Where ever does this innovative company think up these like this:

Microsoft To Digitize 100,000 Books    
http://news.yahoo.com/s/cmp/20051107/tc_cmp/173500076

Who knows what incredible new ideas will come from this trendsetting company?

I stand in awe of their ability up in there in Seattle to create out of whole cloth these fantastic modernizing concepts.

Category: Finance

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

19 Responses to “Microsoft the Innovator (part II)”

  1. anne says:

    Google worries endlessly :)

  2. foo says:

    If you keep in mind that msft didn’t even write the original version of DOS (having bought it fair and square) things become very clear.

  3. janet says:

    In the computing industry very few innovators have succeeded. The Mac was based on one of the 3 big ideas developed at Xerox Parc and started at SRI before that in Engekbart’s ARC project.

    IBM has actually done an amazing amount of good research, but a lot of that it never developed well. It was Oracle that became huge on relatonal databases.

    Microsoft was never none as an innovative or state of the art company. Even in the eighties the DR version of DOS was better and it’s graphical extensions superior. Quarterdeck allowed multi prgramming.

    Back then most of Microsiofts application programs wee second best. Because of it’s cash cow and it’s lead in Window’s it seized control of many markets, often by buying rivials. It’s strength is that it keeps on plugging. In some areas such as Mac applications software it was the only reliable game in town.

    With MS you buy a mediocre product that will innovate behind the competition, but keep on improving, which has the market and cash to be there years down the road. This is ilike IBM in the seventies, there were other, better approaches but it offere the full range and was reliable.

    Nobody who is technically oriented things of MS as an innovator. Though the full depth and power of some of their products is rarely appreciated, but this in itself is an indicator of the market, few want the meta links in word or all the capacities of excel though many of these powers are useful. Most people are using a computer at the fraction of it’s power.

    But one thing about MS systems is that their byzantine complexity means that you wll be able to weak as you need. Aple was very slow in supporting hard drives and networking in the eighties, and at that time the GUI ws too complex for most professional programmers to build for. MS provided a lowest common denominator with many rival and competitive hardware platforms.

    I am uncertain if it has the base and capacity to reform and survive as IBM has done, but it has provided an evolving product that is in many respects a standard and economies of scale. In the eighties the basic applications of fair less sophistication that are routinely bundld into a 500 dollar computer cost nearly twuce that without the computer.

    As for “microsoft as innovator” this is one of those useful checks on technical discussion, as soon as you hear that you know the individual hasn’t the foggiest notion about technology and they are spouting cliche nonsense.

  4. devvie says:

    What is this incessant touting around of innovation? Who gives a crap? Who cares who innovates? Give me the best product at the best price and be done with it.

  5. dookie says:

    Please give us an example of a company that innovates. This should be good.

  6. Google

    Apple

    eBay

    Yahoo

    Netflix

    TiVo

    Pixar

    Samsung

  7. rajesh says:

    Amazon
    Nokia

  8. dookie says:

    And what did they do that was innovative (no one had done it before)?

  9. drumsandwhistles says:

    I agree with dookie. Take your first pick Google. Search – done before. Local search – done before. Online ad brokering – done before. Maps – done before. Blog search – done before. Desktop search – done before. Shopping comparison – done before. Image search – done before. Mobile search – done before. Messenging – done before. Etc. They’ve improved on some things and not on others. But if improvement is your criteria then it’s hard not to add Microsoft. Are you sure you are aware of their thousands of products and what’s innovative and not in each? Have you used their development tools for example?

    If doing a single blatant copy of someone else is your criteria for a non-innovative company (MSFT copying the book search) then how does their messenger exempt them from being non-innovative? Why didn’t you roll your eyes when Google did that? Lots of people did.

    You may like Google and that’s fine. But I don’t understand how you base your statement in fact? Unless this is your standard pontificating pundit site. But I thought it was more than that.

  10. They did SEARCH in a way that was exponentially better than anyone else. (Everyone forgets how crappy SEARCH was pre-GOOG)

    GOOGLE had some astounding innovations.

    Anyone who hasn’t figured that out yet must also be kinda startled by the stock price of $397.

  11. drumsandwhistles says:

    Maybe everyone does forget but I don’t. Search was not crappy pre-Google. It was quite functional. Even obscure search engines like Aliweb were good in their time. Google came alone and improved it. If improvement is innovation, are you saying Microsoft didn’t come along and improve anything?

    Please list these ‘astounding’ innovations.

    So stock price is the arbiter or innovation? I thought you were a Wall Street guy. You’re embarassing yourself.

  12. foo says:

    Search was not crappy pre-Google.
    ****************************

    You mention msft dev tools, so I assume you’re familiar with msft search technology embedded in msdn.

