I just realized Microsoft hasn't innovated since Windows 95

smoledman

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At the time shortcuts and start menu were true innovation to the GUI. Everyone copied that(a true sign of innovation).

However take the last 15 years and no true innovations. Even people rave about the Surface keyboard don't seem to realize that they simply took Apple's innovation(Smart Cover for iPad) and extended by adding a keyboard.

Cortana is just a mash-up of Siri & Google Now.

Heck Windows Phone 8.1 doesn't even have gapless audio playback. Apparently a deficiency in the OS audio engine... Very sad state of affairs. I would think MS has a lot of talented software engineers, but no real visionary like Ive.
 

Renzatic

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Even people rave about the Surface keyboard don't seem to realize that they simply took Apple's innovation(Smart Cover for iPad) and extended by adding a keyboard.
That's kind of unfair. It's like saying all Apple did with the iPad was take a screen off a laptop and add touch controls.

Plus, love it or hate it, MS was the first to introduce the new flat design that's all the rave in UIs these days.
 

smoledman

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That's kind of unfair. It's like saying all Apple did with the iPad was take a screen off a laptop and add touch controls.

Plus, love it or hate it, MS was the first to introduce the new flat design that's all the rave in UIs these days.
http://www.asymco.com/2014/04/16/innoveracy-misunderstanding-innovation/

How is flat UI design "Something new and uniquely useful"? Yeah I realize Apple has stupidly hopped onto this bandwagon, but Windows Phone sales has been pitiful since initial release. People obviously prefer the old UI.
 

Renzatic

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http://www.asymco.com/2014/04/16/innoveracy-misunderstanding-innovation/

How is flat UI design "Something new and uniquely useful"? Yeah I realize Apple has stupidly hopped onto this bandwagon, but Windows Phone sales has been pitiful since initial release. People obviously prefer the old UI.
Oh god, this isn't gonna turn into one of those conversations where we argue about the specific usage of the word "innovation" for 3 pages, is it? I hate those.

Windows Phone sales have been slowly picking up steam since its release. It came out in a crowded market that already had plenty of buzz for other platforms, so it was never bound to be an immediate bestseller right out the gate. But it's been growing, and I can see a point where Windows Phones are competing with Apple devices for second place in a lot of markets.

Thirdly, MS' flat UI design is quite a bit different than everyone else's, especially when it comes to their tablets and phones. It's all based around page flow and typography, built around data rather than apps, and is meant to guide the eye and hand where it needs to go. I've used all three mobile platforms to some degree, Apple the most, Android the least, and I think Windows Phones and Win8's touch UI is the easiest and quickest to use of all three. Opinions are opinions, of course, and what I like you might not, but you can't deny that MS tried something different, and made it work very, very well.

...over the course of a couple of years.

On top of that, MS was among the first to really get into the cloud. Azure was announced in 2008, and they've only grown it from there.

And of course the Xbox, and Kinect, and blah blah blah, and so on and so on.

While MS' innovations aren't as in your face and sudden as Apple's tend to be, you can't say they haven't done a single thing in the last 15 years. They've done tons.
 

smoledman

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Oct 17, 2011
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Oh god, this isn't gonna turn into one of those conversations where we argue about the specific usage of the word "innovation" for 3 pages, is it? I hate those.

Windows Phone sales have been slowly picking up steam since its release. It came out in a crowded market that already had plenty of buzz for other platforms, so it was never bound to be an immediate bestseller right out the gate. But it's been growing, and I can see a point where Windows Phones are competing with Apple devices for second place in a lot of markets.

Thirdly, MS' flat UI design is quite a bit different than everyone else's, especially when it comes to their tablets and phones. It's all based around page flow and typography, built around data rather than apps, and is meant to guide the eye and hand where it needs to go. I've used all three mobile platforms to some degree, Apple the most, Android the least, and I think Windows Phones and Win8's touch UI is the easiest and quickest to use of all three. Opinions are opinions, of course, and what I like you might not, but you can't deny that MS tried something different, and made it work very, very well.

...over the course of a couple of years.

On top of that, MS was among the first to really get into the cloud. Azure was announced in 2008, and they've only grown it from there.

And of course the Xbox, and Kinect, and blah blah blah, and so on and so on.

