“I was thinking about all the cool stuff Google has done when I realized that none of it was original. The folks at Microsoft, long known for being copycats, must be furious, since nobody has ever accused Google of the same thing. Everything Google has done has been derivative. The search engine was taken from the AltaVista idea of huge computer farms. Gmail is a clone of Hotmail. The Google Chat is nothing special. Orkut is a copy of Friendster. Even the invention of ads targeted to search requests is derivative of the old GoTo.com search engine.
Dvorak Googling Around
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2005-11-01 8:32 pmThe Baron
Exactly. It’s not always about originallity. It’s about who can implement it better.
For example, the original GUI was designed at PARC. Apple then took that amd made it better.
2005-11-01 8:58 pmAnonymous
Heh, that was more of steal than a copy in my mind.
Yeah I found the article more of a “duh” thing. I don’t see a reason to harp on any company over originality. Use what you like. I use google search engine all the time, and news. I don’t hate them anymore than any other company.
What I hate is people making common mistakes about google and fighting over whats original.
I have to deal with seniors in Highschool who think google is the leader of opensource hand in hand with Apple. Articles like these really give them something to argue about.
At my age the cool thing to do, is hate MS, EA, SOE, and love Apple and Google. Very few of them have even heard of linux. Oh and the PS3 is the greatest thing on earth, along witht the cell processor that will power the future *rolls eyes*
Originality is highly overrated. The same people who mitch and boan over here about companies not being innovative enough go out afterwards and go watch derivative movies and buy fashionable clothes to look exactly like everyone else.
Face it cultures are based mostly on slow evolutionary change and conformism.
Dvorak may be right, but google does something few other tech companies have done: treated their customers right.
Knuckles is right, they’ve never claimed they’ve invented anything, unlike certain other competition.
2005-11-02 3:43 pmeMagius
That may be true if you bear in mind that Google’s customers are advertisers, not consumers. They’ve screwed consumers over time and again with proprietary, standards-breaking code and protocols, not to mention unethical behavior as an internet citizen. If Google wasn’t Google, they would have been banned from every newsgroup, e-mail list, and the like long ago.
Hmm, who else has created an in-browser scrollable map of the world… Noone?
Well, in that case, I have proven Mr. Dvorak wrong, and need not debate this further.
2005-11-01 9:48 pmrcsteiner
You can see them side by side here:
Isn’t that fun? 🙂
2005-11-02 2:22 amAnonymous
Microsoft had TerraServer operating many many years ago, well before Google. Mind you, the quality was not as good, however Google was not the first the implement an in-browser virtual-earth type concept.
2005-11-02 7:34 amkmarius
As others have said, there were other websites with huge scrollable maps, including Microsoft’s Terra from what I heard.
Here’s proof that most of what most consider innovations by Google are actually based on technology they bought
Now you know the real reason for Microsoft’s horror: Google is far too successful in mimicing Microsoft’s own strategy. 😉
Google never claims to invent a tech that already existed. They never claimed to invent searching, they claimed to invent a better page ranking system.
Microsoft on the otherhand acts and claims new additions as if they never existed before.
Amigas only have one-way DataTypes, it’s DataTypes could only convert files to Amiga’s native formats, they could not convert back when you saved a file. IE GIF -> IFF but no IFF -> GIF.
BeOS has two-way DataTypes so you can both read and save in any DataType supported. However, there is a lack of user control on which DataTypes act on which files. I mention this because there clearly is still room for improvement.
As far as I know then is nothing like DataTypes in the present WindowOSs. Microsoft however with the WinFS to help could add DataTypes in it’s OS, it could even improve DataTypes like I mention by giving the user control over the DataType code that is presently missing from the Amiga and BeOS.
Question: Will Microsoft claim to have developed an improved DataType that is clearly better than what has previously existed or will they claim to have invented a whole new function/feature for their OS and act like it never existed before?
I predict #2 based on thier past actions.
Google’s innovation wasn’t putting an easier-to-remember name on a search engine, it was indexing to RAM rather than disk so as to speed up performance. It’s in the founders’ grad school papers at Dartmouth.
Google encourages their employees to experiment at least 20% of their work time. Someone sees something that he or she thinks can be done better and then starts working on it. Other Googlers can volunteer to fill different roles and the work gets done. This is the type of innovation we could only hope to see from other companies.
the only way this could make sense is if he has never used it before.
looks like someone couldnt get an invite
2005-11-02 5:28 amma_d
I have 50 for him! Someone please take them from me!
Give me web search using wildcards for words and parts of speech. As a translator, I often need such a feature when unsure about word/expression usage.
2005-11-01 9:48 pmzerblat
I’m not sure exactly what you mean, but you can use wild cards in phrases, e.g. “The quick red fox * over the lazy brown dog” will find pages with either “jumped” or “jumps” (or any other word) in that position. It only matches whole words.
