware apps that were already available for the PC (maybe I’m not being fair), the innovation is in how Apple have put OS X together to make a nice OS, but not really anything they have invented.

    Maybe I’m biased here, but I’ve always believed that there is more innovation that comes from Microsoft than Apple, Google, Yahoo or any other big name software company put together. Microsoft may have not invented the word processor or spreadsheet but they have added plenty of there own innovations to them to make word and excel the most useful and successful products in the field. Microsoft didn’t invent the games console or the hard-drive or online gaming but they have put them all together to make a fantastic product and I’ve even heard plenty of anti-MS people describe the 360s XBOX live service as innovative.

    Who cares though, Microsoft are the most successful software company in history so they are definitely doing something right, if you don’t want to believe they innovate that’s up to you.

  91. Innovation is when some idiot looks at a concept and application and says, “Oh … we could have done that” or ” I thought of that a long time ago but never implemented it.”

    Innovative. Yes. Creative,Yes. Something you could have done on your own, NO. Why? Not innovative enough.
    ; ) LOL Leave the innovation to the creative… not the middle of the normal curve.

  92. Innovation is when some idiot looks at a concept and application and says, “Oh … we could have done that” or ” I thought of that a long time ago but never implemented it.”

    Innovative. Yes. Creative,Yes. Something you could have done on your own, NO. Why? Not innovative enough.
    ; ) LOL Leave the innovation to the creative… not the middle of the normal curve.

  93. Diego,
    Innovation does not just mean “New”. If you look again at the definition:
    “1. something new or different introduced: numerous innovations in the high-school curriculum.
    2. the act of innovating; introduction of new things or methods.”

    You will see in #2 that is says “introduction of new things OR METHODS.”

    “”meth·od /ˈmɛθəd/ Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[meth-uhd] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation

    –noun 1. a procedure, technique, or way of doing something, esp. in accordance with a definite plan:

    There are three possible methods of repairing this motor.””

    You can see from the definition of method, that by doing something a different way is indeed innovative.

    Thus, Innovative does not necessarily mean that it has to be “New”

  94. Diego,
    Innovation does not just mean “New”. If you look again at the definition:
    “1. something new or different introduced: numerous innovations in the high-school curriculum.
    2. the act of innovating; introduction of new things or methods.”

    You will see in #2 that is says “introduction of new things OR METHODS.”

    “”meth·od /ˈmɛθəd/ Pronunciation Key – Show Spelled Pronunciation[meth-uhd] Pronunciation Key – Show IPA Pronunciation

    –noun 1. a procedure, technique, or way of doing something, esp. in accordance with a definite plan:

    There are three possible methods of repairing this motor.””

    You can see from the definition of method, that by doing something a different way is indeed innovative.

    Thus, Innovative does not necessarily mean that it has to be “New”

  95. Diego,

    Pivot tables got their start from Lotus Improv. But there are a lot of small things which were created but which Microsoft really helped take off by pushing it to market aggressively. Most of these don’t come from big name software like Improv. This includes small things, like for Word, squiggly underlining of misspelled words, with choices in the context menu. From what I know this was invented somewhere else, but I doubt many people saw it before it was in Word. This also includes many small interface elements, whether context menus, intellisense, visual cues, which Microsoft didn’t invent but which were not standard, and which other major OSs like Mac ended up adopting on par with Windows to keep up. Between the release of Windows 95 and OSX, Mac was doing all of the catch-up, not Windows, and it still is in some areas.

    Plus, there are many development frameworks which Microsoft not only made standard but played a large role in developing and getting on the market, like OLE. Microsoft didn’t develop the most interesting applications of XML, but they were aggressive in pushing XML everywhere before anyone else was. And then today we have .NET, which promotes things like the CLI. I guess one question you have to ask when evaluating Microsoft, is whether .NET is an important project. Not because .NET is part of Windows, but whether the idea of .NET is important. Whether things like WinFS are important (not just as a relational database FS but as one using XML)

    In all, it is important to whether Apple is any more innovative than Microsoft. Because people sometimes have some unrealistic standard of what innovation is. And I think its relatively clear that Apple has had to catch-up with Microsoft as often as the reverse has happened.

  96. Diego,

    Pivot tables got their start from Lotus Improv. But there are a lot of small things which were created but which Microsoft really helped take off by pushing it to market aggressively. Most of these don’t come from big name software like Improv. This includes small things, like for Word, squiggly underlining of misspelled words, with choices in the context menu. From what I know this was invented somewhere else, but I doubt many people saw it before it was in Word. This also includes many small interface elements, whether context menus, intellisense, visual cues, which Microsoft didn’t invent but which were not standard, and which other major OSs like Mac ended up adopting on par with Windows to keep up. Between the release of Windows 95 and OSX, Mac was doing all of the catch-up, not Windows, and it still is in some areas.

    Plus, there are many development frameworks which Microsoft not only made standard but played a large role in developing and getting on the market, like OLE. Microsoft didn’t develop the most interesting applications of XML, but they were aggressive in pushing XML everywhere before anyone else was. And then today we have .NET, which promotes things like the CLI. I guess one question you have to ask when evaluating Microsoft, is whether .NET is an important project. Not because .NET is part of Windows, but whether the idea of .NET is important. Whether things like WinFS are important (not just as a relational database FS but as one using XML)

    In all, it is important to whether Apple is any more innovative than Microsoft. Because people sometimes have some unrealistic standard of what innovation is. And I think its relatively clear that Apple has had to catch-up with Microsoft as often as the reverse has happened.

  97. Most inaccurate and idiodic comment in months:

    “Microsoft had a modern OS long before Apple did.”

    Please, amuse us all even more – provide us with proof.

  98. Most inaccurate and idiodic comment in months:

    “Microsoft had a modern OS long before Apple did.”

    Please, amuse us all even more – provide us with proof.

  99. The innovation that Diedo is talking about is ‘innovation for innovation sake’. Look at your redefined list – you had to qualify most of the items. So nobody knew these things existed – either it was a freakish coincidence or the original ‘innovator’ didnt really do a lot with the stuff they ‘innovated’.

    Unfortunately this is not quantum physics where conjuring up things in itself is not enough. In the commercial software market you need to put the ‘innovation’ in the right place on top of ‘innovating’.

    The more right thing to say is – Microsoft has never created a new market. They are atleast as innovative as the next guy in a market.

  100. The innovation that Diedo is talking about is ‘innovation for innovation sake’. Look at your redefined list – you had to qualify most of the items. So nobody knew these things existed – either it was a freakish coincidence or the original ‘innovator’ didnt really do a lot with the stuff they ‘innovated’.

    Unfortunately this is not quantum physics where conjuring up things in itself is not enough. In the commercial software market you need to put the ‘innovation’ in the right place on top of ‘innovating’.

    The more right thing to say is – Microsoft has never created a new market. They are atleast as innovative as the next guy in a market.

  101. I’ve got chronic tinea. And it’s itchy! It started in my toes, but didn’t waste any time making its way to my crotch.

    Bugger, sometimes it’s tough being a Kiwi!

    Of course Microsoft are innovative. They pioneered a cure for tinea of the crotch! I ask you, how would Bill get by without it.

  102. I’ve got chronic tinea. And it’s itchy! It started in my toes, but didn’t waste any time making its way to my crotch.

    Bugger, sometimes it’s tough being a Kiwi!

    Of course Microsoft are innovative. They pioneered a cure for tinea of the crotch! I ask you, how would Bill get by without it.

  103. “Pivot tables got their start from Lotus Improv. But there are a lot of small things which were created but which Microsoft really helped take off by pushing it to market aggressively.”

    Brian, to me that’s where true innovation comes from. It doesn’t matter that Improv didn’t have the market share and Microsoft did, so then it was seen by a wider audience. To me the innovation was with Improv. They came up with it. Microsoft may have taken that idea, improved it and taken it to a wider audience, because of their market share, but it’s not innovative to just do that. At least in my eyes.

    “So nobody knew these things existed – either it was a freakish coincidence or the original ‘innovator’ didnt really do a lot with the stuff they ‘innovated’.

    Unfortunately this is not quantum physics where conjuring up things in itself is not enough.”

    Again, just because Microsoft took something, maybe improved it, does not make it innovative. The person that came up with it is the innovator. Even if that version of it was used by one or two people.

    So Microsoft could take anyone else’s idea, put it in their OS (for example) so then, by sheer numbers, it makes it their innovation? No way. That’s why they are not seen as, not are they, as innovative as some people here have perceived them to be.