While MS' innovations aren't as in your face and sudden as Apple's tend to be, you can't say they haven't done a single thing in the last 15 years. They've done tons.
I have no doubt that MS Research has come up with loads of things that Ballmer put a lid on because he has no vision. Put Larry Page in charge of Microsoft the last 5 years and you would have seen an explosion of products, good or bad. But at least there would have been a real attempt. Ballmer basically fired anyone who questioned his direction. I don't really know enough about Satya Nadella to know whether he's a real innovation guy or just another Ballmer.
 

MacSince1990

macrumors 65816
Oct 6, 2009
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At the time shortcuts and start menu were true innovation to the GUI. Everyone copied that(a true sign of innovation).
Right, because Shortcuts weren't in any way a copy of Aliases that Apple introduced in 1991 with System 7.....
 

roadbloc

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Aug 24, 2009
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Yeah because Windows 8 is identical to Windows 95.

So is the Xbox.
And Kinect.
And Windows Phone.

:rolleyes:
 

numlock

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Mar 13, 2006
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That's kind of unfair. It's like saying all Apple did with the iPad was take a screen off a laptop and add touch controls.

Plus, love it or hate it, MS was the first to introduce the new flat design that's all the rave in UIs these days.
funniest part about that is so many on this board were praising ms for taking a step in a new design direction instead of the blatant copying by google and co. incidentally apple took this much mentioned google route.
 

maflynn

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Cortana is just a mash-up of Siri & Google Now.
Have you used Cortana? Its actually superior to Siri and Google Now.

While I grant you wp8.1 has features that existed in other platforms MS had to do this to keep.

As for MS not being innovative, I'd say that statement lacks any validity.

What about Apple similar comments can be made about them and innovation, i.e., what have they done since releasing the iPhone and iPad?
 

JoeG4

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Jan 11, 2002
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MS is doing plenty of innovation, it's the people and companies that develop for Windows that haven't yet. Many programs, even popular ones, feel like they haven't changed in 10 years.
 

MorphingDragon

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MS is doing plenty of innovation, it's the people and companies that develop for Windows that haven't yet. Many programs, even popular ones, feel like they haven't changed in 10 years.
We almost can't.

At my new job we're looking at making our own AR library so we can tagert Win phone as well.

Strangely enough, more hoops to jump through to get it working than iOS.
 

maflynn

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Strangely enough, more hoops to jump through to get it working than iOS.
How so? Apple is renowned for being highly controlling in approving apps and sometimes even contradictory. Its in MS best interest to be a little more flexible to entice developers to produce more apps.
 

556fmjoe

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Apr 19, 2014
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As far as Windows goes, too much innovation hurts Microsoft. They are great at providing a comfortable, familiar OS to the average person. Changing stuff in the userland is detrimental to that. That's partially why I could never understand Windows 8's GUI. Why drastically mess with the interface that people have used and grown accustomed to for over 20 years? Now, innovation under the hood would be a good thing, and is one place where Windows 8 is very good, but Microsoft is better served by providing exactly what people expect. They're going to lose a ton of corporate sales with 8, which is too bad because it's a great OS that's hamperd by its nonsensical interface.
 

MorphingDragon

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How so? Apple is renowned for being highly controlling in approving apps and sometimes even contradictory. Its in MS best interest to be a little more flexible to entice developers to produce more apps.
It's not to do with their App Store. Technical limitations imposed in the same vein as iOS that are a bit more aggressive than iOS.
 
Last edited:

Michael Goff

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Jul 5, 2012
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At the time shortcuts and start menu were true innovation to the GUI. Everyone copied that(a true sign of innovation).

However take the last 15 years and no true innovations. Even people rave about the Surface keyboard don't seem to realize that they simply took Apple's innovation(Smart Cover for iPad) and extended by adding a keyboard.

Cortana is just a mash-up of Siri & Google Now.

Heck Windows Phone 8.1 doesn't even have gapless audio playback. Apparently a deficiency in the OS audio engine... Very sad state of affairs. I would think MS has a lot of talented software engineers, but no real visionary like Ive.
Wha?

Microsoft has actually innovated quite a bite since Windows 95, a lot of it has been under the hood type of things too.

