EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

06.14.08

The Great Microsoft Innovation Lie (and Software Patent News)

Posted in Apple, Courtroom, Deception, Law, Microsoft, Patents, Red Hat at 4:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants,” Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727)

Microsoft Innovation

Progress in development is cumulative, but for selfish reasons, some people pretend it ain’t so. “Innovation” has always been Microsoft’s principal buzzword and also justification (excuse) for deviating from standards. One Halloween Document reveals that Microsoft saw itself needing to “innovate” above standards in order to deny entry of Free software into the market (covered previously in [1, 2]).

Microsoft has been a master of hypocrisy in several different areas. In practice, the company seems to have invented very little. It just mass-marketed existing ideas, often leading to the illusion that it was an original creator due to wide distribution. Ideas needn’t be correlated to reach and media exposure though.

“It just mass-marketed existing ideas, often leading to the illusion that it was an original creator due to wide distribution.”As an example of this, consider Microsoft Surface. The idea was far from original. A reader has just sent us a pointer to Comes Vs. Microsoft exhibit 7278 [PDF] (mirror [PDF]). It’s quite fascination what you can find in several thousands of pages. In this antitrust exhibit (exposed briefly over a year ago), you can find out where Microsoft gets its ideas from. Remember that Microsoft settled the case to hide all of this damning material, but we are fortunate to have retained copies.

The person who sent us this pointer summarised it thusly: “See Microsoft innovate Avalon by downloading the Apple SDK.”

We have grabbed off the PDF just a portion of the text (quite a few E-mails are contained therein, but OCRing is laborious because of the poor quality of the scan). This text is a message which was sent to the most senior Windows managers (all of whom recently left or retired, Will Poole being the last one just about a month ago). As Jim Allchin sighs at the following, you must realise why he said he would choose a Mac had he not worked at Microsoft.


From: Vic Gundotra
Sent: Wednesday, 3une 30, 2004 8:29 AM
To: Jim Allchin; Brian Valentine; Will Poole; Joe Peterson
Cc: Sanjay Pathasarathy; Charles Fitzgerald
Subject: RE: tiger

Steve is trying hard to retain the developers he has left.

He showed “spotlight” functionality embedded in 4 different apps, then highlighted that developers can build (and should build) the same functionality in their apps,

I have SDK – will send to Quentin

They even showed a bit of extensibility in their design.

I don’t have details, but at first blush, I think they will be there 80% on developer platform too.

° Their Avalon competitor (core video, core image) was hot – lots of transparency, ripple effects, etc
̄° I have the coot widgets (dashboard) running on my Mac right now with all the effects he showed on stage. I’ve had no crashes in 5 hours.
° Their video conferencing was amazing (you have to see a demo),
° They have no indigo/web services story
° They are betting on RSS in a high profile way – so they will get credit for this too
° They have “agent” like software – I have it working on my Mac as of last night. It’s very cool scripting software for the entire system. You should see a demo of this – Jobs does it in his keynote
° I’ve enclosed a screen shot from Lenn of using Spotlight against locally cached exchange data. (You can point the built in mail client against an exchange server. The mail is copied down locally, and then “spotlight” works against it wickedly fast)

Video of Job’s talk is here: http://stream.apple.akadns.net/

The bits we deliver in Sept 05 PDC must be compelling, even in beta form. UI must be hot. We will be directly compared against tiger.

-vicg


Another fine examples of Microsoft ‘innovation’. Again, no wonder Allchin wanted to buy a Mac and said that Microsoft “must rise to the challenge of Linux.” This is just one example among many more, but it’s not a topic that we focus on in this Web site. The take-home message is that Microsoft wants to world to believe that Microsoft offers original ideas rather than copycats. Here is a classic:

“Hey, Steve [Jobs], just because you broke into Xerox’s store before I did and took the TV doesn’t mean I can’t go in later and steal the stereo.”

Bill Gates, Microsoft

Many people still believe that Microsoft is the ‘mastermind’ and genius behind the GUI, the word processor, the spreadsheet, etc.

Let’s look at some news, shall we?

Microsoft and Software Patents

Microsoft seems to have just downed itself when it applied for nothing less than a behavioural patent applied in software.

Microsoft patent brings Miss Manners into the digital age

Cell phones may be nearly ubiquitous in today’s world, but the number of people who have adopted proper cell phone etiquette (or gadget etiquette in general) often seems to be far smaller. Microsoft has filed for a patent (patent application 2008/125,102) on technology it feels could address such situations via the use of what the company refers to as a “digital manners policy,” or DMP for short.