  104. “Pivot tables got their start from Lotus Improv. But there are a lot of small things which were created but which Microsoft really helped take off by pushing it to market aggressively.”

    Brian, to me that’s where true innovation comes from. It doesn’t matter that Improv didn’t have the market share and Microsoft did, so then it was seen by a wider audience. To me the innovation was with Improv. They came up with it. Microsoft may have taken that idea, improved it and taken it to a wider audience, because of their market share, but it’s not innovative to just do that. At least in my eyes.

    “So nobody knew these things existed – either it was a freakish coincidence or the original ‘innovator’ didnt really do a lot with the stuff they ‘innovated’.

    Unfortunately this is not quantum physics where conjuring up things in itself is not enough.”

    Again, just because Microsoft took something, maybe improved it, does not make it innovative. The person that came up with it is the innovator. Even if that version of it was used by one or two people.

    So Microsoft could take anyone else’s idea, put it in their OS (for example) so then, by sheer numbers, it makes it their innovation? No way. That’s why they are not seen as, not are they, as innovative as some people here have perceived them to be.

  105. “And then today we have .NET”

    I think you may be forgetting Java’s influence here. And others influence on Java prior to that.

  106. “And then today we have .NET”

    I think you may be forgetting Java’s influence here. And others influence on Java prior to that.

  107. “Most inaccurate and idiodic comment in months:

    “Microsoft had a modern OS long before Apple did.”

    Please, amuse us all even more – provide us with proof.”
    —————————–

    DaveD, you should be careful when calling others idiots. NT 3.1 came out in the early 90s (1993, IIRC), and Win95 came out in 1995. Both had pre-emptive mutlitasking, separate address spaces for the apps, proper virtual memory. Apple didn’t have any of those things until OSX 10.0 in 2001. Classic Mac OS use co-operative multitasking, shared address space for all apps and the OS, and the user had to explicitly tell the OS how much memory to allocate each app. Hell, part of the Classic Mac API involved programs *directly* manipulating system globals! Its memory model was so primitive that apps had to concern themselves about “hi” vs “low” memory.

    Apple tried to make a modern OS in the late 90′s with the Copeland project, but failed, and ended up building on top of NextStep. So yes, Microsoft had a modern OS long before Apple did.

  108. “Most inaccurate and idiodic comment in months:

    “Microsoft had a modern OS long before Apple did.”

    Please, amuse us all even more – provide us with proof.”
    —————————–

    DaveD, you should be careful when calling others idiots. NT 3.1 came out in the early 90s (1993, IIRC), and Win95 came out in 1995. Both had pre-emptive mutlitasking, separate address spaces for the apps, proper virtual memory. Apple didn’t have any of those things until OSX 10.0 in 2001. Classic Mac OS use co-operative multitasking, shared address space for all apps and the OS, and the user had to explicitly tell the OS how much memory to allocate each app. Hell, part of the Classic Mac API involved programs *directly* manipulating system globals! Its memory model was so primitive that apps had to concern themselves about “hi” vs “low” memory.

    Apple tried to make a modern OS in the late 90′s with the Copeland project, but failed, and ended up building on top of NextStep. So yes, Microsoft had a modern OS long before Apple did.

  109. OK, I just watched the recent XNA video that was released at channel9 last week:
    http://channel9.msdn.com/Showpost.aspx?postid=261254

    Anyone that claims that Microsoft isn’t an “innovator” after watching that video is simply an anti-Microsoft fanboy, plain and simple. The video intervies XNA Dev Manager Frank Savage (former Wing Commander III dev). He demos development, debugging, and deployment of an Xbox360 game using XNA. He also demos two XNA games that come with the XNA kit – Space Wars, and XNA Racer. The latter, though “alpha” code, looks great, runs 1080p at 30fps, uses 2x antialiasing, all through C# (let Java try that!). This is all done with a normal Xbox 360 (not a dev kit). This brings console development to the masses. Oh, you can make Windows games as well, with the same code (notwithstanding a few #if XBOX360 blogs).

    This is the kind of thing that is simply beyond the reach of the likes of Apple and Google, and sadly, beyond the vision of the likes of Winer. There are many innovative things that Microsoft does that are outside of the vision of people like Winer, so they feel free to bash Microsoft out of ignorance.

    (Speaking of Channel9, just go through the archives there and you’ll see plenty of innovation that put Apple and Google to shame, IMO.)

  110. OK, I just watched the recent XNA video that was released at channel9 last week:
    http://channel9.msdn.com/Showpost.aspx?postid=261254

    Anyone that claims that Microsoft isn’t an “innovator” after watching that video is simply an anti-Microsoft fanboy, plain and simple. The video intervies XNA Dev Manager Frank Savage (former Wing Commander III dev). He demos development, debugging, and deployment of an Xbox360 game using XNA. He also demos two XNA games that come with the XNA kit – Space Wars, and XNA Racer. The latter, though “alpha” code, looks great, runs 1080p at 30fps, uses 2x antialiasing, all through C# (let Java try that!). This is all done with a normal Xbox 360 (not a dev kit). This brings console development to the masses. Oh, you can make Windows games as well, with the same code (notwithstanding a few #if XBOX360 blogs).

    This is the kind of thing that is simply beyond the reach of the likes of Apple and Google, and sadly, beyond the vision of the likes of Winer. There are many innovative things that Microsoft does that are outside of the vision of people like Winer, so they feel free to bash Microsoft out of ignorance.

    (Speaking of Channel9, just go through the archives there and you’ll see plenty of innovation that put Apple and Google to shame, IMO.)

  111. Another word that has been bastardized. Whenever someone talks about a company being “Innovative”, you know that you are dealing with someone who isn’t thinking.

    Whenever a company claims it’s being “Innovative” it generally means that:

    1) Buzzwords are easier that really stating what the company is about.

    2) The company is in trouble and this is all they can think of to say.

    3) The marketing department needs a complete overhaul (all new staff).

    Let’s look at what’s really important, because being Innovative had no importance at all:

    1) Do you sell a product that customers love?

    2) Does your product do it’s job well?

    3) Do you take good care of your end users?

    4) Does your company treat it’s customers and end users in morally?

    5) Do you treat your staff well morally and personally?

    If you can answer yes to all of these, you’ve got a great company – in fact you’ve got a fantastic company. Too few companies manage to to even get one of these right.

    None of the companies talked about as “paladins” in the previous comments get 4 of these right. Some of them don’t manage to get any of these right. God knows how they survive.

    Note that I didn’t mention responsibility to shareholders. The reason I didn’t mention it is that if you can’t manage to get at least four of the important basics right YOU ARE NOT BEING RESPONSIBLE TO YOUR SHAREHOLDERS, AND YOUR COMPANY MANAGEMENT SHOULD BE FIRED FOR CAUSE.

    Yes, my opinions are brutal – and I suspect I’ll upset the fanboys for each company badly. But if the company you like isn’t following these basics, it doesn’t deserve having you for a fan.

    Wayne

  112. Another word that has been bastardized. Whenever someone talks about a company being “Innovative”, you know that you are dealing with someone who isn’t thinking.

    Whenever a company claims it’s being “Innovative” it generally means that:

    1) Buzzwords are easier that really stating what the company is about.

    2) The company is in trouble and this is all they can think of to say.

    3) The marketing department needs a complete overhaul (all new staff).

    Let’s look at what’s really important, because being Innovative had no importance at all:

    1) Do you sell a product that customers love?

    2) Does your product do it’s job well?

    3) Do you take good care of your end users?

    4) Does your company treat it’s customers and end users in morally?

    5) Do you treat your staff well morally and personally?

    If you can answer yes to all of these, you’ve got a great company – in fact you’ve got a fantastic company. Too few companies manage to to even get one of these right.

    None of the companies talked about as “paladins” in the previous comments get 4 of these right. Some of them don’t manage to get any of these right. God knows how they survive.

    Note that I didn’t mention responsibility to shareholders. The reason I didn’t mention it is that if you can’t manage to get at least four of the important basics right YOU ARE NOT BEING RESPONSIBLE TO YOUR SHAREHOLDERS, AND YOUR COMPANY MANAGEMENT SHOULD BE FIRED FOR CAUSE.

    Yes, my opinions are brutal – and I suspect I’ll upset the fanboys for each company badly. But if the company you like isn’t following these basics, it doesn’t deserve having you for a fan.

