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

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:

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[4]: Finally
by Clinton on Wed 28th May 2008 17:38 in reply to "RE[3]: Finally"
Clinton Member since:

I agree. If you come late to the party, you had better have something damn nice. Microsoft never does.

The only "me too" product Microsoft has ever produced that I think was better than the original is C#. It is less wordy than Java, from whence it came.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Finally
by tupp on Thu 29th May 2008 04:41 in reply to "RE[3]: Finally"
tupp Member since:

Coming late to the party? That's like not offering a multi-button mouse decades after every one else had one. Or perhaps it's like incorporating a dock/taskbar many years after it became popular in other OSs/GUIs. Or maybe it's like not offering GUI themeablilty while most other OSs/GUIs offer a plethora of themes.

Reply Parent Score: 1

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

DOS -> CP/M.
Internet Explorer -> Mosaic - MS bought/licensed the Mosaic source code from Spyglass (
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:

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[4]: Finally
by siride on Wed 28th May 2008 13:30 in reply to "RE[3]: Finally"
siride Member since:

It's well-documented on the Internet and elsewhere to the point that I thought it was common knowledge...until I saw your post.

You can start with the WikiPedia page:

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Finally
by sukru on Wed 28th May 2008 15:33 in reply to "RE[3]: Finally"
sukru Member since:

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?


When development started in November 1989, Windows NT was to be known as OS/2 3.0, the third version of the operating system developed jointly by Microsoft and IBM. ... This decision caused tension between Microsoft and IBM and the collaboration ultimately fell apart. IBM continued OS/2 development alone while Microsoft continued work on the newly renamed Windows NT. ...

(Sorry to further continue on this thread. I think both sides have always have something to say).

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Finally
by PlatformAgnostic on Wed 28th May 2008 17:05 in reply to "RE[3]: Finally"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:

The basic agreement at the inception of the NT project was for Microsoft to make the Core OS and IBM to do the presentation layer and the surface API. So Microsoft did the kernel (which was called NT OS/2 in the early design manuals) and the filesystem and all that stuff. At the same time Windows 3.0 took off separately and IBM was pissed off about that.

The agreement fell apart at this time for separate reasons and Microsoft adopted Win32 as the main personality layer of NT rather than OS/2.

Reply Parent Score: 2

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

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[4]: Finally
by helf on Wed 28th May 2008 18:10 in reply to "RE[3]: Finally"
helf Member since:


sorry... ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2

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

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

Reply Parent Score: 2