Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 12th Feb 2010 22:55 UTC
Microsoft Sometimes, the sheer size of a company like Microsoft can make it quite hard to see and realise just how large and profitable such a company can really be. In these kinds of situations, there's nothing like a clear graph to make all those pretty numbers tangible. Up to a point.
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tomcat
Member since:
2006-01-06

Bill co-wrote Microsoft Basic (v2.0 appearing on the Commodore 64). Everything from then on he bought and sold on (DOS included).


So, what's your point? That technology companies -- Microsoft, Apple, Google, etc -- acquire other companies and leverage their investments? That acquisition doesn't yield innovative products? You've got a tough sell there. Many, if not most, of the most widely used software products originated in acquisition targets. Quite frankly, I applaud any company that sees a shortcut to the future, and takes it, in the interest of getting an innovative product to market faster -- and leveraging the strength that comes from scale.

I would hardly call Microsoft Basic worthy of 'coding cred'. If you want cred, look at Woz's insane code in the Apple II, the guy was a programming wizard.


I don't think you fully understand the constraints that both Gates and Wozniak were operating under -- and it's the constraints that set them apart from today's innovation. Gates and Allen squeezed a full-featured BASIC interpreter + data into only 4K of memory. They did this with a variety of innovative tricks -- opcode alignment and jumps, self-modifying code, etc -- using 8080 assembly language. You may like to think that this doesn't give them "street cred" but, frankly, you're full of crap. Most devs today couldn't accomplish the same thing; especially, if they had to use the crude tools that Gates and Allen used at the time. It's a lesson in economy that modern devs would be well-advised to absorb. I'm not trying to minimize Woz, either. He was and remains a brilliant guy, and Apple wouldn't be where it is today without his contributions. Steve Jobs never had the "street cred" to create what either Gates or Woz created.

Edited 2010-02-13 21:50 UTC

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