Linked by David Adams on Sat 31st Jul 2010 06:05 UTC, submitted by fran
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless Microsoft had its annual financial analyst meeting on Thursday, and Steve Ballmer answered questions about what the company's answer to the iPad was going to be, and whether Windows Phone 7 was going to be a part of that product strategy. He said, "We're coming . . . We're coming full guns. The operating system is called Windows." Ballmer and Microsoft so don't get it. I can't believe Steve Ballmer is making me feel sorry for Microsoft.
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RE: The touch revolution
by tupp on Sun 1st Aug 2010 23:00 UTC in reply to "The touch revolution"
tupp
Member since:
2006-11-12

Geez Louise!


The move from the desktop/mouse interface to the couch/mobile/touch interface is as big as the transformation of PC's by the GUI 25 years ago. That revolution was pioneered by Apple as well.

Such notions might be true in the Apple RDF, but not in the real world.

Of course, 90% of the GUI that is common today was developed at Xerox years before Apple computer existed. Apple fans can argue that Apple "bought" the technology and hired some Xerox employees. Nevertheless, the fact remains that the modern GUI was not invented by Apple.

Furthermore, the first open sales of computers with a modern GUI began in early 1980, with the Three Rivers Perq: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PERQ

So, the Perq GUI computer was being openly marketed and sold three years before the first Apple GUI computer appeared. In regards, to the time-line of innovation, it really doesn't matter when an invention is marketed and/or sold. I mention these facts merely because a lot of Apple fans somehow equate marketing and sales with innovation, but Apple was not the first in either area.

The Perq had almost all of the features that we see in current common GUIs/computers: mouse and/or trackpad; floating windows; floating menus (drop-down menus are just floating menus stuck to the top of the window/screen); drag-&-drop; GUI animations; etc. It even had the first dock: http://yahozna.dyndns.org/computers/perq/photos/accent-small.jpg

There were other GUI computers/OSs before Apple, including the Xerox Star and Visi On. Incidentally, an early public demo of Visi On is what inspired Bill Gates to create Windows -- not Apple.


The touch revolution started by Apple has been rolled out in a pitch perfect development cycle.

Wow! All of those zillions of touch screens that appeared in the 1980s on ATMs and on slot machines came from Apple? Apple certainly started the "touch" revolution!


First Apple spent a long time developing a very robust and extendible software foundations for their touch products - i.e. MacOSX.

Yes. I remember that it took a very long time for OSX to get to the point that my friends using OS9 weren't scared to use it.


Then they thought a long time about the interface issues which go much deeper than skin deep and are actually about an entirely new computing metaphor and interface.

Does it ever occur to anyone else that Apple fans often make-up fantasies in their heads and, then, proclaim these notions as fact?


Apple are very good at this.

Apple certainly did "good" on their Iphone touch interface with: cut-&-paste; typing ellipsis; typing numbers; and making readable file names: http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2470148&tstart=45...

Let's not forget the wonderfully effective Newton touch interface (which was preceded by others, including a Sony touch pda). "Eat up Martha!"


Then they launched nothing until it was truly market ready, they could have pitched a half finished iPhone into the market two years earlier but chose not too.

Oh. That goes without saying! Apple has a long history of never "launching" anything, until it they are sure that "it just works," such as:

- overheating original Mac (tell-tale sign of things to come);
- the round mouse;
- overheating laptops;
- ipod batteries dying;
- lack of connectivity;
- non-standard, proprietary connectors;
- glass laptop touchpads cracking;
- Imac 27" yellow screens;
- Imac graphics issues (black screens on boot-up);
- MacBook plastics cracking;
- MacBook fan "mooing" (fixed with firmware);
- Time Capsule PSU death;
- iPhone 3G/3GS case cracking;
- G5 cooling issues;
- Magsafe connector/cable shorting and burning;
- Mighty Mouse ball susceptible to constant malfunction from dirt;
- Machined laptop enclosures that bent (caused them to go back to plastic);
- Iphone 4 back glass suceptible to shattering;
- and, last but not least, the Iphone 4 antenna fiasco!

This is just off the top of my head -- this list is not exhaustive -- and, probably, the number of serious engineering/design problems in this list is greater than the total number of similar problems for the last decade from all of the major, non-Apple, electronics manufacturers combined!

