“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.

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