Microsoft Innovation?

 So SlashDot lead me to the following artickles: Microsoft and Invention and Microsofts unique innovation, and I wanted to write about Microsofts innovation.

The articles above praise Microsoft for their innovation (not surprising as the author works with Microsoft), but what have they actually invented recently? Sure, they invented windows, and Office, but that was years ago, and they basically re-worked inventions from Apple and Lotus to get there. They did a good job, I’ll give them that, but how about recent innovations?

Windows XP? Office 200x (whatever the current version number is)?

Are they really innovations? No. Office has just got slower since Office 97, and I have not seen any new features, let alone any I actually want (like getting the stupid auto-bullet point thing to work properly)

Windows XP is just a touch up on Windows 2000. It doesnt do anything new, and it has a horrible interface added (thank god I can go back to the old one still).

How about MSN Messenger I hear you say? ICQ was older, and just as good…

Autoroute They bought the company that makes it, so they just bought an invention…

This is my point. Microsoft has not made anything new in quite a while, anything new that is clever they bought.

The author in the above articles talks about Microsofts music and movie formats, and DRM. How are they even a good idea? I cannot play WMA on my linux box easily, it won’t play on my iPod at all? What part of that is actually a good idea?

As for the author attacking linux standards, at least if I encode my music with Ogg, anyone can get software to play them. In fact, anyone can write software to play them, as the algorithm is open, it is published and source code is available. So if you wanted to write a computer game, you are allowed (even encouraged) to use existing code to allow it to play my music on any machine you like!

The only company that I feel has really been inventive in home computing is Apple. The iPod was a revolution (although Creative did actually have hard disk players on the market first, they were not as small) and iTunes to update them was so simple.
Their OS makes so many tasks that would take you a long time to do on Windows a breeze.

Google also innovated. Their search engine was the start of good web searches, Gmail introduced the world to fast, high capacity web mail. Google maps has shown us that you can combine the yellow pages and a map.

In fact, there are many companies far more deserving than Microsoft to be remembered for their innovations.

About Anton Piatek

Professional bit herder, amateur photographer. Linux and tech geek
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