[Part 2 of this response is posted below]

Edited 2010-08-01 23:17 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: The touch revolution
by sorpigal on Mon 2nd Aug 2010 18:23 in reply to "RE: The touch revolution"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02


"The move from the desktop/mouse interface to the couch/mobile/touch interface is as big as the transformation of PC's by the GUI 25 years ago. That revolution was pioneered by Apple as well.

Such notions might be true in the Apple RDF, but not in the real world.

Of course, 90% of the GUI that is common today was developed at Xerox years before Apple computer existed. Apple fans can argue that Apple "bought" the technology and hired some Xerox employees. Nevertheless, the fact remains that the modern GUI was not invented by Apple.
"

While I share your dismay at the somewhat breezy was the GP declared Apple the god of computer UIs, you must be perfectly correct and say that Xerox pioneered the GUI *concepts* that are common today. The actual UI they developed influenced many, but Apple is responsible for the, shall we say, application of it that became popular.

What PARC gave us was a metaphor and an approach, Apple created one implementation of the vision and most people followed Apple's lead from there. If you examine the GUIs that are Xeroxy that came out prior to the Mac, and up to shortly after, you'll find many things which are just a bit odd by today's standards. GUIs where development began after 1984 are mostly quite Mac-like.

There is certainly a strong Apple influence going in here.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: The touch revolution
by tupp on Mon 2nd Aug 2010 21:49 in reply to "RE[2]: The touch revolution"
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

... Xerox pioneered the GUI *concepts* that are common today.... but Apple is responsible for the, shall we say, application of it that became popular.

Xerox is responsible for most of the GUI features and for the application of those features.

Also, the general arrangement/look of today's common GUI first appeared in Xerox machines, although this arrangement is somewhat obvious, and, probably, would have appeared somewhere, eventually.


What PARC gave us was a metaphor and an approach, Apple created one implementation of the vision and most people followed Apple's lead from there.

Can you be a little more specific? What exactly in terms of "implementation of the Xerox vision" did Apple "create?"

Again, there were several other versions of the GUI being sold to the public years prior to Apple's GUI, and there were others who were releasing their GUIs having more refined "looks" almost simultaneously with Apple's first release, so it is difficult to imagine how anyone can claim that most followed Apple's lead.


If you examine the GUIs that are Xeroxy that came out prior to the Mac, and up to shortly after, you'll find many things which are just a bit odd by today's standards. GUIs where development began after 1984 are mostly quite Mac-like.

I have to strenuously disagree.

Here is a 1982 video about the Xerox Star: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODZBL80JPqw

The first screenshot appears at 00:32. The presenter demonstrates icons, scrollbars, window headers, and window header commands. At 04:10, we see a contextual window (called a "property sheet"), with menu buttons (menu contents appear below in the window). The video also shows floating/overlapping windows, and the Star also had drag-&-drop. The features and configuration are almost identical to what we have today, but with a more primative styling.

By the way, at 06:36, note the font on the window header and on the keys of the keyboard. Remind you of a default font from another, later OS?

Other GUI features that we commonly use today appeared in other pre-apple GUIs, such as the dock (from the Perq), and drop-down menus (from Visi On, which had its first demo at the 1982 COMDEX).

Furthermore, the meaning of the term "Mac-like" is highly subjective. Fanboys with no sense of design history tend to see everything that has a decent aesthetic as "Mac-like," derived from Steve Jobs and Jon Ive. Every so often, a fanboy will apply the term to something that he/she doesn't realize existed prior to Apple:
TOURIST: "Wow! Look at the the Giza pyramids. They have such an elegant design.
CLUELESS FANBOY: "Yeah. Good thing that the pyramid builders decided to make them 'Mac-like!'"

People have been creating items with simple, superb design since the beginning of time. Even computer companies were hiring industrial designers, long before Apple existed. Apple wasn't, isn't and will not be the only company with decent design.

To me, BP's gulf oil well is very "Mac-like" (a catastrophic engineering failure from company that uses marketing to hide the true issues).

And if anything is "like" something else, surely, Apple products are "Braun-like": http://gizmodo.com/343641/1960s-braun-products-hold-the-secrets-to-...

Edited 2010-08-02 22:04 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2