Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 28th May 2008 03:15 UTC
Windows I personally doubted that Windows 7 would make an actual appearance during the Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer joint interview up on stage at the D6 conference, but as it turns out, it has made an appearance. During an interview conducted by Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher about Ballmer and Gates' past, present, and future, a short demo was given of Windows 7.
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RE: Finally
by mallard on Wed 28th May 2008 07:53 UTC in reply to "Finally"
mallard
Member since:
2006-01-06


Look at Google Desktop. MS was really shocked to see that happening. They already had the infrastructure built for years, but did not think about making a simple user interface. When they decided to do so, they were labeled "copycats".


They were labelled "copycats" because they were copycats. Microsoft had never had a significant presence in the web search business, yet as soon as Google start to become dominant they scramble together to make a "me too" product. That's what Microsoft do. As soon as they see somebody else doing something that is/they think will be successful, they copy it (or buy it if the company has not yet reached critical mass).

Windows -> Visi-On, Lisa, Mac, Xerox
DOS -> QDOS, CP/M
Windows NT -> OS/2*, UNIX to an extent
Word -> WordPerfect, etc.
Excel -> Lotus 123
Internet Explorer -> Netscape, Mosaic
etc, etc.

*Microsoft initially partnered with IBM on OS/2 development, so it is not a straight copy.

Reply Parent Score: 13

RE[2]: Finally
by sukru on Wed 28th May 2008 10:35 in reply to "RE: Finally"
sukru Member since:
2006-11-19


When they decided to do so, they were labeled "copycats".


They were labelled "copycats" because they were copycats. Microsoft had never had a significant presence in the web search business, yet as soon as Google start to become dominant they scramble together to make a "me too" product.


No actually MS had desktop search much before Google did. It's been around at least since Windows 2000, maybe earlier. MS copied many things, but desktop search is not one of them. (As I said they lacked a usable GUI).

While we're on the topic:

Windows -> MacOS. You're right here. but MacOS is a copy of Xerox, too.

DOS -> QDOS (MS bought QDOS and renamed it MS-DOS, no copying here)

Windows NT -> OS/2 (NT was actually supposed to be OS2/NT, yet IBM failed to provide enough support on the project, and MS decided to go on their own. NT is (or used to be) able to run OS/2 programs natively).

Word -> WordPerfect, etc. Once again you're right. However WordPerfect was in the same position of MS today: better product with less appealing GUI.

Excel -> Lotus 123. (This is a nice one. The first GUI spreadsheet (that I know) is Excel on Mac (ironically not windows). At that time (1985) Lotus was still text based.)

Internet Explorer -> Netscape, Mosaic (Nope. I was able to work with the Mosaic project manager during an internship. He told that the some of the mosaic team went on and founded Netscape, while some others joined MS to build Internet Explorer. Both are continuations, or in proper terms, forks of the original Mosaic code base).

I know MS has a very bad image, and they do many thing improperly. However much of the criticism is actually urban legends.

Edited 2008-05-28 10:36 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 9

RE[3]: Finally
by MamiyaOtaru on Wed 28th May 2008 10:54 in reply to "RE[2]: Finally"
MamiyaOtaru Member since:
2005-11-11

So buying a company or product (QDOS) or hiring people who worked on one (Mosaic) isn't literally "copying" but it's still "coming late to the party" which I think was the thrust of the OPs post.

Now I don't mind coming late to the party, as long as one improves what was there. But it doesn't get one much street^H^H^H cubicle? cred ;)

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: Finally
by -oblio- on Wed 28th May 2008 11:16 in reply to "RE[2]: Finally"
-oblio- Member since:
2008-05-27

DOS -> CP/M.
Internet Explorer -> Mosaic - MS bought/licensed the Mosaic source code from Spyglass (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spyglass%2C_Inc.).
And it's actually more like:
Windows NT -> OS/2, Netware, Unix.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Finally
by dlundh on Wed 28th May 2008 12:47 in reply to "RE[2]: Finally"
dlundh Member since:
2007-03-29

NT was actually supposed to be OS2/NT, yet IBM failed to provide enough support on the project, and MS decided to go on their own.

Source for this outrageous claim?

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[3]: Finally
by mallard on Wed 28th May 2008 13:25 in reply to "RE[2]: Finally"
mallard Member since:
2006-01-06

As another poster correctly realised, my point was that MS *always* come "late to the party". Weather they licence/buy a product or simply copy it is irrelevent.

Some further notes:

I know that Microsoft has "always" had a search engine, however, their presence has never been all that significant and, until Google became dominant, they didn't seem to care.

Windows did not just copy others at it's inception, but also throughout its development. The Windows 95 explorer shell is so similar to the contemporary Mac OS (with a bit of NextSTEP thrown in) that it's not even funny.

Yes, MS bought QDOS (like I said, they sometimes buy the competition rather than copy), but even QDOS was basically a CP/M clone.

I do not know the exact reasons behind the MS/IBM "split" over OS/2 and NT, but the fact remains that NT is somewhat "inspired" by OS/2. It also copies VMS, Netware and UNIX.

WordPerfect was not the only predecessor to Word, but probably the most popular.

Excel was certianly not the first GUI spreadsheet. Both Visi-On and the Apple Lisa included a spreadsheet in 1983. However, 123 was certainly the most popular spreadsheet before Excel.

The situation with Mosaic, IE and Netscape is complicated, but Microsoft still came *very* late to the party ("The Internet? We are not interested in it" -- Bill Gates, 1993 (may be apocryphal)).

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Finally
by FreeGamer on Wed 28th May 2008 13:33 in reply to "RE[2]: Finally"
FreeGamer Member since:
2007-04-13

Dude don't confuse Microsoft's UI for grep with Google Desktop.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Finally
by StephenBeDoper on Wed 28th May 2008 14:15 in reply to "RE: Finally"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

Ah, OSNews - where every old meme is new again.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Finally
by tupp on Thu 29th May 2008 04:23 in reply to "RE: Finally"
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

Windows -> Visi-On, Lisa, Mac, Xerox


Exactly what did Windows inherit that was originated in the Lisa and Mac GUIs?

Windows eventually did use a trash can (questionable value) and tried to hide the directory mapping like the Mac (a huge usability mistake for both Windows and Mac), but I can't think of one other GUI item originated by Apple that is used in any version of Windows. Apple actually has not innovated much of anything.

However, I can think of one very useful and significant item that originated in Windows and that was eventually picked-up in most GUIs -- the taskbar/dock (1985): http://toastytech.com/guis/bigw101.gif

Edited 2008-05-29 04:31 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1