Linked by umad on Thu 25th Aug 2011 22:51 UTC
Apple I thought OSNews would be a good forum to talk about a matter that has been weighing on my mind lately primarily because the site has been so focused on Apple's patents and litigation as of late. The news that HP, the largest PC manufacturer in the world is spinning off or getting out of this business is what really prompted me to write this article.
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RE: Wait a minute...
by atsureki on Fri 26th Aug 2011 20:46 UTC in reply to "Wait a minute..."
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How much of the industry is littered with make-believe stories and innuendo?

Your entire post is innuendo, but let's just answer your question.


At the end of the day, the GUI that made the Mac unique was a Xerox invention. How many operating systems owe their very existance to them? I know Apple people claim they were compensated, but is this really so?


It is not a humble opinion, but a matter of public record that Xerox invented much of what became Lisa and the original Mac, and subsequently the entire popular concept of a "computer". Apple did a lot of work in enhancing the UI and creating a consumer-grade machine powerful enough to run it, but a lot of the original R&D owes to Xerox.

Steve Jobs and Apple engineers were specifically invited to tour PARC and see their inventions. In exchange for early access to Apple stock at a reduced price, Apple got to make products based on PARC concepts. Xerox invested itself in a company capable of delivering products based on its inventions, in order to share in any resultant success.

Two crucial points. One, the arrangement was Xerox's idea. Two, it was an offer exclusive to Apple.

Microsoft's Windows is a copy of an adaptation. They got early access to Mac technology -- including some of the GUI code -- to help them make an office suite for the new computers. Meanwhile, they made a clone behind Apple's back. Apple, apparently not considering it a threat, settled over Windows 1.0 with a license covering most of the GUI technologies Microsoft had cloned. When Microsoft continued to develop Windows into something much more Mac-like, Apple brought it to court, where it was determined that either their license covered what Microsoft was doing (the license was foolishly written to be perpetual), or what had started on the Mac and moved to Windows was not subject to copyright.

And here we are now, waiting to see if patents hold any more water than copyrights did.

It's also worth mentioning, that at the same time the Mac and PC were originally battling it out, the Amiga's operating system and user interface was light-years ahead of either of them. Never mind hardware specs.

Why is that worth mentioning? MacOS was already ahead of Windows at the time, so neither excellence nor originality won out, whether you take Amiga into consideration or not. Are you suggesting that if Apple had been more consistently and aggressively litigious, Amiga might not be around today? (Perish the thought.)

So what exactly is the argument presented in this article? If they had begun suing much earlier then Apple (and therefore all of us) would be much better off? Or is just a tale of bitterness and/or morality?

The argument, as I interpret it, is that Apple got shafted and knows enough to try not to get shafted again by whatever legal means it can muster. Having done some reading to respond to you, one interesting loophole I noticed is that UI elements weren't found to be out of scope of copyright per se, just that none of the ones Microsoft was using unlicensed were covered, nor was the overall innovative arrangement ("look and feel"). Since Apple didn't license the iOS interface to Google, they may even still have copyright ammunition despite the Look and Feel outcome.

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