During that Department of Justice antitrust trial against Microsoft, poor, beleaguered Bill Gates claimed that the company he co-founded only wanted the freedom to “innovate.” Now this innovate mantra has been part and parcel of Microsoft’s pitch to customers, competitors and government agencies for years, as most of you know.
The question that comes to the fore, though, is just what does Microsoft mean by that word. Now if we simply go by the conventional definition, we get: “make changes in something established, esp. by introducing new methods, ideas, or products.”
All right, that’s simple enough, and I’m sure that most of you will agree with the standard meaning. That is except for Microsoft, which seems to be unable to deliver “new methods, ideas, or products.”
Take Windows, which was nothing but a knock-off of the Mac OS, based in part on technology they actually licensed from Apple in a foolish deal crafted between Gates and then Apple CEO John Scully. In retrospect, Scully created a monster, one that came to dominate the PC industry in ways that were not always beneficial.
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