    Wayne

  113. Stan –
    * Ability to alter compiled code while debugging it

    Smalltalk has had this since the ’70’s. In fact edit in the debugger and proceed on.
    —————–
    Was that compiled code or interpreted? Regardless MS was the first to do it for C/C++.
    ================================================

    VisualWORKS is compiled. I’ve seen it in java 5-6 years ago but it was in Visual Age for Java which was written in Visual Age Smalltalk. Which turns out to have been the better Java environment to work in.

    Imagine that every VA for flavorLanguage had this ability as well.

    Suspect that Eclipse may have this ability now though not certain.

    What year did MS do this with C/C++? It’s quite impressive that they can do this.

    Makes it quite productive in development to be able to edit code while it is running without having to stop, edit, recompile and link if the language requires linking.

  114. Stan –
    * Ability to alter compiled code while debugging it

    Smalltalk has had this since the ’70’s. In fact edit in the debugger and proceed on.
    —————–
    Was that compiled code or interpreted? Regardless MS was the first to do it for C/C++.
    ================================================

    VisualWORKS is compiled. I’ve seen it in java 5-6 years ago but it was in Visual Age for Java which was written in Visual Age Smalltalk. Which turns out to have been the better Java environment to work in.

    Imagine that every VA for flavorLanguage had this ability as well.

    Suspect that Eclipse may have this ability now though not certain.

    What year did MS do this with C/C++? It’s quite impressive that they can do this.

    Makes it quite productive in development to be able to edit code while it is running without having to stop, edit, recompile and link if the language requires linking.

  115. Again, just because Microsoft took something, maybe improved it, does not make it innovative. The person that came up with it is the innovator. Even if that “version of it was used by one or two people”
    =================================

    Okay, list the top 3 things that you think are pure meaningful innovations( by any company). Let’s then apply your framework and see how they qualify.

    I dont care what websters or oxford dict says. Innovation as applied to business is ensuring

    (i) There is a meaningful benfit to the users from that
    (ii) it helps the bottomline of the company

    Anything else should be sent to the ‘grand museum of innovation’.

  116. Again, just because Microsoft took something, maybe improved it, does not make it innovative. The person that came up with it is the innovator. Even if that “version of it was used by one or two people”
    =================================

    Okay, list the top 3 things that you think are pure meaningful innovations( by any company). Let’s then apply your framework and see how they qualify.

    I dont care what websters or oxford dict says. Innovation as applied to business is ensuring

    (i) There is a meaningful benfit to the users from that
    (ii) it helps the bottomline of the company

    Anything else should be sent to the ‘grand museum of innovation’.

  117. “DaveD, you should be careful when calling others idiots. NT 3.1 came out in the early 90s (1993, IIRC), and Win95 came out in 1995. Both had pre-emptive mutlitasking, separate address spaces for the apps, proper virtual memory.”

    The Amiga had pre-emptive multi tasking back in 1985! It was way ahead of others back then. So once again, Microsoft was playing catch-up.

  118. “DaveD, you should be careful when calling others idiots. NT 3.1 came out in the early 90s (1993, IIRC), and Win95 came out in 1995. Both had pre-emptive mutlitasking, separate address spaces for the apps, proper virtual memory.”

    The Amiga had pre-emptive multi tasking back in 1985! It was way ahead of others back then. So once again, Microsoft was playing catch-up.

  119. Diego, nobody claimed that Microsoft was the first to have a pre-emptive multitasking OS. The claim was that they had it long before Apple did, which your cohort DaveD ignorantly disputed. Why would you bring Amiga into that conversation other than your desperate attempt to belittle any and all of what Microsoft has done?

    (I do note that you didn’t address the memory management issue; did Amiga lack separate address spacing and modern virtual memory manager (honest question)?)

  120. Diego, nobody claimed that Microsoft was the first to have a pre-emptive multitasking OS. The claim was that they had it long before Apple did, which your cohort DaveD ignorantly disputed. Why would you bring Amiga into that conversation other than your desperate attempt to belittle any and all of what Microsoft has done?

    (I do note that you didn’t address the memory management issue; did Amiga lack separate address spacing and modern virtual memory manager (honest question)?)

  121. Stan, that’s an impressive list of innovations. BUT, if you Google a little i’m sure you’ll find some surprising results like…

    1. Ajax: Ajax was created by Jesse James Garret, President of Adaptive Path. It’s an Adpaptive Path product. Microsoft merely created a project called Atlas, which is an implementation of Ajax.

    http://www.networkcomputing.com/channels/networkinfrastructure/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=193303324

    2. OLE is a rip off of an Apple innovation…

    http://www.mackido.com/History/History_OLE.html

    3. Intellisense (and Visual Studio in general) may very well be contributing to poor programming practices….

    http://www.charlespetzold.com/etc/DoesVisualStudioRotTheMind.html

    4. Cleartype: Cleartype is essientially nothing more than subpixel rendering, which was invented by Steve Wozniak at Apple in 1976….

    http://www.vcnet.com/bms/departments/innovation.shtml#clear

    5. Scroll wheel: In 1995 a company called PC Concepts created a device called “The Net-Pointe”, there are other devices that predate the MS Scroll wheel….

    http://www.vcnet.com/bms/departments/innovation.shtml#intellimouse

    There are more if you Google them. There’s very little innovation at Microsoft, not now, maybe not ever.

  122. Stan, that’s an impressive list of innovations. BUT, if you Google a little i’m sure you’ll find some surprising results like…

    1. Ajax: Ajax was created by Jesse James Garret, President of Adaptive Path. It’s an Adpaptive Path product. Microsoft merely created a project called Atlas, which is an implementation of Ajax.

    http://www.networkcomputing.com/channels/networkinfrastructure/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=193303324

    2. OLE is a rip off of an Apple innovation…

    http://www.mackido.com/History/History_OLE.html

    3. Intellisense (and Visual Studio in general) may very well be contributing to poor programming practices….

    http://www.charlespetzold.com/etc/DoesVisualStudioRotTheMind.html

    4. Cleartype: Cleartype is essientially nothing more than subpixel rendering, which was invented by Steve Wozniak at Apple in 1976….

    http://www.vcnet.com/bms/departments/innovation.shtml#clear

    5. Scroll wheel: In 1995 a company called PC Concepts created a device called “The Net-Pointe”, there are other devices that predate the MS Scroll wheel….

    http://www.vcnet.com/bms/departments/innovation.shtml#intellimouse

    There are more if you Google them. There’s very little innovation at Microsoft, not now, maybe not ever.

  123. Stan:

    “The claim was that they had it long before Apple did, which your cohort DaveD ignorantly disputed. Why would you bring Amiga into that conversation other than your desperate attempt to belittle any and all of what Microsoft has done?”

    I was not on the Apple v. Microsoft thing. The topic was whether Microsoft are innovative. In this particular case someone said ““Microsoft had a modern OS long before Apple did.”

    Then one of the reasons for it being modern was because it had pre-emptive multitasking. Which, as I pointed out, is something that Commodore did in 1985. Commodore had a more modern and advance OS than Microsoft did, a long time before they did.

    So that’s why I brought Amiga in to it. To show that someone else had a more modern OS than MS and Apple, back in 1985.

    As for separate address spacing and modern virtual memory, I don’t know enough about the Amiga OS. But, again, getting on the subject of who had a modern OS, Amiga was way ahead of its time. At that time Microsoft release a lame Windows 1.0 which was just an extension of MS-DOS.

  124. Stan:

    “The claim was that they had it long before Apple did, which your cohort DaveD ignorantly disputed. Why would you bring Amiga into that conversation other than your desperate attempt to belittle any and all of what Microsoft has done?”

    I was not on the Apple v. Microsoft thing. The topic was whether Microsoft are innovative. In this particular case someone said ““Microsoft had a modern OS long before Apple did.”

    Then one of the reasons for it being modern was because it had pre-emptive multitasking. Which, as I pointed out, is something that Commodore did in 1985. Commodore had a more modern and advance OS than Microsoft did, a long time before they did.

    So that’s why I brought Amiga in to it. To show that someone else had a more modern OS than MS and Apple, back in 1985.

    As for separate address spacing and modern virtual memory, I don’t know enough about the Amiga OS. But, again, getting on the subject of who had a modern OS, Amiga was way ahead of its time. At that time Microsoft release a lame Windows 1.0 which was just an extension of MS-DOS.

