Microsoft is often unfairly criticized, says former vice president Dick Brass, but has a real problem creating new things that people care about. Despite having one of the best corporate labs in the world, internal factions thwart one anothers' attempts to develop new technologies, wrecking the company's ability to turn innovations into products.
This is what happened when ClearType font anti-aliasing was developed:
Engineers in the Windows group falsely claimed it made the display go haywire when certain colors were used. The head of Office products said it was fuzzy and gave him headaches. The vice president for pocket devices was blunter: he'd support ClearType and use it, but only if I transferred the program and the programmers to his control.
I wonder who at Microsoft made sure Surface never got out the gates? Brass writes that the vice president in charge of Microsoft Office sabotaged the company's attempts to develop decent Tablet PCs, by refusing to develop versions of Office that could work properly on them: "To this day, you can't use Office directly on a Tablet PC."
Imagine what would happen at Apple if whoever was in charge of iWork set out to suppress development of an iPad version because he didn't believe it was real computer.
Microsoft's Creative Destruction
Buckets hanging on maple trees may have worked great 200 years ago, but modern producers use a system like the internet: a series of tubes!
Researchers from the Technical University of Denmark demonstrated a new nanotechnology-based printing technique that produces long-lasting color images on plastic at resolutions up to 127,000 dots per inch, many times more detailed than traditional laser printers. The system uses a laser to alter the structure of nanoscale structures on the plastic material. (A nanometer is […]
Way back in 2011, major American automakers were slow to realize that “companies in Silicon Valley have for some time been looking at cars just like another mobile device or app.” When the disruption, hit, it hit hard, writes Nick Bilton:
If you don’t want to get stuck footing the bill for a hit and run, this dashboard-mounted camera offers up to 2K resolution to make sure you always have a reliable witness, and it’s available in the Boing Boing Store for 30% off it’s usual price.The PapaGo mounts unobtrusively to your windshield to see everything […]
While some people still maintain that everything in Apple’s walled garden “just works” and is immune to the rampant malware of the Windows world, the reality is different. The Mac’s growing market share has made it a much more viable target for malicious actors, and its built-in tools aren’t always enough to fix things. Drive […]
Boasting an IPX6 waterproof rating, the Trakk Bullet Ultra Compact Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker resists dust and heavy rainfall. It’s currently available in the Boing Boing Store.The Trakk Bullet offers the same wireless convenience as other portable speakers, but few are built as tough as this one. Its utilitarian construction is designed to be a totally low-maintenance […]