2005-11-02 3:50 amAnonymous
yeah, he doesn’t quite know what he wants.
All decent information engines do this – it’s called stemming. ( all it takes is “jump” so jumping, jumps, jumped will match. )
2005-11-02 8:13 amTemcat
Sorry, it’s just that you don’t understand what I mean. Sure I can do that using grep with some text files on my machine, but that’s not my point. I want this kind of flexibility when searching in Google. I don’t have it now.
2005-11-02 8:10 amTemcat
Sorry, at least in Google this does NOT work as you describe.
Let’s enter “I’ve * you”.
Here is a sample of the results:
I ve Got You
I ve seen things you
I’ve got MAYA. You
You got the idea. I need it to match *exactly* one word. In addition, I would like to have the opportunity to specify a wildcard for a specific part of speech, like this:
“I <adverb> disagree” – to find the adverbs that are normally used in this position (such as “strongly”, “respectfully” etc.) This is useful if I’m not sure which word I should use so that the phrase sounds like English and not like a calque from my native language.
Edited 2005-11-02 08:16
Gmail is a revolutionary interface to email that is nothing like hotmail. Saying it is a ripoff is like suggesting no one can ever make web email without somehow ripping off hotmail which is just ridiculous.
2005-11-01 11:01 pmPseudo Cyborg
And it also implies that Hotmail was first… or that Microsoft created Hotmail.
Hotmail was purchased by Microsoft.
Dvorak never has anything useful to say, aside from the occasional jab at some technology for another that makes me chuckle. But this one just makes me mad.
Google may not have been original with anything they have done (but I think they have, in many ways), but they DID innovate the crap out of every one of their products. Gmail is leaps and bounds above hotmail. Their search soars ahead of all others. Google news? Google video? Anyone? All of their services refine some basic function of the web that has always existed, but actually makes them usable, and useful.
Oh yeah… obnoxious flash ads? None. Charge? None. It’s pretty original to provide a useful service for free these days.
What Google’s claim to fame (as has already been said) is their page rank system. You can read about it in their founders’ pivotal paper “The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine”.
Before that paper, the web was dying from spam sites hijacking search engine results. Now it is dying again, thanks to the ability to post comments in blogs (the page rank of a site is relative to how many other pages [relative to the total number of links on the page] link to it).
Want to be the next Google? Figure out a good way to fix this problem. : )
The search engine was taken from the AltaVista idea of huge computer farms.
Not a original idea but a suberp implementation.
I clearly remember Altavista from the early days on where you got a lot of feedback from your search request however barely related to the chosen subject.
Gmail is a clone of Hotmail.
Ridiculous,the only thing they have in common is e-mail.
More like Google morphs into a Win-Vista takeup catalyst within 24-months. Everything they do on FOSS stays secret, while their branded widgets help to push more Win sales. The innovation front is spyware and the data-rape love triangle.
People always say MS claims to invent things it didn’t, but never link anything to prove it. I think it’s just another urban myth like the 640k ought to be enough for anyone quote. If it was so numerous as the anti-MS goons say it is it should be easy enough to get a link once in a while, but nope, we just have their very trustworthy word to take. /sarcasm.
2005-11-02 1:41 amAnonymous
Microsoft claims to be innovative all of the time. That is how they justify being more expensive than Free/Open Source Software (FOSS). Jim Allchin testified to that effect. Google it. Unfortunately, they never give concrete examples. I wish they would, but they know people would shoot them down.
“Holy ad nauseam: If I hear anyone from Microsoft talk about the freedom to innovate one more time, I think I’ll hurl a month’s worth of cookies. Instead of worrying about whether or not the government will stop Microsoft from innovating in the future, the head honchos in Redmond ought to spend some energy trying to figure out what force has prevented them from innovating over the past decade.”
— Nicholas Petreley, Editor, InfoWorld, 20/12/1999.
2005-11-02 2:28 amAnonymous
From this thread, I’m beginning to think that geeks are more guillable to marketing than Joe Average.
Obviously some MS drones did not like the latest Google announcements…
Come on, gmail is everything but hotmail. By the way why does he not say “gmail is a clone of yahoo”… Sure web based email existed before.. they just did a better job. Even hotmail users should thank Google. Without it, they would still have only 2Mb of free space for emails …
ex-msn/hotmail user here…
I don’t recall Google running around claiming to be innovative in every other sentence. I wish I had a penny for each time Microsoft used the word “innovation”, and they are one of the least innovative companies around. At least Google has created superior implementations of someone else’s ideas. Microsoft’s products tend to be technically inferior, but more successful, due to craftier marketing tricks and abuse of monopoly power.
Microsoft has made itself a target of ridicule due to its psychotic fixation on being perceived as innovative. Honestly, if they were truly innovative, why would they have to expend so much effort trying to convince people that they are innovative. If I were tall, it should be obvious. I wouldn’t have to go around all of the time saying, “I am tall. People consider me tall. Linus Torvalds is not tall, but I am. Tall, I am. I am concerned that short people like Linus will destroy people’s motivation to be tall. Be my friend, and I will be tall for you.” They are lunatics.