  125. “(i) There is a meaningful benfit to the users from that
    (ii) it helps the bottomline of the company”

    I personally disagree with (ii). Whether it does or not has nothing to do with how innovative something is. Something may be innovative but fail for many reasons. Bad marketing on the companies part. Sometimes things are ahead of their time and will “kick-on” when the time is right, at a later time.

  126. “(i) There is a meaningful benfit to the users from that
    (ii) it helps the bottomline of the company”

    I personally disagree with (ii). Whether it does or not has nothing to do with how innovative something is. Something may be innovative but fail for many reasons. Bad marketing on the companies part. Sometimes things are ahead of their time and will “kick-on” when the time is right, at a later time.

  127. “Why would you bring Amiga into that conversation other than your desperate attempt to belittle any and all of what Microsoft has done?”

    Let me just say, and as I mentioned previously. I know Microsoft are innovative. And personally, I’ve think more so in their development tools areas than others.

    As for belittling MS, I was simply correcting obvious assumption made by someone else who rattled a whole list of things, some which clearly are MS innovations, but numerous others are clearly not. Give credit where credit is due.

  128. “Why would you bring Amiga into that conversation other than your desperate attempt to belittle any and all of what Microsoft has done?”

    Let me just say, and as I mentioned previously. I know Microsoft are innovative. And personally, I’ve think more so in their development tools areas than others.

    As for belittling MS, I was simply correcting obvious assumption made by someone else who rattled a whole list of things, some which clearly are MS innovations, but numerous others are clearly not. Give credit where credit is due.

  129. ClearType you say? If it wasn’t for Apple there wouldn’t be beautiful fonts. They’d still be the DOS font and WingDings used in Vista.

  130. ClearType you say? If it wasn’t for Apple there wouldn’t be beautiful fonts. They’d still be the DOS font and WingDings used in Vista.

  131. Ford may not have invented the Porsche.
    He did invent the concepts which lead to the Porsche you drive and Jim-Bob “innovated” the Porch ; ) you drive as well. Innovation/ Innovators Tesla ranks as #1. The rest are variations on theme (the-me)(Tech-Meme).

    There is nothing new under the Sun. All is vanity.
    Thus saith the innovator.

  132. Ford may not have invented the Porsche.
    He did invent the concepts which lead to the Porsche you drive and Jim-Bob “innovated” the Porch ; ) you drive as well. Innovation/ Innovators Tesla ranks as #1. The rest are variations on theme (the-me)(Tech-Meme).

    There is nothing new under the Sun. All is vanity.
    Thus saith the innovator.

  133. MGB: Ajax was NAMED by Adaptive Path, not created by it. The major concept in AJAX was created by Microsoft.

    Regarding ClearType. Steve Wozniak’s technique was to display text on a regular computer monitor. ClearType uses color fringing to fool your eye into seeing more information than actually is there. Microsoft owns the patent for that, which, according to American law at least, means that Microsoft owns the invention. There were actually two people who invented the telephone at the same time. The guy we remember is the guy who got to the patent office first (beat #2 there by a few minutes, if I remember the story right).

  134. MGB: Ajax was NAMED by Adaptive Path, not created by it. The major concept in AJAX was created by Microsoft.

    Regarding ClearType. Steve Wozniak’s technique was to display text on a regular computer monitor. ClearType uses color fringing to fool your eye into seeing more information than actually is there. Microsoft owns the patent for that, which, according to American law at least, means that Microsoft owns the invention. There were actually two people who invented the telephone at the same time. The guy we remember is the guy who got to the patent office first (beat #2 there by a few minutes, if I remember the story right).

  135. MGB said

    2. OLE is a rip off of an Apple innovation…

    http://www.mackido.com/History/History_OLE.html
    —————-

    Sorry, MGB, that is complete bull written by a Mac fanboy. Publish and Subscribe had no notion of the “embedding” part of OLE, which is the most used part. Publish and Subscribe also wasn’t built on top of a component model like OLE2 was (COM). Publish and Subscribe was extremely limited compared to OLE. And OLE wasn’t a “rip off” of it anyway. Both were developed at the same time. Publish and Subscribe was released with OS 7. The OLE1 dlls first shipped with a Micrographix app around 1992 (before OLE was shipped as part of Win3.1).

    As for OpenDoc, that was a misguided copy of OLE2. One of its failures was that it concentrated to much on “object embedding” (didn’t support linking at all, IIRC), and not the underpinnings. OLE2, on the other hand, introduced the COM underpinnings, on top of which a bunch of stuff was built that had nothing to do with OLE, per se. Apple’s great claim regarding OpenDoc (Amber) was “irregularly shaped and transparent objects”. But OLE already had that by way of using irregularly shaped window’ed OLE controls. But that was clunky, so MS created “windowless” OLE controls. Maybe you can claim that was a “ripoff” of OpenDoc, but that’s about it.

    OLE/COM was/is a comprehensive technology. Publishe and Subscribe was a limited “feature” that devs couldn’t find any use for, thus its failure. OpenDoc was also limited in scope compared to OLE, but it had a much greater chance of success than Publish and Subscribe ever had. But the “visionary” Steve Jobs pulled the plug on OpenDoc (the Mac version; IBM and Word Perfect were doing half-hearted Windows versions of OpenDoc, which were a joke).

  136. MGB said

    2. OLE is a rip off of an Apple innovation…

    http://www.mackido.com/History/History_OLE.html
    —————-

    Sorry, MGB, that is complete bull written by a Mac fanboy. Publish and Subscribe had no notion of the “embedding” part of OLE, which is the most used part. Publish and Subscribe also wasn’t built on top of a component model like OLE2 was (COM). Publish and Subscribe was extremely limited compared to OLE. And OLE wasn’t a “rip off” of it anyway. Both were developed at the same time. Publish and Subscribe was released with OS 7. The OLE1 dlls first shipped with a Micrographix app around 1992 (before OLE was shipped as part of Win3.1).

    As for OpenDoc, that was a misguided copy of OLE2. One of its failures was that it concentrated to much on “object embedding” (didn’t support linking at all, IIRC), and not the underpinnings. OLE2, on the other hand, introduced the COM underpinnings, on top of which a bunch of stuff was built that had nothing to do with OLE, per se. Apple’s great claim regarding OpenDoc (Amber) was “irregularly shaped and transparent objects”. But OLE already had that by way of using irregularly shaped window’ed OLE controls. But that was clunky, so MS created “windowless” OLE controls. Maybe you can claim that was a “ripoff” of OpenDoc, but that’s about it.

    OLE/COM was/is a comprehensive technology. Publishe and Subscribe was a limited “feature” that devs couldn’t find any use for, thus its failure. OpenDoc was also limited in scope compared to OLE, but it had a much greater chance of success than Publish and Subscribe ever had. But the “visionary” Steve Jobs pulled the plug on OpenDoc (the Mac version; IBM and Word Perfect were doing half-hearted Windows versions of OpenDoc, which were a joke).

  137. MGB, I dealt with your “OLE is a ripoff of Apple” claim. The rest of your list is also little more than slashdot regurgitated mythology.

    1. Ajax – EVERYONE who knows of which he speaks, knows that MS created the major component that is the basis of AJAX. Even MS haters admit this.

    2. OLE as a rip off – I already addressed that, and it is complet and utter bull.

    3. Intellisense – Nothing to say here, because you don’t claim that it’s not an MS innovation. (Whether you happen to like that tech or not is irrelevant. I and many other devs do like it, and it’s not “rotting my mind”.)

    4. ClearType – I frequent various tech message boards (slashdot, et al), and have noticed a movement in the last few weeks to take ClearType away from Microsoft as an innovation by citing the old Apple II. First, even if ClearType was copied from Apple II, that nobody else did it for 20 years, means that MS should get credit for bringing it to the modern day. But it’s not a rip off anyway. (See Scoble’s post).

    5. Scroll Wheel’ed mice – I’ll trust you on that and concede that point (but MS gets credit for bringing it to the masses).

  138. MGB, I dealt with your “OLE is a ripoff of Apple” claim. The rest of your list is also little more than slashdot regurgitated mythology.

    1. Ajax – EVERYONE who knows of which he speaks, knows that MS created the major component that is the basis of AJAX. Even MS haters admit this.

    2. OLE as a rip off – I already addressed that, and it is complet and utter bull.

    3. Intellisense – Nothing to say here, because you don’t claim that it’s not an MS innovation. (Whether you happen to like that tech or not is irrelevant. I and many other devs do like it, and it’s not “rotting my mind”.)

