Charles Arthur: Microsoft’s definition of ‘innovation’ different from everyone else’s

“There are signs, if you look closely enough, that the Windows licensing engine is starting to make Microsoft a bit, well, sclerotic. Recently the magazine BusinessWeek asked how well the company is going to handle moving into its corporate middle age. Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer were in no doubt that innovation would carry it forward. Not necessarily innovation that they’d come up with inside Microsoft, but also the sort where you make an idea workable. (It’s an interesting definition, which shows that Microsoft definitely works off a different dictionary from everyone else,)” Charles Arthur writes for The Independent.

Aruthur looks at the less-than-stellar successes of ‘Smart Displays’ or ‘Mira’ which died late last year, Tablet PCs that are proving to be an ultra-niche product, and “the Media Centre PC (or Center, depending which country you’re buying it in). This is intended to embody the ‘digital hub’ concept that Microsoft has ‘innovated’ from Apple’s Steve Jobs, who first enunciated it in January 2001.” Trouble is, writes Arthur, all of these so-called “innovations were hobbled almost from the start because they had terrible implications for the number of Windows licences Microsoft could sell.”

Full article here.


  1. Microsoft’s definition of ‘innovation’ different from everyone else’s? Yes and it completely different with over 5 million new features that no one ever associated with innovation.
    Innovation + Quicktime + Theft = Microsoft Windows Media Player
    see now how innovative was that.

  2. Imagine, if you can, that Microsoft was the only game in town. No Apple, Linux or anything else. What would they charge & all innovation stuck in a time-warp Soviet Russia style.

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