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Microsoft — Innovator or Imitator?

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  • Miko Gandhi Paulin
    Here s something of interest.... http://www.procompetition.org/headlines/imitator.html Microsoft — Innovator or Imitator? What they say... These guys can be
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1, 2002
      Here's something of interest....

      http://www.procompetition.org/headlines/imitator.html

      Microsoft — Innovator or Imitator?

      What they say...
      "These guys can be taken. But the only way we're going to take them is by studying them. Know what they know. Do what they do. Watch them, watch them, watch them. Look for every angle. Stay on their shoulders. Clone them. Take every one of their good ideas and make it one of our good ideas." -- Steve Ballmer, President, Microsoft Corporation.
      What they do...
      Microsoft has done precisely that — walked off with competitors' best ideas. In fact, virtually every major innovation in the computer industry has originated with other companies, not Microsoft.
      Microsoft bought the Q-DOS operating system from the Seattle Computer Company in 1981, and renamed it Microsoft DOS (MS-DOS). But, after the purchase, the two companies battled in court over Microsoft's attempt to undermine Seattle Computer's licensing rights. The court ruled against Microsoft.
      Apple computer brought icons and buttons to consumers for ease of use and operation. Microsoft plagiarized it and called it Windows.
      Stac Electronics developed "hard disk compression," which enabled consumers to store a greater amount of materials in their computer's hard drive. Microsoft appropriated it and added it to Windows.
      Harvard Graphics was the market leader in high quality, easy to use graphics programs. Unable to beat Harvard Graphics with its own software, Microsoft bought presentation software from Forethought, Inc., in 1987, and renamed it PowerPoint. It sold the new product as a package with Windows — and reduced Harvard Graphics to a bit player in the marketplace.
      Lotus brought spreadsheets to consumers. Microsoft imitated it and packaged it with Windows.
      Netscape brought the Internet to consumers by creating its browser, Navigator. To compete, Microsoft licensed code from Spyglass, Inc. in 1995 and called it Microsoft Internet Explorer. Microsoft then muscled its way to the top of the market, by forcing computer manufacturers to offer Explorer to consumers or give up the right to install the Windows operating system on their machines.
      Microsoft uses its huge monopoly profits to buy companies that could compete and then strips its rivals of vital skills by hiring away talented engineers.
      WebTV brought the Internet to consumers' television sets. Fearing a market shift from PC's to digital TVs, Microsoft bought WebTV for $425 million to remove a potential competitor.
      Microsoft invested $1 billion in Comcast Cable to make sure it has its hand in if cable television proves a strong competitor in the Internet marketplace.
      MSWord was built by a group hired away from Xerox, where they had worked on Bravo.
      Microsoft's NT operating system was developed by an engineer who had done much of the core work on VMS at DEC.
      The Bottom Line...
      Microsoft mythology to the contrary, the record shows that innovation neither begins nor ends with Microsoft. Microsoft says the governmentâs lawsuit threatens innovation. In fact, Microsoft isn't a leading innovator.
      MICROSOFT MAKES ITS MONEY WITH OTHER PEOPLE'S IDEAS
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