PC World: Microsoft innovation – an oxymoron

“Saddling the latest version of your company’s flagship product with a name that reminds old-timers like me of the Dodge Colt Vista or the even more ancient Oldsmobile Vista-Cruiser? At Microsoft, that’s what passes for innovation. In his opening speech at a recent Microsoft analysts meeting, CEO Steve Ballmer uttered the ‘i’ word no less than 24 times,” Stephen Manes writes for the October 2005 issue of PC World magazine.

“Excuse me? Microsoft’s history is largely about developing (or buying) and then aggressively marketing sometimes-improved variants of other people’s ideas. As long as there’s competition, Microsoft makes products that are just good enough or cheap enough to stifle it. Then it rests on its laurels and moves on to rework other ideas it didn’t originate,” Manes writes.

“What’s been revealed of Windows Vista is particularly sad,” Manes writes. “Defaulting to a mode that requires users to enter an administrative password before they can install programs? A security-enhancing idea, but one that’s been around for ages in Apple’s Mac OS X. Integrated search? Apple has it now. The Registry? There’s no sign of that monstrosity in OS X, but it’ll still be around in Windows Vista to drive users nuts. Copying the competition’s good ideas and retaining a bad one that you actually did originate: That’s innovation!”

Full article here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Microsoft debuts Dashboard Widgets, er, ‘Microsoft Gadgets’ – September 13, 2005
Microsoft appropriates Apple’s ‘brushed metal’ look for Office 12 for Windows – September 13, 2005
Windows czar Allchin says Apple copying Microsoft’s Windows Longhorn – April 27, 2005
Microsoft employees leaving due to (and blogging about) malaise smothering company – April 25, 2005
eWEEK Editor Coursey: Longhorn so far ‘looks shockingly like a Macintosh’ – April 25, 2005
Due in late 2006, many of Windows Longhorn’s features have been in Mac OS X since 2001 – April 25, 2005
Microsoft’s new mantra: ‘It Just Works’ ripped straight from Apple’s ‘Switch’ campaign – April 22, 2005
Apple CEO Steve Jobs on Microsoft’s Longhorn: ‘They are shamelessly copying us’ – April 21, 2005
Microsoft’s Windows Longhorn will bear more than just a passing resemblance to Apple’s Mac OS X – April 15, 2005
Silicon Valley: Apple CEO Steve Jobs previews ‘Longhorn’ – June 29, 2004
Apple CEO Steve Jobs: Mac OS X Tiger ‘is going to drive the copycats crazy – June 28, 2004
Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs previews Mac OS X 10.4 ‘Tiger’ to ship in the first half of 2005 – June 28, 2004
Apple takes dead aim at Microsoft, ‘Longhorn’ with WWDC Mac OS X 10.4 ‘Tiger’ ads – June 28, 2004
PC Magazine: Microsoft ‘Longhorn’ preview shows ‘an Apple look’ – May 06, 2004
Microsoft concerned that Longhorn’s look and feel will be copied if revealed too soon – August 25, 2003
Windows ‘Longhorn’ to add translucent windows that ripple and shrink by 2005 – May 19, 2003
Apple leads; Wintel follows as usual – November 11, 2002


  1. I sit here in an office in Hong Kong with my colleague. I’m working on a 15″ G4 Powerbook (the latest: 100MB HD, 128MB VRAM, YES!) and he’s on his Dell Latitude whatever (XP SP2).
    My blood pressure stays below average all day, whereas he’s about to have a stroke: “Outlook has encountered an error and has to close – OK?”
    I tell this guy to make sure his healthcare insurance hasn’t got any stress-related exclusions, because pretty soon he’s going to need it… And what does he have to look forward to: more of the same sh*t from Bill and Co.
    I figure a few more weeks of this and he’ll be a switcher – what’s been the final straw for most of you ex-M$ users out there?

  2. Of course Microsoft innovates!

    Shesh come on people! Look what they have done recently

    the iThrew
    the iChair
    at the iWall

    In fact Bill Gates is responsible for great innovations like

    iCensorship and of course the iFsked by iChina

    And the Team Microsoft created things like

    iNotCompatable and the great iNotSecure

    Not to mention iButtFugly and iDontWork

    Microsoft innovation at it’s best!!

  3. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” /> Cheers to PC World as they see what us Mac users see. Microsoft claiming inovation for what is really imitation and no imagination whats so ever. Let’s just copy the other guy “Apple” and rename what ever they made with our name and say it was our inovation that came up with it.
    So instead of a widget we have a gadget. Instead of spotlight we have searchlight and it goes on and on.

  4. This should help:


    Be glad you never have to try to fix something on your Mac with regedit. And be really careful with the registry on your PC if you are unfamiliar with it. Mistakes in editing the registry can ruin system stability (what little stability Windows users may enjoy, that is).

    If your question about the registry was tongue in cheek, forgive me for taking it literally. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />


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