    It’s abysmal; just last week I tried finding some information in msdn, and could not find it using msft’s own tool.

    I found an answer on my first try using Google, which ironically has better indexes of msft’s own site (msdn.microsoft.com) than msft does.

  13. Jos Theelen says:

    Microsoft is almost a monopoly. You cannot expect innovative behaviour from a monopoly. You can expect high prices.

  14. Justice Litle says:

    Last time I checked, Mister Softee’s R&D budget was in the neighborhood of $7 billion. Maybe they should spend it all on political lobbyists, industrial espionage and crappy advertising campaigns instead. (Does anyone else shake their head in disbelief at those awful dinosaur ads?)

    When is the last time MSFT came out with something really cool that no one asked for, but that everyone wanted as soon as they saw it?

    Explorer was good at one time. Now it is crap compared to firefox.
    [BR: Umm, that's a MSFT innovation -- their cheap copy of Netscape?]

    Hotmail was good at one time (and that was a buyout). Now it is crap compared to gmail. Microsoft has a terrible habit of sitting on its huge, well-padded ass, cranking out mediocre or meaningless updates, and then steamrolling the competition with cash when required — or just buying them outright. They are like a gigantic, lumbering parasite, still fat on the blood of a business model conquest from two decades ago.

    Interesting, though, to remember that MSFT is still very much competing against itself as well as Google. Who’s gonna worry or care about upgrading to Longhorn from XP? What’s going to happen to Office when all its features are recreated in AJAX?

    Those hokey dinosaur commercials have a hidden irony…

  15. Justice Litle says:

    “What is this incessant touting around of innovation? Who gives a crap? Who cares who innovates? Give me the best product at the best price and be done with it.”

    If we are going to think this way, we might as well rescind all intellectual property protections. Instead of “he with the best idea wins,” it can be “he with the biggest cash horde wins.”

    And of course, Microsoft is a pipsqueak compared to Uncle Sam.

    So whenever a little guy comes up with something cool, we’ll just let the government muscle in and develop it at taxpayer expense.

    After all, it really doesn’t matter ‘who’ comes out with the product right? No need to worry about the downstream effects on the idea stream, right?

    Good grief.

  16. krpicksem says:

    Google did improve search, but only incrementally. The genius, if we can even apply that word to a commercial advertising company, was in the business model it chose to monetize search.

    From my own experience I became a Google user primarily because of the clean uncluttered webpage not because of the quality of their search.

  17. krpicksem says:

    Google did improve search, but only incrementally. The genius, if we can even apply that word to a commercial advertising company, was in the business model it chose to monetize search.

    From my own experience I became a Google user primarily because of the clean uncluttered webpage not because of the quality of their search.

  18. foo says:

    The genius, if we can even apply that word to a commercial advertising company, was in the business model it chose to monetize search.
    ******************************************

    Not quite; Google has lots of proprietary technology; their distributed file systems and system management technologies are top-notch.

    http://labs.google.com/papers/gfs.html

  19. Jazmatician says:

    There’s a lot of innovation at Google. I’ll just touch on a couple, but in every one of dookie’s “done before”s there’s an innovation. I don’t know if I’d say “astounding” innovation, but clever, and worth respect. Innovation simply means “The act of introducing something new.”

    Google search’s “clean uncluttered” interface was a major innovation: every other search was alive with banners and “news.” The thinking of the time was that everyone was trying to be a “portal,” so they crammed as many things as they could into that first page. Now, Google’s recreated that, *IF* you want it, with its drag & drop interface (first time I’d ever seen it, although I’ve seen it several times since).

    PageRank was incredibly innovative. All other search technologies used the page itself as a source of information, but the engineers at google hit upon the idea that the worth of a page wasn’t so much what it said about itself (do you remember pages with long lists of irrelevant “keywords” in their META tag? Don’t see those so much anymore, do you?) but what OTHERS said about it.

    Sure “maps on the internet” were done before Google did them. But Google’s tool is inherantly different from Mapquest or Yahoo. Rather than a static map, with clickable directional arrows, Google presents the map using a streaming technology, allowing you to move through the environment much more fluidly. With the addition of keyhole’s satellite imagery, they added a whole new wrinkle, allowing you to literally fly through the Grand Canyon, if you so choose. And rather than lock all that capability away (as is the typical approach of a media company) they published the API, allowing people to “embrace & extend” their product. This is a highly innovative marketing approach, as very few IntelProp companies allow others to use their products in this way.

    I realize I’m just feeding the trolls, but I’m pretty proud of the performance of my shares of GOOG, and I’m not getting out anytime soon.