    4. ClearType – I frequent various tech message boards (slashdot, et al), and have noticed a movement in the last few weeks to take ClearType away from Microsoft as an innovation by citing the old Apple II. First, even if ClearType was copied from Apple II, that nobody else did it for 20 years, means that MS should get credit for bringing it to the modern day. But it’s not a rip off anyway. (See Scoble’s post).

    5. Scroll Wheel’ed mice – I’ll trust you on that and concede that point (but MS gets credit for bringing it to the masses).

  139. MGB. Your point about intellisens is BS.

    Any modern invention makes things easier and thus take away some skill that was neede before the invention. This is true for intellisense also. If you are blaming intellisense for ‘rotting the programmers’ why stop with that? pretty much everything since sliced bread could be included.

    Deigo – @72 (ii)

    I agree with your disagreement. It directly doesnt affect innovation. But i am trying to address the ‘meaningful’ aspect of the innovation there. Without commercial viability the innovation will not be sustained.

    For inst, if GM launches a commercially viable, widely accepted solar driven automobile would you call it an innovation or not?

    I would. Yes, solar cars are nothing new. But to actually use that technology and make something meaningful and ultimately benefitting end users is very much innovative.

  140. MGB. Your point about intellisens is BS.

    Any modern invention makes things easier and thus take away some skill that was neede before the invention. This is true for intellisense also. If you are blaming intellisense for ‘rotting the programmers’ why stop with that? pretty much everything since sliced bread could be included.

    Deigo – @72 (ii)

    I agree with your disagreement. It directly doesnt affect innovation. But i am trying to address the ‘meaningful’ aspect of the innovation there. Without commercial viability the innovation will not be sustained.

    For inst, if GM launches a commercially viable, widely accepted solar driven automobile would you call it an innovation or not?

    I would. Yes, solar cars are nothing new. But to actually use that technology and make something meaningful and ultimately benefitting end users is very much innovative.

  141. Microsoft for sure is innovative. Their past and present career growth and products proves it. Moreover to exist in *this* market,with rivals all around,they have no other way…

    Lets see how http://live.com shakes the folks whose only used to Googling ;)

  142. Microsoft for sure is innovative. Their past and present career growth and products proves it. Moreover to exist in *this* market,with rivals all around,they have no other way…

    Lets see how http://live.com shakes the folks whose only used to Googling ;)

  143. blogger@wordpress:

    You said it yourself…

    “Any modern invention makes things easier and thus take away some skill that was neede before the invention.”

    IMHO, any invention or innovation that “takes away” VITAL skills is a worthless invention. True innovation should only add and/or enhance the users skill set, not take away from it. I do agree with you in that some innovations require that we start doing things differently than we had before. And if that innovation makes my life easier then I will gladly except the change.

    However when such an innovation has the potential to cause damage to an entire industry as Charles Petzold argues in his article… then it is time to reconsider the worth of the innovation.

    Is Intellisense a Microsoft innovation? Yes, yes absolutely yes. There are MANY MS innovations within Visual Studio, it’s packed with them. Too many to list here in fact. And these features CAN be a great aid to programmers… in the short term.

    But are these features good in the long term?

    IMHO, not only are they not good, they may deteriorate a programmers skills over prolonged used. A programmer that relies on a tool to in essence and at times literally write his code for him/her and do their thinking for them is a poor programmer.

    Visual Studio, as Charles pointed out, literally adds lines of code that are uneccessary. It also violates proper programming guidlines. Visual Studio attempts to generate code FOR US. This is simply terrible.

    Is it any wonder why MS’s products are so buggy? Is it any wonder why it took MS so long to get Vista out the door? Not to me.

  144. blogger@wordpress:

    You said it yourself…

    “Any modern invention makes things easier and thus take away some skill that was neede before the invention.”

    IMHO, any invention or innovation that “takes away” VITAL skills is a worthless invention. True innovation should only add and/or enhance the users skill set, not take away from it. I do agree with you in that some innovations require that we start doing things differently than we had before. And if that innovation makes my life easier then I will gladly except the change.

    However when such an innovation has the potential to cause damage to an entire industry as Charles Petzold argues in his article… then it is time to reconsider the worth of the innovation.

    Is Intellisense a Microsoft innovation? Yes, yes absolutely yes. There are MANY MS innovations within Visual Studio, it’s packed with them. Too many to list here in fact. And these features CAN be a great aid to programmers… in the short term.

    But are these features good in the long term?

    IMHO, not only are they not good, they may deteriorate a programmers skills over prolonged used. A programmer that relies on a tool to in essence and at times literally write his code for him/her and do their thinking for them is a poor programmer.

    Visual Studio, as Charles pointed out, literally adds lines of code that are uneccessary. It also violates proper programming guidlines. Visual Studio attempts to generate code FOR US. This is simply terrible.

    Is it any wonder why MS’s products are so buggy? Is it any wonder why it took MS so long to get Vista out the door? Not to me.

  145. I think it is wrong to say that Microsoft was never an innovator. They were not a technology innovator but a business model innovator. It was the business model innovation that demolished IBM on one side and Apple on the other.

    Now they have become big and have developed sclerosis around the business model that they invented. They are now vulnerable to newer business models that Google and others are bringing in. And now, as an established company, they can only do continuous incremental innovation.

    Some days back I wrote in my post on The War of Innovation Ideologies (http://orbitchange.com/blog/2006/11/09/innovation-ideologies/) that there are three innovation pathways. One of them is the entrepreneur’s garage…

    “When there are hundreds or thousands of potential business models that might succeed, the best way to find out which will succeed is to allow each brave or disgruntled genius to try out his own approach. Many fail, but a few will succeed. This is the essence of the Silicon Valley model.”

    The other pathway is the Kaizen way of continuous incremental innovation…

    “In this model, an established company enters a new field, and makes products. There may be initially some setbacks, but it learns quickly, iterates, and improves efficiency and quality.”

    It’s a testament to Microsoft’s success that they are now locked into the Kaizen pathway of innovation. Let’s not forget, despite Silicon Valley’s protestations, this can yield valuable outcomes.

  146. I think it is wrong to say that Microsoft was never an innovator. They were not a technology innovator but a business model innovator. It was the business model innovation that demolished IBM on one side and Apple on the other.

    Now they have become big and have developed sclerosis around the business model that they invented. They are now vulnerable to newer business models that Google and others are bringing in. And now, as an established company, they can only do continuous incremental innovation.

    Some days back I wrote in my post on The War of Innovation Ideologies (http://orbitchange.com/blog/2006/11/09/innovation-ideologies/) that there are three innovation pathways. One of them is the entrepreneur’s garage…

    “When there are hundreds or thousands of potential business models that might succeed, the best way to find out which will succeed is to allow each brave or disgruntled genius to try out his own approach. Many fail, but a few will succeed. This is the essence of the Silicon Valley model.”

    The other pathway is the Kaizen way of continuous incremental innovation…

    “In this model, an established company enters a new field, and makes products. There may be initially some setbacks, but it learns quickly, iterates, and improves efficiency and quality.”

    It’s a testament to Microsoft’s success that they are now locked into the Kaizen pathway of innovation. Let’s not forget, despite Silicon Valley’s protestations, this can yield valuable outcomes.

  147. Robert:

    1. I conceed to you that Ajax was named by Adaptive Path not created by it. However I maintain that MS’s innovation around Ajax was it’s Atlas project, not Ajax directly which pre-existed before MS became involved with it.

    2. I agree totally with your comments on cleartype and patents. But concerning patents consider this…

    Who invented the radio? Most people would say it was Marconi. In actual fact it was Tesla. He owned the patents on the essential technologies involved in making radio work…

    http://www.pbs.org/tesla/ll/ll_whoradio.html

    So who owns Cleartype? Most people will say Microsoft. But prior art can be found with Wozniak and others. Patents can be overturned, nullified or upheld. Sometimes they can be used or overturned against you just when you thought you owned them.

    Patents are in essence a shell game. I’m sure Marconi innovated and improved on Tesla’s work, but in the end… he didn’t own the patents on it, Tesla did. However the law didn’t come to aid Tesla until after he died.

  148. Robert:

    1. I conceed to you that Ajax was named by Adaptive Path not created by it. However I maintain that MS’s innovation around Ajax was it’s Atlas project, not Ajax directly which pre-existed before MS became involved with it.

