March 1999

Microsoft "Innovation"

Microsoft has been hiding behind the need to innovate for a long time, and the national media has been eating it right up. After all, they've given us all so much, right?

Wrong. This will come as a shock to a very many people, so I'll say it in bold:

Microsoft has never contributed a single notable innovation to any computer-related field.

Yes, you heard me right. Not one, not ever. Microsoft has purchased or taken more good ideas than any other company I know of. They sell them as their own (well, because they generally own them). But they didn't create them.

Let's look at some obvious major examples.

I could go on for a long time, but there's no point. They've just never innovated. If you want more, there's a great web site, Boycott Microsoft that has started to compile more information on things Microsoft hasn't done, on their Hall of Innovation and Not Invented Here web pages.

Innovating backwards

But often they've made technically meaningless changes under the banner of innovation. These changes don't really give any new functionality to the user, but they typically make life very difficult for their competitors.

Let's look at some of the things they've called innovations.

Microsoft isn't an innovator, they just play one on TV.


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