Also, the Surface keyboard is much more than Smart Cover + keyboard.
 

velocityg4

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Dec 19, 2004
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As far as Windows goes, too much innovation hurts Microsoft. They are great at providing a comfortable, familiar OS to the average person. Changing stuff in the userland is detrimental to that. That's partially why I could never understand Windows 8's GUI. Why drastically mess with the interface that people have used and grown accustomed to for over 20 years? Now, innovation under the hood would be a good thing, and is one place where Windows 8 is very good, but Microsoft is better served by providing exactly what people expect. They're going to lose a ton of corporate sales with 8, which is too bad because it's a great OS that's hamperd by its nonsensical interface.
Windows 95 was quite the departure from DOS 6 and Windows 3.1. Personally I hate the changes more for Office. Office 2007 onward have been horrible to use. I use Office XP and Office 2010 regularly. I still can't navigate the ribbon interface nearly as quickly as toolbars and menus.
 

Michael Goff

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I was going to mention the surface keyboard but were they the ones to first develop such a product? I thought others might have done that before hand.
I don't know, I was mainly arguing against the ridiculous notion that it's just a smart cover with a keyboard attached. Personally, I think this whole thread is ridiculous.

Innovation! It's like some word that nobody really knows the meaning of.
 

smoledman

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Oct 17, 2011
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Windows 95 was quite the departure from DOS 6 and Windows 3.1. Personally I hate the changes more for Office. Office 2007 onward have been horrible to use. I use Office XP and Office 2010 regularly. I still can't navigate the ribbon interface nearly as quickly as toolbars and menus.
Oh yeah Windows 95 was much hated on.

----------

I don't know, I was mainly arguing against the ridiculous notion that it's just a smart cover with a keyboard attached. Personally, I think this whole thread is ridiculous.

Innovation! It's like some word that nobody really knows the meaning of.
Well the Smart Cover introduced the concept of using magnets to turn off the screen. Microsoft took that exact tech and added a keyboard, like a throw in. There isn't anything fundamentally revolutionary about the Surface.
 

Renzatic

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Oh yeah Windows 95 was much hated on.
It was one of the most popular OSes of the time, and made MS a household name.

Well the Smart Cover introduced the concept of using magnets to turn off the screen. Microsoft took that exact tech and added a keyboard, like a throw in. There isn't anything fundamentally revolutionary about the Surface.
So adding magnets to turn off the screen is revolutionary advancement, but building a fully functional, ultra thin keyboard into a thin piece of material that barely adds any weight to the device is just "throwing it in".

Why does it have to be either/or? All or nothing? Why can't one been seen as a great idea, and the other as a great idea that improves upon a great idea?
 

roadbloc

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Aug 24, 2009
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Why does it have to be either/or? All or nothing? Why can't one been seen as a great idea, and the other as a great idea that improves upon a great idea?
Because many people here don't realise that innovation first requires inspiration.
 

velocityg4

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Right, because Shortcuts weren't in any way a copy of Aliases that Apple introduced in 1991 with System 7.....
Symbolic links go back to at least 1978 with DEC and Data General. Unix had them by 1983 with 4.2BSD UNIX from U.C. Berkeley. I wouldn't be surprised if the Xerox Alto had something similar in the earlier 70's. Perhaps even some mainframes of the 50's and 60's had them.
 

DogmaHunter

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Apr 25, 2014
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There isn't anything fundamentally revolutionary about the Surface.
Really?
A tablet that makes my desktop, laptop and previous tablet obsolete sounds pretty revolutionary to me.

At my desk, I plug in two cables in my surface and boom: fully functional workstation with 3 additional HD monitors, gigabit ethernet etc.
In the conference room: attach type cover and boom: a neat small laptop
On the couch: nice tablet

I consider that pretty epic.
 

maflynn

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Well the Smart Cover introduced the concept of using magnets to turn off the screen. Microsoft took that exact tech and added a keyboard, like a throw in. There isn't anything fundamentally revolutionary about the Surface.
Same thing can be said about apple and the iPad. Tablets were around well before the iPad but Apple introduced the iPad and it took the industry by storm.

The Surface is a unique device that replaces a laptop.
 

MacSince1990

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Oct 6, 2009
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Symbolic links go back to at least 1978 with DEC and Data General. Unix had them by 1983 with 4.2BSD UNIX from U.C. Berkeley. I wouldn't be surprised if the Xerox Alto had something similar in the earlier 70's. Perhaps even some mainframes of the 50's and 60's had them.
Before I was born, doesn't count :D

I thought Xerox was the first GUI, though.