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05.24.10

Claiming Innovation for What’s Not

Posted in Apple, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Marketing, Microsoft at 5:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: Disinformation in the press gives Microsoft credit for ideas it merely copied; herein we rebut

Microsoft is not an inventive company. It never was. Microsoft is good at adopting other people’s ideas and then mass marketing/patenting them. That’s not innovation, it’s just consumerism maybe.

“More Profit Than Prophet” is what The Atlantic claims Bill Gates to be. He is a businessman, not a scientist with foresight (and anyone who is sufficiently familiar with Microsoft’s history will say the same). He just copied other people’s ideas from the very start. “In my case,” said Bill Gates, “I went to the garbage cans at the Computer Science Center and I fished out listings of their operating systems.”

Anyway, here is the piece from The Atlantic. It shows Gates’ many unfulfilled predictions.

It’s been 15 years since Bill Gates published The Road Ahead, a book packed with the Microsoft founder’s predictions about the future. How do Gates’s prophecies hold up now that the road ahead has arrived?

Despite the obvious, some sites wrongly attribute the hypePad to Gates [1, 2, 3]. The hypePad is neither innovative nor is it Gates’ idea; It’s more of a cult item. And anyone who bothers studying the history of mobile computers will see that neither touchscreens nor mobile devices like the hypePad (most are running Linux these days) are Microsoft’s invention. In the mainstream press they often ignore a lot of prior art and pretend that just two companies, namely Apple and Microsoft, exist. It makes good headlines and a game of two teams (like the elections). We ought to point out that Microsoft used the same lies about Surface, which GNU/Linux-based projects (with working prototypes in research) predate by a long time.

Is there any true Microsoft innovation? Something that truly came out of nothing? Needless to say, innovations never come about this way. Apple is not innovative either and it’s rather conformist. Free software probably breeds the most innovation because of freedom of thought and creation.

“We’ve always been shameless about stealing great ideas.”

Steve Jobs

“Why join the navy if you can be a pirate?”

Steve Jobs

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5 Comments

  1. The Mad Hatter said,

    May 24, 2010 at 6:52 am

    Gravatar

    Microsoft Innovation is an oxymoron.

  2. Yuhong Bao said,

    May 24, 2010 at 11:29 am

    Gravatar

    Yea, to be more precise, the iPad is a bigger screen version of the iPhone.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    It’s more than that, but it doesn’t have anything too distinct which wasn’t seen before.

    The Mad Hatter Reply:

    Mostly. I’ve played with one, and while there are differences, you can run the same software, so essentially they are the same.

    No matter what, the IPad has been a success so far for Apple. This is a huge plus for Linux, as Slate computers have now been defined as non-Windows. Since Linux slates will come with options that the IPad won’t have, they should be able to grab a significant share of the market, and then expand into the desktop market.

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