Microsoft innovation? Check these out.
The Most Important Software Innovations
Microsoft, the Innovator?
The Microsoft “Hall of Innovation”
“For example, the original GUI was designed at PARC. Apple then took that amd made it better.”
The original GUI was desiged by Jef Raskin. Nothing more. The Xerox PARC was only the phisical place where Raskin worked.
Xerox and Apple join-ventured together for a common project about the original GUI. When this join-venture failed Xerox complited the project in the Xerox Star and Raskin gone to Apple from Xerox to work around the original Apple Macintosh, based (as the Apple Lisa) around the failed project with Xerox.
Said this, Jef Raskin is the “biological” father of the GUI and Apple is the “heir” of the Raskin cration. Even if Raskin disliked Mac OS X… 😉
2005-11-02 4:11 amAnonymous
Jef Raskin worked for Xerox? Seriously, do you have ANY idea what you are talking about…?
is not whether Google is being original or not. The real question is what original stuff has Dvorak ever done? Even better, what is one useful thing Dvorak has ever done?
And Dvorak is their ST. Peter…
What I mean is that I haven’t seen any article from Dvorak that doesn’t ends in a Flamewar. Fun, but no real deal
Like most of his readers…
It is VERY easy to figure out why Google is not a target, and it’s very simple; I see it every time I go to google for anything:
It works in an unobtrusive way. You go to google.com you are presented with a header (the graphic), six sub-site selections, a entry box, two submit buttons, a trio of smaller options, and a footer with company related links. It’s simple, fast, and even grandma can figure it out with no prompting.
Their repackaging of other concepts works in the same way. The plain white text, easy options, and not flooding the screen with endless hordes of useless stuff most people would never use (like say, Y! or MSN). I’m looking for information on PHP programming, I could give a rat’s ass about the latest news about “50 cent” or some kid dressing up as spongebob – and yet on other sites you go for e-mail or searches and you are confronted with that crap before you’ve even entered your search terms.
Sure, google has targeted ads from partners and such, but they are off to the side in plain text… a format so popular MSN and Y! copied THEM, not the other way around. (anyone remember what MSN search looked like two years ago? It wasn’t pretty.)
I mean, when you stare at the big white page with the playschool style primary colored letters, how can anyone actually get mad at it?
2005-11-02 5:27 amma_d
Good point. People do seem to like services which show an attitude of service instead of an attitude of salesmanship.
Searching isn’t about getting more results, it’s about sorting the results you get. That’s what google did right. Page ranking via the links on the page is, TMK, an invention of google. It’s probably more of a “ah-ha” sort of innovation, but I think it is their’s.
Like it or not. Gmail is still, was, and probably will be for quite a while, the best webmail client. Hotmail is painful to use, almost as painful as yahoo mail.
Google’s ad system is fairly innovative in this realization: Nobody likes schnazzy graphics that advertise. Inoffensive ads are more effective than offensive ones. Google found a way to make inoffensive ads that interest the person who sees them.
Microsoft is not devoid of innovation, most of theirs probably falls into low level things that you can’t explain to the “lay man”, but google has more innovations which the “lay man” can understand: So it gets a better rep. Well, that and not being a tyrannical monopoly (which Dvorak basically said).
Not to mention. Innovation isn’t about original ideas, it’s about a new twist on an old idea that didn’t work. Some have gone so far as to say it’s impossible to have a truly original idea.
I’m used to saying this on /. , still, the more I read of Dvorak’s writings, the more I feel to throw something in his direction – no, not a banana cake :] Other than this, I have no further reasonable comments on the linked “article”, and this is already too much unearned attention spent uselessly.
I think history loops itself.
Just like the time of DOS and OS/2.
OS/2 was great.
History teaches us that,
who can implement it, package it and sell it better.
Not who made it and who is the originator.
With the subtle difference that they’ve done it better. There is a creative process involved in Google revisiting old concepts, one I would like to see Microsoft implement (yeah, right).
Hey, I think that sometimes there are people that exagerate about microsoft copying this and that (just yesterday there was the talk about symlinks).
But google too didn’t say “we invented this”.
What google made in some things (and this is why they are wildly successful) is that they managed to give people what they want, the way they want, faster than the others. Their search engine loads faster, has more and better results, their e-mail offers more webspace than most conventional sites offered (and it’s more “trustworthy” in the sense that it’s not some random site that could be gone tomorrow along with all your mail), it has a nice interface, it’s fast, etc.
Google chat isn’t all that, and I wish the federation process moved faster, but it’s interesting at least, and I heard the audio quality is pretty good, etc.
I think i’m rehasing the things most people know, and that’s why I don’t understand this article…