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Not enough innovation?

© March 2009 Anthony Lawrence

Microsoft is worried about innovation in the tech industry: churchillclub.org/eventDetail.jsp?EVT_ID=807 (link dead, sorry) The Innovation Economy: R&D and a Crisis. That 's beyond rich..

Let's see, where did Microsoft get started? Oh, yeah, writing a Basic interpreter. Innovation? Well, no, more like porting. And assisted by "borrowing" other folks code:

(From Why software still stinks)

Bricklin sent waves of laughter through the auditorium by reading a passage from Lammers' interview with Bill Gates in which the young Microsoft founder explained that his work on different versions of Microsoft's BASIC compiler was shaped by looking at how other programmers had gone about the same task. Gates went on to say that young programmers don't need computer science degrees: "The best way to prepare is to write programs, and to study great programs that other people have written. In my case, I went to the garbage cans at the Computer Science Center and I fished out listings of their operating systems."

Sometime after that the young Mr. Gates complained bitterly when people ripped off the code he had ported with the help of reading other people's code. No apologetic "I stood on the shoulders of giants" humility for Billy - he was ticked off at being robbed.

Next, our young hero bought an operating system (very cheaply, of course) and licensed it to IBM - again, no innovation. That same operating system was bullied into wide use by tactics most of us would be ashamed by. More recently, Microsoft has been using secret cross licensing agreements. Is there any innovation to be seen there?

So let's see: Microsoft, having worked very hard to destroy any and all competition, with a long history of "borrowing", is now whining that there might not be enough innovation in tech?

Wow. Let's see: you build a dam and steal almost all the water, and then complain that not enough food is being grown? Pretty close?

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Inexpensive and informative Apple related e-books:

Take Control of Apple Mail, Third Edition

Photos for Mac: A Take Control Crash Course

Take Control of Parallels Desktop 12

Take Control of OS X Server

Take Control of the Mac Command Line with Terminal, Second Edition

More Articles by © Anthony Lawrence

Sun Mar 8 00:25:20 2009: 5631   BrettLegree

Yes, *thank goodness* we have Microsoft to thank for *all* of the innovation in the tech industry, what would we have done without them?

The sad thing is, I know there are some pretty innovative people working there, but the company's leaders are so concerned with getting all cozy with other business interests that potentially good ideas will never see the light of day.

Well, maybe it isn't that sad, once the company destroys itself, the good coders might start working for themselves and free their ideas!


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