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Where would we be without Bill Gates?
System: The following 30 messages were cut out of thread at: http://www.webmasterworld.com/microsoft_windows_os/3765295.htm [webmasterworld.com] by bill - 2:10 pm on Oct. 16, 2008 (jst +9)
What would we be without bill gates.. a big fat nothing. or at least 20 years behind what we are today...
Could it run 32bit applications - No. Could it protect one application from a crash in another - No. Did it support preemptive multi-tasking - No.
|Windows 2.1 supported 386 protected mode in 1988 |
I'm not entirely sure what you are referring to, but I think Apple were the first to adopt unicode (which is a major advantage in internationalization).
|What about the internationalization of operating systems and business applications? |
Perhaps not - here are a few examples of innovations by others.
|Are we using the same definition for innovation? |
Zip file compression
The graphical User Interface (GUI) and mouse
On-the-fly disk compression (now almost obsolete)
CD filing system
LS120 super-floppies (now obsolete)
Various video compression methods (such as MPEG and DIVX)
Various audio compression methods (including MP3 - a spin off from MPEG Video)
Various image compression methods (such as GIF, JPG, and PNG)
The modern internet browser (Netscape)
Flash (an abomination but some people like it)
UTF-8 character encoding (very useful for internationalization)
Where Microsoft holds innovative patents they were acquired by the purchase of other companies. Certainly they hold patents in areas such as interoperability, but some of these were bought and most, if not all, are intended to stifle the competition, not improve functionality for end-users.
And then, of course, there is possibly the biggest innovation of them all - open standards - that's one that Microsoft is fighting tooth and nail (whilst pretending otherwise).
Sure, you could point to something like .NET but that hasn't exactly set the world on fire, was designed mostly by a guy that was headhunted from Borland/Inprise, and the main intention was probably to kill off Java rather than to actually create something useful.
You could point to Frontpage and Frontpage extensions - I have no direct knowledge of these, but again they have had little impact and are considered by many to be absolutely hideous. You could point to ASP - but even this hasn't revolutionized the internet (and was also acquired by purchase anyway, as was Frontpage I think).
So, now you know what (my definition of) an innovation is, perhaps you could provide us with a list of Microsoft innovations.
|Could it run 32bit applications - No. Could it protect one application from a crash in another - No. Did it support preemptive multi-tasking - No. |
Sure it couldn't, and what mainstream OS could? Windows 3.1 more or less became the kind of GUI revolution that was necessary - that in itself was innovation, you know it's like saying first success T-model from Ford did not have ABS, sat-nav, came only in black colour so it means it was bad, no it wasn't - for the time it was innovative and revolutionary even.
The Model-T Ford was a genuine innovation by virtue of the fact that it was built on the first large-scale production line and consequently was vastly more affordable than other cars.
If you apply the "mainstream" standard, then, by definition, only mainstream OS vendors are capable of innovation. That's the most stupid suggestion I've heard for a very long time.
|what mainstream OS could? |
So far as I am aware, Microsoft did not conceive any single aspect of the GUI (except the blue-screen-of-death and possibly the taskbar) so crediting them with that as an example of their innovation is utterly absurd.
|Windows 3.1 more or less became the kind of GUI revolution that was necessary |
Innovators are people that have new ideas or apply old ideas in an entirely new way. Simply buying companies that have new ideas is not innovation. Simply stealing other people's ideas and making money from them is not innovation. Simply stealing other people's ideas and giving them away free to crush the opposition is not innovation either (Internet Explorer and Media Player, for instance).
So far, the only half-valid suggestions for innovation from Microsoft are the taskbar, a comfortable keyboard and the bundling of related software into a suite. But here's the thing, I reckon a little research would probably rule out even these suggestions as being original.
Microsoft is about thirty years old, and they still don't appear to have had one significant, useful and original idea. And let's be honest, getting rich from the ideas and efforts of others isn't new either!
And here's another major innovation that Microsoft had nothing to do with - Object Orientated Programming. They haven't even done a good job of utilizing this technology.
Actually, object-orientated-programming, whilst clever is seriously flawed but that's another discussion altogether.
|So far as I am aware, Microsoft did not conceive any single aspect of the GUI |
And Tesla did not conceive a lof of things in their car like actual batteries, steering, brakes, yet the whole thing - in a package, is a very innovative thing. Same with Windows - Microsoft managed to get a good package with elements of unique design, some or even many ideas certainly borrowed however as a package it was a very good one, very innovative for the time.
|Simply buying companies that have new ideas is not innovation. |
Buying those companies was a way to hire individuals who worked for them and started working for Microsoft. In some cases Microsoft hired directly (like with .NET), so what, you think nobody else does it? I don't really care how exactly Ford made his model T, some say he stole some ideas but his package was the winning one and that in itself was the innovation of Ford, just like Windows is for Microsoft.
|And here's another major innovation that Microsoft had nothing to do with - Object Orientated Programming. |
So what? Why won't you list a million of other things that Microsoft had nothing to do with, they sure are important however it would be endless discussion (like it seems now), the focus of this thread is on Microsoft, not some other entities that certainly did also many innovative things.