    2. I agree totally with your comments on cleartype and patents. But concerning patents consider this…

    Who invented the radio? Most people would say it was Marconi. In actual fact it was Tesla. He owned the patents on the essential technologies involved in making radio work…

    http://www.pbs.org/tesla/ll/ll_whoradio.html

    So who owns Cleartype? Most people will say Microsoft. But prior art can be found with Wozniak and others. Patents can be overturned, nullified or upheld. Sometimes they can be used or overturned against you just when you thought you owned them.

    Patents are in essence a shell game. I’m sure Marconi innovated and improved on Tesla’s work, but in the end… he didn’t own the patents on it, Tesla did. However the law didn’t come to aid Tesla until after he died.

  149. @ Stan…

    Did you actually research these? Here are a few I can dispute off the top of my head…

    - On-the-fly spell check in word processors
    NeXT had system-wide realtime-spellcheck since 1992. The entire OS. Microsoft added real-time spell-check to Office (and just Office) in 1998. Cocoa apps in Mac OS X, such as Safari, get real-time spell-check for free(including the form I’m typing in right now). .NET apps in Windows won’t have real-time application-based spellcheck until .NET 3.0, which is scheduled to be released with Windows Vista.

    - Wizards
    This is an innovation? Wizards are a poor substitute for usable UIs.

    - Bob
    So we’re counting failed innovations now?

    - Taskbar
    NeXT Step shipped in 1988 with a taskbar / Dock.

    - Lots of small innovations in .NET that when combined equal large cumulative innovation.
    So why didn’t Microsoft build Vista on top of WinFX? instead of Win32?

    - ActiveX
    Good Idea. Horrible implementation. You can thank ActiveX for at least 70% of the zombie, spam sending Windows systems out there.

    - Singularity
    What about Hurd and every other experimental OS out there?

    - Combining the Back and Forward history buttons into one navigation stack control in IE7
    Safari has had a single forward / back UI component since 2003.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Safari_Web_Browser.png

    - Browser runs in a sandbox (IE7 on Vista)
    Sorry, but this is a hack to fix security design flaws of Active X, not an innovation.

    - First browser with anti-phishing tech
    Also part of Firefox 2.0

  150. @ Stan…

    Did you actually research these? Here are a few I can dispute off the top of my head…

    - On-the-fly spell check in word processors
    NeXT had system-wide realtime-spellcheck since 1992. The entire OS. Microsoft added real-time spell-check to Office (and just Office) in 1998. Cocoa apps in Mac OS X, such as Safari, get real-time spell-check for free(including the form I’m typing in right now). .NET apps in Windows won’t have real-time application-based spellcheck until .NET 3.0, which is scheduled to be released with Windows Vista.

    - Wizards
    This is an innovation? Wizards are a poor substitute for usable UIs.

    - Bob
    So we’re counting failed innovations now?

    - Taskbar
    NeXT Step shipped in 1988 with a taskbar / Dock.

    - Lots of small innovations in .NET that when combined equal large cumulative innovation.
    So why didn’t Microsoft build Vista on top of WinFX? instead of Win32?

    - ActiveX
    Good Idea. Horrible implementation. You can thank ActiveX for at least 70% of the zombie, spam sending Windows systems out there.

    - Singularity
    What about Hurd and every other experimental OS out there?

    - Combining the Back and Forward history buttons into one navigation stack control in IE7
    Safari has had a single forward / back UI component since 2003.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Safari_Web_Browser.png

    - Browser runs in a sandbox (IE7 on Vista)
    Sorry, but this is a hack to fix security design flaws of Active X, not an innovation.

    - First browser with anti-phishing tech
    Also part of Firefox 2.0

  151. Didn’t Microsoft extend the copy/paste paradigm to file management, so that copy/paste can be used to copy files and cut/paste can be used to move them? Were they not also the first to allow file management within File-Open and File-Save dialogs?

    I know they had both of the above before Apple.

  152. Didn’t Microsoft extend the copy/paste paradigm to file management, so that copy/paste can be used to copy files and cut/paste can be used to move them? Were they not also the first to allow file management within File-Open and File-Save dialogs?

    I know they had both of the above before Apple.

  153. @80
    LayZ, if Apple or some OSS outfit had something to compare with that XNA video (that’s incidentally making its way around the video game message boards that I visit), you would have immediately splooged all over your monitor. lol You’re the first person I’ve seen to even feign apathy towards it.

  154. @80
    LayZ, if Apple or some OSS outfit had something to compare with that XNA video (that’s incidentally making its way around the video game message boards that I visit), you would have immediately splooged all over your monitor. lol You’re the first person I’ve seen to even feign apathy towards it.

  155. * Vista’s ability to allow the user to increase RAM simply by plugging in a USB 2.0 flash drive

    It was possible to put swap files on USB (and any other) disks long time ago at Linux. Even more – it’s possible to both turn-on / turn-off paging on the fly – Windows can only add more swap – return back was only after reboot.

  156. *79

    Saw them put in a breakpoint and look at variable values, this has been done for more than 20 years. Didn’t see them edit the running code in the debugger. Probably didn’t have an opportunity to do this.

    xna looks interesting. Wonder if someone will use this to put linux on the xbox. How will mono work with this?

  157. * Vista’s ability to allow the user to increase RAM simply by plugging in a USB 2.0 flash drive

    It was possible to put swap files on USB (and any other) disks long time ago at Linux. Even more – it’s possible to both turn-on / turn-off paging on the fly – Windows can only add more swap – return back was only after reboot.

  158. *79

    Saw them put in a breakpoint and look at variable values, this has been done for more than 20 years. Didn’t see them edit the running code in the debugger. Probably didn’t have an opportunity to do this.

    xna looks interesting. Wonder if someone will use this to put linux on the xbox. How will mono work with this?

  159. *79

    Posting my thoughts as I watch the video…

    1. doesn’t work with wireless? Bummer.

    2. Cool the Xbox 360 works with 1080!

    3. What’s with all those lines on the screen? ugh.

    4. Jaggies!

    5. Now that the game is running full out, I like it very much! Isn’t as cool as Project Gotham 3 though. PG3 seems to run faster and smoother.

    6. Managed Code is bloatware with garbage collection.

    7. OK, OK now I get this, XNA basically exists for one reason… to let you move your code from your Windows Visual Studio PC straight to your Xbox… AND NO WHERE ELSE! In other words it’s another way of locking in developers to the Xbox 360.

    More vendor Lock in. No thank you.

  160. *79

    Posting my thoughts as I watch the video…

    1. doesn’t work with wireless? Bummer.

    2. Cool the Xbox 360 works with 1080!

    3. What’s with all those lines on the screen? ugh.

    4. Jaggies!

    5. Now that the game is running full out, I like it very much! Isn’t as cool as Project Gotham 3 though. PG3 seems to run faster and smoother.

    6. Managed Code is bloatware with garbage collection.

    7. OK, OK now I get this, XNA basically exists for one reason… to let you move your code from your Windows Visual Studio PC straight to your Xbox… AND NO WHERE ELSE! In other words it’s another way of locking in developers to the Xbox 360.

    More vendor Lock in. No thank you.

  161. *79

    I’m having an off day today because it took me too long to figure this out. it just hit me why it doesn’t work with wireless.

    If it worked with wireless you could send it to ANY device including a competitors device.

    That’s more proof of lock in. IMHO. Sneaky Microsoft strikes again. Lol!

  162. *79

    I’m having an off day today because it took me too long to figure this out. it just hit me why it doesn’t work with wireless.

    If it worked with wireless you could send it to ANY device including a competitors device.

    That’s more proof of lock in. IMHO. Sneaky Microsoft strikes again. Lol!

  163. MGB – The title of the post is ‘Is Microsoft Innovative’, not ‘How useful do you consider microsoft’s products to be?’

  164. MGB – The title of the post is ‘Is Microsoft Innovative’, not ‘How useful do you consider microsoft’s products to be?’

  165. *93

    Actually innovation most typically relates to the customer directly and sometimes exclusively in the form of usefulness. Just how useful does the customer find the innovations to be?

    The customer ultimately purchases from the company that offers the most usefulness.

    When you ask the question “Is Microsoft innovative” well, that’s a competive question that at once …

    1. invites an examination of Microsoft’s past, present and future potential level for innovation.

    2. invites a direct comparison of Microsoft’s innovations to other competitor companies.

    3. demands a cross section of opinion from past, present and even former customers of their opinions on MS’s innovations.

    Everyone can benefit from these questions and examinations. Microsoft especially. Let it be understood, an examination of innovation is totaly meaningless unless one considers the usefullness of said innovation to the end customer.

    That’s not only common sense, that’s basic business 101.