We last wrote about the Yahoo-Microsoft situation just a few days ago. Here is an analysis of the intellectual monopoly assets Microsoft may be after. [via Digital Majority]

While Microsoft is undeniably the leader in terms of sheer number of patents/applications spread across over 100 IPCs (international patent classification codes), it has possibly lagged when compared to Yahoo! and Google in terms of innovation. Yahoo! emerges as a significant innovative player in this regard, probably more so than even Google. Given this scenario, Microsoft’s potential acquisition of Yahoo! would definitely prop up its IP arsenal against its battle for technology supremacy against Google.

Lastly, on the same topic, there is this roundup or at least a quick status report about the Microsoft-Avistar case [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

Patent Office now completes Microsoft’s review for patent re-examination of complete Avistar U.S. patent portfolio – Quick facts

[...]

Commenting on this, the company said it continues to expect that the remaining 10 patents will be validated, through re-examination process. The company also said that it continue to remain focused on business operations and have no further comment at this time regarding impact of these recent USPTO actions on patent discussions.

This battle has so far illustrated the drainage of energy and needlessness of such legal action. It could cost Avistar its life. Remember SCO?

How Patents Failed

With too broad a scope, the USPTO has certainly lost sight of its original objective. The sad state of the patent system has not only caused harm to many, but it even brought an entire new book, which is reviewed and thus promoted by Red Hat Magazine, which was recently forced to settle with trolls.

Patent Failure examines the current state of the American patent system based on the way it has traditionally been treated–as a type of property system. Using the yardstick of property rights and the economics they influence, Bessen and Meurer analyze the costs and benefits of patents to innovators. Their qualification: “If the estimated costs of the patent system to an innovator exceed the estimated benefits, then patents fail as property.”

As more proof of the sad state the patent system, watch the figure at the bottom of this new blog post.

How were people able to build beds with a headboard without paying royalties between 1969 and 1983?

Lastly, here is an article which speaks about patent trolls gaining sophistication. [via Linux Today]

When you’re driving down the highway and you see a spotless white tanker truck with a big green tree painted on the side, you can be pretty sure that it’s full of hazardous waste.

Likewise, companies with “innovation” in their names are generally innovation-hostile patent trolls. The problem isn’t just that they file for obvious patents, or patents on things that someone else already invented, but that they drag the enormous transaction costs of the patent system into the flexible world of software, where transaction costs are low.

[...]

By now, even the Mainstream Media is safely aware of the need to get rid of software patents. When a Cato Institute scholar is writing an anti-software-patent op-ed for the New York Times, you can’t get much more Mainstream than that.

There is a reference there at the end to immortal admissions from Chairman Gates himself. He truly forgot where he came from.

“If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today’s ideas were invented, and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today.”

Bill Gates

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, July 07, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, July 07, 2020



  2. Links 8/7/2020: Huawei’s GNU/Linux PC, Sparky 5.12, and Endless OS 3.8.4 Released

    Links for the day



  3. [Humour] Television Channels That Don't Speak of Real Looting But Participate in Looting

    People may need to look beyond (or outside) the television screen to grasp what's going on



  4. (Software) Freedom is Elusive Without the Ability to Concentrate

    Software is consuming people's minds; to make matters worse, people have become so attached to such software that they're unable to see it and get away from it (they associate that software with "social life")



  5. Monopolies Erode Freedom, Freedom Erodes Monopolies

    "There are so many reasons that GitHub makes projects less free."



  6. Links 7/7/2020: NomadBSD 1.3.2, Clonezilla Live 2.6.7 and DRM Comes to Cars

    Links for the day



  7. [Humour] IAM Ranked Top for Quality of EPO Propaganda

    Contrary to what the European Patent Office (EPO) keeps saying, patent quality is slipping very fast in Europe (based on the EPO's own analysis!) but patent trolls-funded publishers deny that



  8. When They're Done With Patents on Foods and Recipes They'll Have Patents on Fashion, Taste and Smell

    The mental dysfunction — an infectious condition — that says everything in the world must be patented should be resisted; it overlooks the fact that patents were introduced to protect/promote actual invention, not thoughts, feelings, nature and art



  9. [Humour/Meme] IBM's Money is Unhealthy to the Free Software Foundation (FSF)

    IBM will never be happy as long as RMS (Richard Stallman) has a say in the FSF — directly or indirectly — or even in the GNU Project, both of which he himself created back when IBM was the biggest monopolist



