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
Mike Campau recreated Generation Gap, a CGI series of some of the most iconic items from 1980s childhoods, each one lit with gorgeous multi-hued gradients.
At Vice, Leigh Alexander (recently at Boing Boing) writes about the superstitious rituals we all practice when it comes to technology. We do it whether we are conscious of the ritual or not, and we do it even when we are informed the ritual is harmful to the machines. …blowing on cartridges may have actually […]
Human biases exposed by Implicit Association Tests can be replicated in machine learning using GloVe word embedding, according to a new study where GloVe was trained on “a corpus of text from the Web.”
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