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.
Thread beginning with comment 486889
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Wait a minute...
by Dr.Mabuse on Thu 25th Aug 2011 23:37 UTC
Dr.Mabuse
Member since:
2009-05-19

Microsoft was given access to the Macintosh early on and made its own copy of Apple's operating system. In addition to user interface concepts, Microsoft incorporated actual code from Apple into their software. When Microsoft sold their product, they in turn created a business model for countless PC manufacturers to build upon which would in turn create greater purchasing strength by the sheer number of company's buying the PC's standardized components.


Citation? Keeping in mind architecture differences (16-bit x86 vs 32-bit 68k), I find this highly improbable.

How much of the industry is littered with make-believe stories and innuendo?

IMHO:

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'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.

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?

More like wishful thinking to be honest...

Edited 2011-08-25 23:40 UTC

Reply Score: 13

RE: Wait a minute...
by Carewolf on Fri 26th Aug 2011 07:46 in reply to "Wait a minute..."
Carewolf Member since:
2005-09-08

This smells of second-hand information among Apple fanboys. Microsoft was convicted of using Apple code. It was video-for-windows which contained Quicktime code. So there is a grain of truth, but the conclusion is still non sequitur.

I am not sure why this is included in the article, but I suspect the article is fan-fiction.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Wait a minute...
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 26th Aug 2011 07:47 in reply to "RE: Wait a minute..."
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I am not sure why this is included in the article, but I suspect the article is fan-fiction.


Considering the author, we're lucky it's this mild.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE: Wait a minute...
by axilmar on Fri 26th Aug 2011 12:05 in reply to "Wait a minute..."
axilmar Member since:
2006-03-20

Microsoft incorporated actual code from Apple into their software.


And that's the reason Win32's calling convention is PASCAL: the original Mac toolbox was written in Pascal:

http://hintsforums.macworld.com/archive/index.php/t-97075.html

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Wait a minute...
by galvanash on Fri 26th Aug 2011 14:10 in reply to "RE: Wait a minute..."
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25


And that's the reason Win32's calling convention is PASCAL: the original Mac toolbox was written in Pascal


Except its not... Win32's calling convention is stdcall and always has been.

Maybe you meant the 16-bit Windows API? Yes, this used pascal cc, but so did OS/2 and virtually every other 16-bit api on x86 at the time, and it certainly was not because of the ridiculous notion they were trying to be compatible with the Mac toolbox. Besides, Windows 1.0 was written in a mixture of assembly and C - Microsoft almost never used Pascal for development.

Hint: Using pascal calling convention has nothing at all to do with the Pascal language or compatibility with it - it was used because it was slightly faster than cdecl and more importantly it resulted in saving a few bytes of overhead relative to cdecl at every call point. The only thing you really lose is the ability to have optional parameters, but for most well designed APIs optional parameters are something you actively avoid.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: Wait a minute...
by BallmerKnowsBest on Fri 26th Aug 2011 13:29 in reply to "Wait a minute..."
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

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?


Exactly. The iFanboys are fond of trotting out that "smartphones before and after the iPhone" comparison - so I've decided to put together a similar comparison.

Apple's UI before Xerox:
http://www.deater.net/weave/vmwprod/apple/wavy_apple.gif

Xerox's GUI:
http://netdna.webdesignerdepot.com/uploads/2009/03/xerox-8010-star....

Apple's GUI after Xerox:
http://lowendmac.com/hodges/07/art0227/lisa9.gif

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Wait a minute...
by macachuania on Sun 28th Aug 2011 13:22 in reply to "RE: Wait a minute..."
macachuania Member since:
2011-07-04

[q]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?


Erm... I think Xerox was compensated by Apple. Here are some quotes/sources:

"In return for the right to buy US$1,000,000 of pre-IPO stock, Xerox granted Apple Computer three days access to the PARC facilities. After visiting PARC, they came away with new ideas that would complete the foundation for Apple Computer's first GUI computer, the Apple Lisa.[6][7][8][9] "

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Apple_Inc.

"Xerox could have owned the PC revolution, but instead it sat on the technology for years. Then, in exchange for the opportunity to invest in a hot new pre-IPO start-up called "Apple," the Xerox PARC commandos were forced -- under protest -- to give Apple's engineers a tour and a demonstration of their work. The result was the Apple Macintosh, which Microsoft later copied to create Windows."

Source: http://www.fool.com/news/foth/2000/foth000918.htm

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Wait a minute...
by Hexadecima on Fri 26th Aug 2011 16:20 in reply to "Wait a minute..."
Hexadecima Member since:
2010-09-01

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?

More like wishful thinking to be honest...


Microsoft already owned the PC market when the Macintosh was released. Has the author ever heard of DOS? Or looked at a timeline of the 1980s computer industry?

Windows was created in response to Visi On (http://toastytech.com/guis/vision.html) which was a clone of the Xerox environment that was demoed at Comdex several months before the Apple Lisa was released.

Please go back to computer history school.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Wait a minute...
by atsureki on Fri 26th Aug 2011 20:46 in reply to "Wait a minute..."
atsureki Member since:
2006-03-12

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.

IMHO:

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?


Yes.

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.

http://www.fool.com/news/foth/2000/foth000918.htm
http://www.macworld.com/article/50115/2006/03/30timeline.html

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.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Wait a minute...
by Dr.Mabuse on Sat 27th Aug 2011 05:29 in reply to "RE: Wait a minute..."
Dr.Mabuse Member since:
2009-05-19

"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.
"

Ouch ... Must have touched a nerve.

I have to try and focus my reply, so excuse my snipping:

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.


So the idea of a "WIMP" GUI is *exclusive* to Apple? Presumably through patent or copyright transfer? Your provided links don't seem to support this idea. Where can I find more information on this (anyone?) A solid reference would be nice.

Do you support the idea the Microsoft copied code from Apple?

"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.)
"

Yes, it's worth mentioning because this story is not really just about PC and Mac. There were numerous other players at the time, dozens of different user interfaces, some I'm sure some were influenced by the Mac, and others by Xerox and many had plenty of original ideas by themselves (see the Amiga's "screen" concept.)

The fact that Windows was hardly even used at the time (certainly until v3) means that the Mac's lack of "world domination" was nothing do with any perceived wrong-doing by Microsoft, but rather by the more open and performant platform that the PC was.

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.


IMHO: Apple make nice products for sure, but the fact is, without them we'd still have modern GUIs, we'd still have tablets, smart phones and we'd still have portable music and video players. They are not are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.

Are Apple and it's fans so immersed in the cult of victimhood that they fail to recognise that they didn't get "shafted" ? They were out-competed by products which performed better and cost less. The success they have now is because they have a good product that seems to fill a (much-hyped) niche. Who will they blame if (or when) this too comes to end?

Edited 2011-08-27 05:48 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2