The reason Object-Orientated-Programming is relevant is that it is arguably the single biggest revolution in software development in the last forty years - Microsoft is a software company after-all.
They were way behind. At least three companies beat them to creating a decent GUI.
|very innovative for the time |
One original and useful idea is what I asked for and the candidates remain utterly pathetic for the world's largest software company. IBM invented such things as the floppy disk, now that's real innovation.
|The reason Object-Orientated-Programming is relevant |
No it's not relevant - the topic of the thread is "Microsoft innovations", not - "Great things Microsoft did NOT invent".
If they were way behind where are those companies that were ahead now? You crack me up really - it's like saying something like Tamagotchi was not innovation because elements of it were used (to much lesser effect) earlier.
What about Microsoft scroll mouse? That was real innovation and very useful one, perhaps you can dig up some history when someone else actually tried it first or that Microsoft perhaps bought the company that was working on this R&D all their life, who cares - it's innovative feature at the end of the day and I am not bothered if the only innovation in this case Microsoft did was to have people who spot such innovations.
I believe that's yet another idea they copied. If you have information to the contrary, I'll be happy to review it.
|What about Microsoft scroll mouse? |
I confess I had to look this one up but...
|it's like saying something like Tamagotchi was not innovation |
it's a silly little electronic toy. How is that relevant?
Well, Apple is still going strong and derivatives of the ARM processor are now the commonest CPU in the world. The Commodore Amiga has no significant direct legacy, but, without a doubt, that computer was very innovative. It is possible to be innovative without being successful. It is also possible be successful without being innovative - and the perfect example of that is Microsoft.
|If they were way behind where are those companies that were ahead now? |
I wonder what would happen if Apple concentrated on the OS and let other manufacturers create the hardware (for a small royalty, say $10 per complete computer). The price would drop dramatically and suddenly Apple's market share would increase enormously. Apple are great innovators, but maybe not so great at business!
Hey, I've just thought of a great Microsoft innovation - Product Activation (LOL).
|I believe that's yet another idea they copied. |
I believe I'll save a lot of time by not agrueing further about fairly obvious things. I'll let the readers of this thread draw their own conclusions.
Other important innovations by Microsoft:
Installation (operating system and apps, no need to hire a guru)
Help system (no need to buy books to learn the basics)
Windows Update (no need to hire a guru to keep the OS and apps up-to-date)
Remember this [query.nytimes.com...] ...
I'm not sure about that, but I'll give you the uninstall interface. I'm not aware of anyone doing that before.
Sorry, can't give you that one. Borland produced a context-sensitive help system for Turbo-pascal 5 (DOS circa 1988). If Microsoft got in before that, then I apologise.
That's arguable. The internet made it possible for the first time. You might also say that if the OS was right in the first place it wouldn't be necessary.
I don't use MS development tools. When did MS introduce auto-complete in their code-editors? Delphi had auto-complete around 1998 I think.
Can't give you that. I've had to fix many, many systems.
They invented Apple and Linux Fanboys, if Microsoft didnt make the mistakes they did there wouldnt be an industry of tech people who hate them and worship apple. Its called Tall Poppy Syndrome.
Other cool Microsoft innovations ...
Microsoft Visual Basic
[archive.org...] Fast forward to 12:45
Microsoft Visual C++
There is no doubt that Microsoft made the person computer a system for the masses. Most of the hate they face is deeply rooted jealousy. They were not only the first to achieve this milestone, but no one has been able to touch them since then.
Microsoft is to PCs what Google is to Search. Plain and simple.
Visual Basic is a sad and pathetic joke when compared with Delphi (but I think MS did just about get there first).
I think MS were first with Visual C++ too, but I remember a friend demonstrating the MS and Borland packages sometime around 1996 I think (with a minimal click-button/hello world program). There was no doubting the superiority of the Borland package in terms of ease of use (which is the main criteria for a visual development environment).
I'm not sure what to say about Outlook (never used it). From what I do know it's just an amalgam, nothing special, but reasonably well-liked. If it was the first single program to perform those functions then I suppose it's an innovation of sorts (but it's not exactly html/http/xml, i.e. something that made a real difference). All the examples I gave above of real innovation were new technologies, not programs.
How about this though, file searching (for text) worked beautifully in Windows 98 and 2000. In Windows XP, they introduced a silly animated puppy, but broke the main search function (and I don't think they fixed it even in SP3 but I haven't checked). Then along came Vista, and the file search became even worse. Many of the changes in Vista are retrograde steps that serve no purpose (other than to distinguish it from XP). Is that innovation?
I don't hate Microsoft and jealousy isn't really part of my nature, but Microsoft have wasted millions of man-hours of people's time by producing faulty products (and not releasing full documentation on the Windows API).
|Most of the hate they face is deeply rooted jealousy. |
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