  166. *93

    Actually innovation most typically relates to the customer directly and sometimes exclusively in the form of usefulness. Just how useful does the customer find the innovations to be?

    The customer ultimately purchases from the company that offers the most usefulness.

    When you ask the question “Is Microsoft innovative” well, that’s a competive question that at once …

    1. invites an examination of Microsoft’s past, present and future potential level for innovation.

    2. invites a direct comparison of Microsoft’s innovations to other competitor companies.

    3. demands a cross section of opinion from past, present and even former customers of their opinions on MS’s innovations.

    Everyone can benefit from these questions and examinations. Microsoft especially. Let it be understood, an examination of innovation is totaly meaningless unless one considers the usefullness of said innovation to the end customer.

    That’s not only common sense, that’s basic business 101.

  167. I just read something at the Microsoft’s XNA blog that seems appropo.
    Check out the December 3, 2006 entry at the XNA blog, entitled “XNA Game Studio Express and the DEMMX Awards”

    http://blogs.msdn.com/xna/archive/2006/12/03/xna-game-studio-express-and-the-demmx-awards.aspx

    Turns out that Microsoft’s XNA won two categories at last week’s DEMMX Awards
    http://www.demmx.com/demmx/awards/2006.jsp:
    * Game Innovation of the Year
    * Best of Show: Innovator of the Year

    Do you see a common word in both of those awards? You got it, “innovation/innovator”. Case closed.

  168. I just read something at the Microsoft’s XNA blog that seems appropo.
    Check out the December 3, 2006 entry at the XNA blog, entitled “XNA Game Studio Express and the DEMMX Awards”

    http://blogs.msdn.com/xna/archive/2006/12/03/xna-game-studio-express-and-the-demmx-awards.aspx

    Turns out that Microsoft’s XNA won two categories at last week’s DEMMX Awards
    http://www.demmx.com/demmx/awards/2006.jsp:
    * Game Innovation of the Year
    * Best of Show: Innovator of the Year

    Do you see a common word in both of those awards? You got it, “innovation/innovator”. Case closed.

  169. I’m not sure why MS bashers are so desperate to dispute MS’s innovations. It’s not like open source has done anything innovative.

  170. I’m not sure why MS bashers are so desperate to dispute MS’s innovations. It’s not like open source has done anything innovative.

  171. @90
    Tim, setting a break point isn’t the whole of XNA. ;-) You have to look at the whole of what’s being provided, as well as how it’s being provided.

    BTW, the DEMMX awards were held last week, and Microsoft picked up two awards for their XNA work, both for “innovation”.

    http://www.demmx.com/demmx/awards/2006.jsp

    1. Best of Show – Innovator of the Year:
    Microsoft XNA Game Studio Express (Microsoft Corporation)

    2. Games – Game Innovation of the Year:
    Microsoft XNA Game Studio Express (Microsoft Corporation)

  172. @90
    Tim, setting a break point isn’t the whole of XNA. ;-) You have to look at the whole of what’s being provided, as well as how it’s being provided.

    BTW, the DEMMX awards were held last week, and Microsoft picked up two awards for their XNA work, both for “innovation”.

    http://www.demmx.com/demmx/awards/2006.jsp

    1. Best of Show – Innovator of the Year:
    Microsoft XNA Game Studio Express (Microsoft Corporation)

    2. Games – Game Innovation of the Year:
    Microsoft XNA Game Studio Express (Microsoft Corporation)

  173. *95

    As a quote “MS basher” unquote, l have a few things to say…

    1. Concerning open source:

    Opensource has always been highly innovative, in fact the entire computing industry first started in the early days as open source. The software at first was all free. I suggest you go read Stephen Levy’s book “Hackers” for a start, you WILL learn something son.

    2. Concerning Microsoft:

    Microsoft is a VERY innovative company. I have no problem with their innovations and I give them full credit for their innovative work. I give them hell for it at times, but they do innovate.

    But right now what I really REALLY need more than anything else is a secure system.

    XNA, cleartype etc may be wonderful to work with but it means bugger all NOTHING if my system spends most of it’s useful time fighting off security woes like marware, malware, trojans and viruses and the like.

    It’s the 21st freaking century. The computer revolution is decades old. Linux, OS X, FreeBSD, NetBSD, BeOS etc… NONE of these system suffer from the awesome security problems that Windows does. That’s why guys like Dave Winer abandoned Windows as a viable platform. That’s also why guys like Chris Pirillo complain about inconsistencies in the UI. OS X doesn’t suffer from the UI glitches that Windows does.

    (Catch Chris Pirillo’s podcast inteview with Ed Bott on Vista beta 2, it’s extremely harsh and well deserved criticism.)

    The gross incompetence at Microsoft is staggering to the imagination!

    The problem isn’t whether Microsoft can innovate or not. The problem is that Microsoft is too freaking big, their fingers are in too many pies and they have finally become what they both hated and envied most…. IBM. A pathetically sluggish lumbering company far too large to act quickly in a lightning fast moving industry.

    Microsoft’s innovations, as wonderful as they are, are TOTALLY IRRELEVANT if they can’t even deliver a simple basic system with solid security and a solid UI.

    And WORST of all is if we, the poweruser crowd, can’t even offer simple and well DESERVED constructive criticism of these horrific flaws without being called childish names like “macfan boys” and “MS Bashers” then we are clearly wasting our time.

    I’m a hardcore poweruser, my needs are more. I’ll always want more, I’ll always want the best! Who ever delivers the best, gets my cash. Right now IMHO it’s Apple.

    As far as I am concerned, Microsoft is running dead last in a five man race. I’d love to see them catch up, I’d even love to see them win. Seriously I would! But as things stand now, they are losing. And I just can’t invest my future with losers.

    Sorry, that’s just hard reality. I intend no malice towards Microsoft, I’m just being practical.

    C’est la vie.

  174. *95

    As a quote “MS basher” unquote, l have a few things to say…

    1. Concerning open source:

    Opensource has always been highly innovative, in fact the entire computing industry first started in the early days as open source. The software at first was all free. I suggest you go read Stephen Levy’s book “Hackers” for a start, you WILL learn something son.

    2. Concerning Microsoft:

    Microsoft is a VERY innovative company. I have no problem with their innovations and I give them full credit for their innovative work. I give them hell for it at times, but they do innovate.

    But right now what I really REALLY need more than anything else is a secure system.

    XNA, cleartype etc may be wonderful to work with but it means bugger all NOTHING if my system spends most of it’s useful time fighting off security woes like marware, malware, trojans and viruses and the like.

    It’s the 21st freaking century. The computer revolution is decades old. Linux, OS X, FreeBSD, NetBSD, BeOS etc… NONE of these system suffer from the awesome security problems that Windows does. That’s why guys like Dave Winer abandoned Windows as a viable platform. That’s also why guys like Chris Pirillo complain about inconsistencies in the UI. OS X doesn’t suffer from the UI glitches that Windows does.

    (Catch Chris Pirillo’s podcast inteview with Ed Bott on Vista beta 2, it’s extremely harsh and well deserved criticism.)

    The gross incompetence at Microsoft is staggering to the imagination!

    The problem isn’t whether Microsoft can innovate or not. The problem is that Microsoft is too freaking big, their fingers are in too many pies and they have finally become what they both hated and envied most…. IBM. A pathetically sluggish lumbering company far too large to act quickly in a lightning fast moving industry.

    Microsoft’s innovations, as wonderful as they are, are TOTALLY IRRELEVANT if they can’t even deliver a simple basic system with solid security and a solid UI.

    And WORST of all is if we, the poweruser crowd, can’t even offer simple and well DESERVED constructive criticism of these horrific flaws without being called childish names like “macfan boys” and “MS Bashers” then we are clearly wasting our time.

    I’m a hardcore poweruser, my needs are more. I’ll always want more, I’ll always want the best! Who ever delivers the best, gets my cash. Right now IMHO it’s Apple.

    As far as I am concerned, Microsoft is running dead last in a five man race. I’d love to see them catch up, I’d even love to see them win. Seriously I would! But as things stand now, they are losing. And I just can’t invest my future with losers.

    Sorry, that’s just hard reality. I intend no malice towards Microsoft, I’m just being practical.

    C’est la vie.

  175. The DEMMX awards were held last week, and Microsoft picked up two awards for their XNA work, both for “innovation”.

    Best of Show – Innovator of the Year -
    Microsoft XNA Game Studio Express (Microsoft Corporation)

    Games – Game Innovation of the Year -
    Microsoft XNA Game Studio Express (Microsoft Corporation)

  176. The DEMMX awards were held last week, and Microsoft picked up two awards for their XNA work, both for “innovation”.

    Best of Show – Innovator of the Year -
    Microsoft XNA Game Studio Express (Microsoft Corporation)

    Games – Game Innovation of the Year -
    Microsoft XNA Game Studio Express (Microsoft Corporation)

  177. For some reason my posts are showing, but I’ll try one more time.

    Microsoft picked up two awards for their XNA work, both for “innovation”.

    http://www.demmx.com/demmx/awards/2006.jsp

    Best of Show – Innovator of the Year -
    Microsoft XNA Game Studio Express (Microsoft Corporation)

    Games – Game Innovation of the Year -
    Microsoft XNA Game Studio Express (Microsoft Corporation)

  178. For some reason my posts are showing, but I’ll try one more time.

    Microsoft picked up two awards for their XNA work, both for “innovation”.

    http://www.demmx.com/demmx/awards/2006.jsp

    Best of Show – Innovator of the Year -
    Microsoft XNA Game Studio Express (Microsoft Corporation)

    Games – Game Innovation of the Year -
    Microsoft XNA Game Studio Express (Microsoft Corporation)

  179. “I’m not sure why MS bashers are so desperate to dispute MS’s innovations. It’s not like open source has done anything innovative.”

    I was not bashing Microsoft innovations. Just disputing those that were attributed to Microsoft when they clearly should not be.

  180. “I’m not sure why MS bashers are so desperate to dispute MS’s innovations. It’s not like open source has done anything innovative.”

    I was not bashing Microsoft innovations. Just disputing those that were attributed to Microsoft when they clearly should not be.

  181. @ MGB, How the hell do you know how secure Linux, OS X, FreeBSD, NetBSD, BeOS would be if they had the user base that windows does? Virus/Malware writers target the masses and users taht have little knowledge of how computers work. These OSs have neither the massive user base that windows does or the ignorant users that script-kiddies rely on.

    There’s no shortage of security vulnerabilities when it comes to open source software. Take a look on http://secunia.com/ and count up the number of advisories relating to open source software.

  182. @ MGB, How the hell do you know how secure Linux, OS X, FreeBSD, NetBSD, BeOS would be if they had the user base that windows does? Virus/Malware writers target the masses and users taht have little knowledge of how computers work. These OSs have neither the massive user base that windows does or the ignorant users that script-kiddies rely on.

    There’s no shortage of security vulnerabilities when it comes to open source software. Take a look on http://secunia.com/ and count up the number of advisories relating to open source software.

  183. @102: That old chestnut! Let’s imagine a scenario where there were more Linux / OSS systems and ‘power users’ then shall we?

    OK… I’m thinking ‘web servers’. Are you? Excellent. So by that argument, could we then say that most servers compromised by viruses / malware (worms?) would be Linux servers? I think the stats show otherwise…

    Besides all that: ignoring the ‘exposure’ do you honestly believe that people aren’t trying desperately to be the writer of the *first* dangerously harmful Linux virus? Of course they are!!

  184. @102: That old chestnut! Let’s imagine a scenario where there were more Linux / OSS systems and ‘power users’ then shall we?

    OK… I’m thinking ‘web servers’. Are you? Excellent. So by that argument, could we then say that most servers compromised by viruses / malware (worms?) would be Linux servers? I think the stats show otherwise…

    Besides all that: ignoring the ‘exposure’ do you honestly believe that people aren’t trying desperately to be the writer of the *first* dangerously harmful Linux virus? Of course they are!!

  185. @93 – Its a nice set of crieterea that you apply for ‘innovation’. Unfortunately that seems to apply only for microsoft. Take a look at my comments @66 which pretty much say the same thing.

    You were contending that things like innovations were not really innovations because they were *eroding* some skill. At that point you didnt say that they didnt benefit users. But @93 you are talking about innovations as benefitting users. I agree – innovations should benefit users.

    Now as per this criterea – when was the last time an widely used useful technology came out of open source? So Stan’s contention that open source is not innovative is validated by your argument. While its a great romantic idea, unfortunately any innovation has come only from closed propreitery orgs and not from open source.

    @98 – So what if Dave Winer swicthed from Windows to Mac?

    reg MSFT being too big to do anything meaningful – Its so surprising people often talk about this without having a real knowledge on how MSFT operates. Talk to any ex/current Microsoftie and see how independent the individual divisions operate inside. (Robert Scoble would agree with this.)

    @103 – Are you saying that in spite of desperate attempts to write a linux virus nobody has succeeded? Linux is that ‘bullet proof’?
    Besides, its more meaningful for a virus writer to target client OS. Servers are much more secure and tight. And they dont have malware downloads frrom the net every other day by unsuspecting users.

  186. @93 – Its a nice set of crieterea that you apply for ‘innovation’. Unfortunately that seems to apply only for microsoft. Take a look at my comments @66 which pretty much say the same thing.

    You were contending that things like innovations were not really innovations because they were *eroding* some skill. At that point you didnt say that they didnt benefit users. But @93 you are talking about innovations as benefitting users. I agree – innovations should benefit users.

    Now as per this criterea – when was the last time an widely used useful technology came out of open source? So Stan’s contention that open source is not innovative is validated by your argument. While its a great romantic idea, unfortunately any innovation has come only from closed propreitery orgs and not from open source.

    @98 – So what if Dave Winer swicthed from Windows to Mac?

    reg MSFT being too big to do anything meaningful – Its so surprising people often talk about this without having a real knowledge on how MSFT operates. Talk to any ex/current Microsoftie and see how independent the individual divisions operate inside. (Robert Scoble would agree with this.)

    @103 – Are you saying that in spite of desperate attempts to write a linux virus nobody has succeeded? Linux is that ‘bullet proof’?
    Besides, its more meaningful for a virus writer to target client OS. Servers are much more secure and tight. And they dont have malware downloads frrom the net every other day by unsuspecting users.

  187. There’s a lot of talk/speculation/hype around Apple releasing the “iPhone” in January. Excuse me, but isn’t this just a phone that plays music? By my research, Microsoft has been doing this since 2002 with their Windows Mobile Smartphone software. I’ve had a Smartphone since 2003 and have been able to play music as well as videos. I definitely call that innovative.

    When Jobs releases the iPhone, it will be interesting to hear how he spins it and what outlandish claims he’ll make. My prediction is that he’ll ignore all facts and claim that this is the first time it has ever been done.

    Sometimes I think their greatest at being innovative with stats, specs, marketing and claims of first ever things.

  188. There’s a lot of talk/speculation/hype around Apple releasing the “iPhone” in January. Excuse me, but isn’t this just a phone that plays music? By my research, Microsoft has been doing this since 2002 with their Windows Mobile Smartphone software. I’ve had a Smartphone since 2003 and have been able to play music as well as videos. I definitely call that innovative.

    When Jobs releases the iPhone, it will be interesting to hear how he spins it and what outlandish claims he’ll make. My prediction is that he’ll ignore all facts and claim that this is the first time it has ever been done.

    Sometimes I think their greatest at being innovative with stats, specs, marketing and claims of first ever things.

  189. Does Microsoft does innovate? I would say yes. Stan mentioned several examples of innovation at Micrososft…

    XNA
    Photosynth
    Office 2007 UI
    Intellisense
    ClearType
    OneNote

    However, for the most part, Microsoft is currently playing catch by copying or extending existing innovations – and usually does a poor job in the process.

    In addition, Microsoft tends to release products before they are really viable in the market. Examples? Media Center Extenders and tablet computing. Both of these products technically work as advertised, but lack major adoption due to market, technology or usability issues that had yet to be resolved.

    True innovation is not just developing something new, but refining and timing it’s release so it is truly successful in the market.

  190. Does Microsoft does innovate? I would say yes. Stan mentioned several examples of innovation at Micrososft…

    XNA
    Photosynth
    Office 2007 UI
    Intellisense
    ClearType
    OneNote

    However, for the most part, Microsoft is currently playing catch by copying or extending existing innovations – and usually does a poor job in the process.

    In addition, Microsoft tends to release products before they are really viable in the market. Examples? Media Center Extenders and tablet computing. Both of these products technically work as advertised, but lack major adoption due to market, technology or usability issues that had yet to be resolved.

    True innovation is not just developing something new, but refining and timing it’s release so it is truly successful in the market.