  10. IRC Proceedings: Monday, July 06, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, July 06, 2020



  11. Never Let IBM/Red Hat Lecture Us on Morality

    Ethics and morality should not be taught by those who themselves need a lesson; in the meantime we're losing the courage to speak freely and those who commit atrocious acts like it a lot better that way



  12. [Humour/Meme] Wear the Red Hat as the Open Org Becomes Openwash

    IBM is changing Red Hat and not for the better; sooner or later IBM will become another Microsoft and changing from one to the other will be like swapping 'masters'



  13. IBM is Imposing Non-Free, Privacy-Infringing Tools and Patent Tolls on Red Hat Staff

    There are signs that Red Hat under IBM will be more like assimilation to IBM, not IBM assimilating to the 'Red Hat way' or the so-called 'open org'



  14. They Tell the Free Software Community That It is Racist While Saying Nothing at All About Trump's Racism (Because He Gives Them Government and Military Contracts)

    While their president compares 'foreign' people to a virus (using innuendo, dog whistles and racist rhetoric reminiscent of the Nazi era) the big US corporations (American surveillance giants) turn their attention to rather innocuous words inside people's code (which almost nobody sees anyway)



  15. LibreOffice 'Personal Edition' Seems Like a Marketing and Communication Fluke

    Had LibreOffice developers (and the Document Foundation) communicated these changes more openly, they would have averted/avoided some of the FUD



  16. It Almost Feels Like Microsoft Has Already 'Bought' Canonical

    Canonical's disturbing trajectory and betrayal of the community continue unabated; one can easily get the impression that Ubuntu exists to help Microsoft at some level



  17. Update to GNU Project Bleeding into Microsoft

    Update



  18. Microsoft is Going to Get Tired of Whining About “GAFA” and Accept That It's Just as Bad If Not a Lot Worse at Privacy

    Microsoft is being treated by the US government as if it's not abusing anything, let alone people's privacy; if anything, this demonstrates the degree to which Microsoft infiltrated or 'vendor-captured' regulatory branches



  19. Links 6/7/2020: LibreOffice 7.0 RC1, MX-19.2 KDE Beta 1, Linux 5.8 RC4

    Links for the day



  20. ZDNet's 'Linux' Section: Linux is Full of Problems and It Loves/Embraces Software Patents

    Software patents promotion and GNU/Linux FUD; your daily dosage of 'news' from the tabloid known as ZDNet...



  21. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, July 05, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, July 05, 2020



  22. Links 5/7/2020: Slackel 7.3 Mate Beta and GNOME Gingerblue

    Links for the day



  23. Technological Progress? Only If We Assume The Wrong Things...

    When we're told that we're all dumb we're being given increasingly dumb technology (and they tell us dumber is better)



  24. Linux Foundation Still Owned and Controlled Largely -- and More Over Time -- by Surveillance Companies (Openwashing Services for Bad Practices and Bad Actors)

    The Linux Foundation‘s growing role in spying or the focus on data-mining operations is an eternal reminder or warning that the Foundation follows power and money, not freedom or ethics (it began as a salary-paying venture, crowdfunding among large corporations which conduct mass surveillance)



  25. Sharing is Caring, as Those Who Share Usually Care

    Going back to our human roots, people who cooperate and collaborate are vastly more likely to survive and thrive; Free software is almost guaranteed to become the norm when/once everyone demands it (proprietary software is too divisive, supremacist and even racist)



  26. Systems Can Crash and People Can Die by Changing Language (Even in Parameter and Function Space) to Appease Activists

    It seems clear that Intel takes the lead in trying to change Linux not in technical means but purely social means; even when (and where) that can compromise the robustness of the kernel (Intel is nowadays known for profoundly defective chips with back doors)



  27. António Campinos Should Speak to Peasants, Not Litigation Lawyers

    Mr. Campinos does not work for campinos but against campinos; he represents the people who sue or threaten them using ludicrous patents that should never have been granted (e.g. in Ethiopia)



  28. Christine Lambrecht (German Minister of Justice and Consumer Protection) Ignores the Fact That Even Patent Experts Reject the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    The debacle single-handedly caused by and attributable to Christine Lambrecht, who is eager to appease litigation lawyers, is made yet worse by the fact that people in this domain/profession reject what she's trying to ram down people's throats



  29. [Humour] The Linux Foundation is Not Even Using Linux

    The Linux Foundation does not support Linux except in name; it is important to remember that



  30. Microsoft Loves Power

    An explanation of why Microsoft says it loves this and that; Microsoft lacks the capacity to love or to express empathy as it's always about self gratification or coercion, nothing else


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts