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Apple vs Microsoft Both Copycats

CmdrTaco posted about 8 years ago | from the we-all-copy-each-other-anyway dept.


jdbartlett writes "Yesterday, we read Paul Thurrott's response to Apple's Leopard preview. In his TechBlog, Jim Thompson trims Thurrott's bloated opinion piece and presents an alternative take on four major new features, admitting that each may have been inspired but certainly not by Microsoft. Thompson ignores 6 features; some (Core Animation, Accessibility improvements) needed no defense, but perhaps not all Thurrott's points were invalid."

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but it's all the same (1)

old and new again (985238) | about 8 years ago | (#15892731)

they all look alike,and for the best, it's just easier to learn and then switch...

Re:but it's all the same (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15892802)

during the time that Vista has been under development, Apple has released five versions of Mac OS X: Cheetah, Puma, Jaguar, Panther, and Tiger.

Only a company with users as stupid as Apple's can release minor service-packs as a new OS. Even Microsoft does not charge for small security fixes like those "new" Apple OSs.

Apple stole Alt-Tab and Fast User Switching (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15892736)

And MS didn't start printing banners. When Apple got a $150 million dollar bailout, they lost all credibility when it comes to taking pot-shots at MS.

Re: Apple stole Alt-Tab and Fast User Switching (-1, Flamebait)

Mistshadow2k4 (748958) | about 8 years ago | (#15892816)

I knew that would get modded as troll, but it's still a damn good point. There wouldn't be an Apple if it weren't for MS. (I'm a *nix-user, btw, not an MS fan.) So their smug, superior attitude and constant insults seem ungrateful at best. Suppose you lend someone a lot of money, they pay you back but still take that attitude towards you and insult you all the time? What would you call them?

Re: Apple stole Alt-Tab and Fast User Switching (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15892851)

MS made an investment in Apple of $150mil; they made a lot of money. For MS it was a way to show the DOJ they wener't monopolistic. Well, no one buys that BS anymore as they were convicted. Wuropean Union doing the same to MS. They did not save Apple, Apple had 20 times that in the bank. They did get MS to committ to making Mac Office for 5 yrs. Mac Office makes MS a sh*tload of money. Get your facts straight.

The $150Mil settlement (4, Interesting)

Shawn Parr (712602) | about 8 years ago | (#15892893)

Conveniently most people don't remember, or never realized at the time that there was a patent dispute. Part of the $150 million deal was a patent cross licensing deal.

So let's look at facts:

  1. Microsoft buys $150 million in non-voting stock
  2. Apple had way more money in cash at the time (thus rumors of their demise were...)
  3. Apple gets access to Microsoft Patents and Microsoft gets access to Apple patents (which is one reason why Microsoft can make their new apps look a lot like Apple's I would guess)
This is what I think most people would refer to as an out of court settlement, politically twisted to look like a political gesture.

Re: Apple stole Alt-Tab and Fast User Switching (1)

radiotyler (819474) | about 8 years ago | (#15892874)

Suppose you lend someone a lot of money, they pay you back but still take that attitude towards you and insult you all the time? What would you call them?
I dunno. Canada?

Re: Apple stole Alt-Tab and Fast User Switching (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 8 years ago | (#15893125)

Spoken like someone from the country with one of the largest trade deficits in the world.

Re: Apple stole Alt-Tab and Fast User Switching (1)

Drizzt Do'Urden (226671) | about 8 years ago | (#15892962)

What would you call them?

I'd say a bank client!

Re: Apple stole Alt-Tab and Fast User Switching (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15893158)

You really got it backwards. There would not be a Microsoft if it weren't for Apple. MS stole wholesale from Apple to make Windows and would have been brought to pay for its theft except for its ability to leverage an only-slightly ambiguous subsection in a contract from many years earlier. Bill Gates ability in the business world has been based entirely on his willingness to bend contract law to suit his purposes. He wouldn't even share his toys as a child with his sister without a contract. And what does he expect you to accept every time you use one of his products, even if you already (thought you) paid for it?

who cares? (5, Insightful)

locnar42 (591631) | about 8 years ago | (#15892739)

Does anybody really care if one of them copied the other?
Maybe Apple/Microsoft because they want to fight out patents. Personally, all I care about is which one does a better job of implementing the features I want.

Re:who cares? (2, Insightful)

bcat24 (914105) | about 8 years ago | (#15892779)

Indeed. Great developers steal, right? Maybe it's not good for Apple or Microsoft or their lawyers, but anything that generates a little competition (and maybe even a little bit of innovation) is good for the consumer.

Re:who cares? (3, Insightful)

Ethan Allison (904983) | about 8 years ago | (#15892798)

What would you rather use, the product that came first or the one that's better? (Assuming this is after they both are on the market)

Re:who cares? (2, Insightful)

scruffyMark (115082) | about 8 years ago | (#15893092)

What would you rather use, the product that came first or the one that's better?

Fortunately, you don't have to choose - OS X is both available now, and does a better job than Vista is ever likely to...

Re:who cares? (3, Insightful)

krunk4ever (856261) | about 8 years ago | (#15892865)

On /. whenever Microsoft does something similar to OSX, there's never a shortage of response of "seen that on OSX already".

Re:who cares? (2, Insightful)

DMouse (7320) | about 8 years ago | (#15892926)

The fact that apple gets to market with a new revision every 18 months probably helps in that one.

For those of you.... (1, Troll)

Punboy (737239) | about 8 years ago | (#15892745)

Who haven't had a chance to read it, you can see my lengthy response Thurrott at [] Its the main article there.

Re:For those of you.... (1)

Punboy (737239) | about 8 years ago | (#15892828)

Troll? How is that a troll! I even just updated it to include stuff about the Techblog response! Alright, who modded that.

Re:For those of you.... (2, Insightful)

shawb (16347) | about 8 years ago | (#15892867)

They probably modded you as troll because of the link to your blog. There are ads at the bottom and the mod assumed that the primary reason you posted the ad was to generate traffic, not necesarilly contribute to the thread. Now, I have no idea what your intentions were, or whether the mod actually followed that line of reasoning, or whether the mod itself is a random troll or even a mistake (misclicked, intended to click another type of mod or even carelessly modded to wrong poast.) I'm just giving a possible reason for the mod.

Re:For those of you.... (2, Insightful)

kjart (941720) | about 8 years ago | (#15892883)

Troll? How is that a troll! I even just updated it to include stuff about the Techblog response! Alright, who modded that.

Well, I don't know about the argument, but I'd certainly mod the blog post about that. I love how arguments can just magically be dismissed nowadays by being 'FUD' (most overused acronym on Slashdot now?). "Hey, I don't agree with this guy - he's just trying to spread FUD!"

So lets count that as two major releases since 2001. Isn't that about on par with Apple's MacOS X?

That's really the gist of his argument. Apple is claiming 6 'major' releases since 2001, and Thurrott is pointing out that by the same standard Microsoft has released many 'major' releases as well. I like how your quote omitted "By that measure" at the very beginning - it certainly changes things in favor of your point of view.

You're right. It's a great idea. In fact, the innovative way they've implemented it makes it even better. Oh, whats that? Windows' interface to the same "feature" sucks? Thats right. Frankly the version in Windows 2003 Server is absolute crap.

Umm, so your rebuttal is that the interface on the Microsoft feature allegedly sucks? His point is that Microsoft did something similar in the past - you're not addressing that at all.

Thats right, a feature thats coming sooner, is being copied from software that will have it later.

Yeah, I guess you didn't read the part where he said "...Apple was inspired by Vista features like Spotlight (er, sorry, Windows Search).... But that's not a slam, really. Give Apple some credit for getting to market first--by a long shot--and doing a fantastic job of implementing features that Microsoft, frankly, may never get right." Windows search was announced long before Spotlight was implemented. Whether Apple necessarily borrowed the idea or not isn't as much the issue as the fact that Microsoft didn't borrow it from Apple - which is the point he's trying to make.

Its an optional service that has no place being mentioned with such prejudice on a page that's supposed to talk about Leopard.

When it involves a new feature for Dashboard it sure does.

Overall Mr. Thurrott you did a very good job of presenting innaccurate information in such a manner as to cause Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt in the minds of Windows users and any others who may want to "switch." I commend you.

Overall you did a good job of selectively quoting material in such a manner as to cause Fear, Unvertainty and Doubt in the minds of...well, nobody with a grade 10 education.

Re:For those of you.... (1)

Punboy (737239) | about 8 years ago | (#15893001)

About the categorization, I couldn't come up with something better. Can you? If so, tell me. I'd gladly change it. I agree, FUD doesn't quite apply.
Selective quoting? I copy/pasted his entire arguments. Didn't you read his article? And here you are, selectively quoting my blog and not pasting my entire argument. You're taking many of my remarks out of context.

Re:For those of you.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15893010)

You must really enjoy the sound of your keyboard clacking under your fingers. Either that or you are a complete fucking moron. Maybe both.

To be fair, (-1, Troll)

Andrew Tanenbaum (896883) | about 8 years ago | (#15892758)

Microsoft announced their planned features for Longhorn years in advance. Some of the new features were obvious and would have ended up in both, no matter what. With others, Apple was able to beat them to market because of their faster release cycles. Points go to Apple, but nobody should be raising this FUD for either side.

Apple vs. Microsoft (4, Insightful)

nacturation (646836) | about 8 years ago | (#15892760)

The argument that Thurrott advanced was that Microsoft had some of these features first. He doesn't claim that Microsoft was the inventor of those features. So along comes Thompson and outlines how various things in Unix did it first. Well, that's nice. But the debate here is between Windows and OS X, not Unix.

Re:Apple vs. Microsoft (1)

Total_Wimp (564548) | about 8 years ago | (#15892810)

But the debate here is between Windows and OS X, not Unix.

Right you are, but I must take exception with your spelling. "grudge match" is not spelled d-e-b-a-t-e.


Re:Apple vs. Microsoft (4, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | about 8 years ago | (#15892861)

I believe that Thurrot advanced that Apple copies MS too (and not just the other way around), which implies that MS invented those features originally - otherwise Apple would be copying Unix as there is no way to know if they were copying a feature just because it was on Windows.

For instance, he said that MS had something like "Spaces" originally in some obscure version of NT which was never officially released, however anybody with any familiarity with Unix will have recognized that Apple probably got the idea for multiple desktops there rather than from MS. It's an insincere point.

Apple is just another Unix vendor (5, Informative)

Foerstner (931398) | about 8 years ago | (#15892929)

the debate here is between Windows and OS X, not Unix.

OS X is just a peculiar Unix distro.

I find it fascinating that Linux can borrow BSD features, and AIX can mimic Solaris features, but when Apple steals a feature for its particular Unixling, it's a big event.

Re:Apple is just another Unix vendor (1)

nine-times (778537) | about 8 years ago | (#15893002)

People make a big deal about stealing other Unix features because, when other unixes impliment the feature, it's some obscure CLI think that only uber-geeks can get working in a practical manner. When OSX does it, there are fancy animations that make the common folk go "ooooh" and "aaaaaah".

Re:Apple vs. Microsoft (1)

MikeTheC (990441) | about 8 years ago | (#15893032)

Hmm... I suppose you folks are correct in saying that, but when I saw the "Spaces" demo, My mind didn't go first to Microsoft's PowerToy-required-to-access multi-desktops feature, but to Linux's age-old, well-worn and incredibly useful Multiple Desktops function. If anything, I think Apple made some nice feature specific-UI improvements (just Apple being Apple, as they say). I got the same impression as the first article writer did about Time Machine: kinda tacky interface, but fundamentally very useful. Really, this whole premise of "Goodness! Apple copied Microsoft!" boils down to the saying that two wongs don't make a right. I agree with that premise.

Re:Apple vs. Microsoft (4, Insightful)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | about 8 years ago | (#15893137)

Ok, but here's the catch. You could have an OS that prints money for you, but if the end user can't figure it out, it's pretty useless. I think the real issue here is whether or not people or developrs can use the features, and in all the cases, Apple hit the homerun MS missed. When it's poorly-done version in a server OS, or a user-un-friendly feature in some Linux distros, it doesn't really help much, because no one can use it. The point is, out of the box, a mildy tech-inclined person (anyone smart enough to figure out how to download Firefox or iTunes w/o much help) can use Time Machine or Spaces. 90% of the market aren't gonna use it if they can't find it or can't figure it out. Look at Office 11 (yes, I'm going there, Thurott). One of the things I've heard is people finding "new features" in it, and MS getting credit for adding things when all it did was make them visible (not hidden 8 layers deep).

And spotlight compared to windows search? I'd say Sherlock probably beat Windows Search out, and Spotlight has the slight advantage of being near-instant (YMMV, I search 45-75 GBs on a 1.33 GHz G4).

And the big thing here is this: Apple is accusing MS of direct rip-offs (similar icons, similar UIs, etc) in addition to copying features, whereas Thurott is accusing Apple of having similar features to Windows.

Re:Apple vs. Microsoft (5, Insightful)

Senjutsu (614542) | about 8 years ago | (#15893178)

Well, if we're going to be pedantic: Thurrott's "point" was that Apple shipped features that Microsoft had previously announced but not shipped. The implication apparently being that Apple needed zero planning time for their features and can clone Microsoft features out of thin air faster than Microsoft can implement them.

In other words, it was classic Microsoft "our vapour tomorrow will be better than their shipping product today" FUD from the Internet's #1 Microsoft toady.

What about Leopard 64-bit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15892761)

I read it allows 32-bit modules (i.e. drivers) to load on a 64-bit kernel. Is this true?
If so, this is breaking news, as no other 64-bit OS out there allows that.

Re:What about Leopard 64-bit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15892796)

Apple: Mac OS X Leopard ups the power of 64-bit computing delivered in Tiger. Build and run a new generation of 64-bit applications that address massive amounts of memory. Leopard takes 64-bit computing to the next level, while maintaining full performance and compatibility for your existing 32-bit applications and drivers.
So it seems true.

Re:What about Leopard 64-bit? (2, Informative)

dfghjk (711126) | about 8 years ago | (#15892827)

If true, why is that important?

Supporting mixed models is not a new concept even if 64 bit itself hasn't been done. OS/2 did it, Win95 did it. Ultimately there is no reason for the end user to care.

Re:What about Leopard 64-bit? (1)

Gryffin (86893) | about 8 years ago | (#15892911)

Supporting mixed models is not a new concept even if 64 bit itself hasn't been done. OS/2 did it, Win95 did it. Ultimately there is no reason for the end user to care.

Please note that these new features, including full 64-bit/32-bit mixed-mode compability, were announced at Apple's World Wide Developers Conference, not the World Wide Users Conference.

So while you're correct that it may not be a big deal to users, users weren't the audience. To the developers who want or need to code 64-bit applications, it's a big deal indeed.

Re:What about Leopard 64-bit? (1)

dfghjk (711126) | about 8 years ago | (#15892995)

"If so, this is breaking news, as no other 64-bit OS out there allows that."

and I say again "So what?" Why is it important, "breaking news", that OS X allows that? It would be breaking news if it didn't.

I suppose the argument being made is that it's amazing that Leopard won't require all drivers to be rewritten? Why is that a surprise?

"To the developers who want or need to code 64-bit applications, it's a big deal indeed."

Are we talking drivers or applications? Application developers would expect the Apple tools to "deal with that" while driver developers will have to concern themselves with the details of the implementation. You seem to be mixing the two rather freely.

Users won't care if drivers are 64 bit or 32 bit. They will care that they work and that they're available. Application developers, meanwhile, aren't involved. "A big deal indeed"? I don't think so.

The original post was just searching for something new to crow about. Sorry, but it's nothing new or even surprising. Perhaps the problem is that I've actually written drivers for mixed environments before...

Comprimise (2, Interesting)

scolen2 (956819) | about 8 years ago | (#15892768)

Windows copied the Mac OS, no one will dispute this, not even Bill. Mac is not duplicating windows at all, they are only makeing it easier for a PC user to switch. This comes directly from Steve. There is no benifit of the windows OS except its memory schemes, the new Mac OS is just a comprimise.

Re:Comprimise (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15892805)

So when MS does it, it's copying. When Apple does it, it's for the benefit of the users. Riiight... Double standard anyone?

Re:Comprimise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15892928)

I agree with the parent post.
BTW, Didn't apple copied UI from XEROX ????

Re:Comprimise (1, Interesting)

Ruff_ilb (769396) | about 8 years ago | (#15892831)

Actually, BOTH companies copied a GUI design that Xerox implemented a full NINE years before the Mac was even concieved.

"Xerox PARC was the incubator of many elements of modern computing. Most were included in the Alto, which introduced and unified most aspects of now-standard personal computer usage model: the mouse1, computer generated color graphics, a graphical user interface featuring windows and icons, the WYSIWYG text editor, InterPress (a resolution-independent graphical page description language and the precursor to PostScript), Ethernet, and fully formed object-oriented programming in the Smalltalk programming language and integrated development environment. The laser printer was developed at the same time, as an integral part of the overall environment."

Re:Comprimise (5, Informative)

scolen2 (956819) | about 8 years ago | (#15892899)

Thanks for that NOVA Ep recap i saw 15 years ago. Apple didn't copy btw, they purchaced it along with the mouse that Xerox didn't feel was viable. The OS has matured a long way, and just like music its all about building upon the shoulders of giants. Apple did it better on the surface, and under the hood while Microsoft did it better in the engine.

Re:Comprimise (2, Interesting)

GaryPatterson (852699) | about 8 years ago | (#15892901)

Apple *licenced* the UI elements from Xerox, who made quite a bit of money on the Apple stock they received.

Microsoft had no such agreement.

Apple also extended the UI from what Xerox had (have you ever seen a PARC in action? Clunky, horrible UI but with the germ of a good UI hidden within).

Re:Comprimise (2, Insightful)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | about 8 years ago | (#15893153)

Clunky, horrible UI but with the germ of a good UI hidden within

You had such a great opportunity for a pun but wasted it on a wheat metaphor with that extra 'r', considering the history of GEM. []

Re:Comprimise (1)

miro f (944325) | about 8 years ago | (#15893026)

they didn't just copy it... they Xeroxed it!

Re:Comprimise (4, Informative)

soft_guy (534437) | about 8 years ago | (#15893036)

I'm so sick of people bringing up Xerox Alto to zing Apple. You have never used a Xerox Alto - and you never will and you never would have even HEARD of the damn thing if Apple hadn't come out of the GUI. First, the interface on the Alto was very primite compared to the Mac. Second, Xerox would never have allowed the Alto - or anything else from PARC such as Ethernet or Smalltalk - to see the light of day left to their own devices. Third, many of the people who worked on the Alto came over to Apple to work on the Lisa and/or Mac. Fourth, many of the ideas that the Alto was based on came from Jef Raskin's PhD. dissertation (Jef Raskin started the Mac project at Apple). Fifth, Apple PAID Xerox 80 million dollars to use ideas from the Alto.

The fact is that there were people shopping some good ideas around Silicon valley at that time. Apple was the only company at the time with the guts to bring these radical ideas to market. Not Microsoft. Not Xerox. Not IBM. Not Digital Research (they made CPM and were a big deal at the time).

Re:Comprimise (1)

westlake (615356) | about 8 years ago | (#15893118)

BOTH companies copied a GUI design that Xerox implemented a full NINE years before the Mac was even concieved

The proof-of-concept design is not the same thing as a marketable consumer product.

Re:No no no... (1)

dkarma (985926) | about 8 years ago | (#15893110)

MS stole their gui originally from Xerox back in the day they stole DOS (practically) and turned it into MS-DOS. Microsoft hasn't had an original idea since...well ...ever. Down w/ M$. As for new OS when it comes to switching to Vista....NEVARRR!!! I'm going Linux and not looking back. I'll probably never use a mac unless I have a lobotomy or lose my middle finger for right clicking...

Pundits, Copycats, and Asshattery (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15892769)

perhaps not all Thurrott's points were invalid.

Even a broken clock tells the correct time twice a day.

Re:Pundits, Copycats, and Asshattery (5, Funny)

mblase (200735) | about 8 years ago | (#15892860)

Even a broken clock tells the correct time twice a day.

Not anymore. Mine keeps reading "88:88" (and 88 seconds) ever since the LCD display got clobbered.

Re:Pundits, Copycats, and Asshattery (1)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | about 8 years ago | (#15893124)

Not anymore. Mine keeps reading "88:88" (and 88 seconds) ever since the LCD display got clobbered.

Once we switch over to metric time, you'll be fine.

Re:Pundits, Copycats, and Asshattery (1)

wordsofwisedumb (957054) | about 8 years ago | (#15893235)

I think you mean "Even a broken analog clock tells the correct time twice a day."

Digital ones just predict the end of all time.

All Ideas Are Derivative-oreilly take new OS (4, Informative)

acomj (20611) | about 8 years ago | (#15892773)

I posted this before, but thought it was good enough to post again...

Oreillys radar's site take on the new features of the OS (by nat):

A good read actually: ts_whiners.html []

Paul Thurrot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15892776)

The man, if he is one man, is an obvious microsoft shill.
Every single one of his articles is structured the same way. They all have some shallow praise for apple and a claim that he likes and uses macs, this gives the appearance of legitimacy. He then spends the rest of the article subtly, but shamelessly promoting micrrosoft by use of every fallacy known to man.

How on earth can he make it sound as if apple is copying windows search with spotlight? spotlight was announced in 2004, released 2005 - I'm sure there was no word of windows search, which won't be out till 2007, until after that.

Re:Paul Thurrot (1)

dfghjk (711126) | about 8 years ago | (#15892807)

funny how the article didn't read like a shill piece but seemed rather objective. Every fallacy known to man? Perhaps you should lay off the hyperbole.

Regarding windows search, it took me all of a few seconds to find a column dated January 2004 that discusses it. Didn't read it but maybe you should: 12_gh1.html []

Who's the shill here?

Re:Paul Thurrot (2, Insightful)

paintswithcolour (929954) | about 8 years ago | (#15892974)

The Windows Search thing does puzzle me though...I'm unclear how he knew that Apple wasn't working on it before MS annouced it, but merely annouced it after them?

I'm not sure I really care though.

This simple fact is Apple delivered through on their tech promise. People seem critical of the 'cards close to the chest' attitude at times from Apple but it seems to work out a lot better than the MS Vista approach. Lots of promises, fewer in the delivery, stuff to come later (i.e more promises). Spotlight/Windows search is a perfect example, if they were talking about it in Jan 2004, why aren't we using it now or why isn't it shaping up to be better than Spotlight?

Re:Paul Thurrot (1)

dfghjk (711126) | about 8 years ago | (#15893069)

This is the relevant quote in the article:

"He said that Microsoft was ripping off Spotlight with Windows Search in Vista, which in fact, had been developed and publicly discussed long before Spotlight ever saw the light. (To be clear, Apple borrowed that one from Microsoft, but implemented it much more quickly.)"

Your question is valid and I don't know if he can justify his second claim. It is clear, though, that Microsoft was planning search functionality before Apple publicly disclosed Spotlight.

"Spotlight/Windows search is a perfect example, if they were talking about it in Jan 2004, why aren't we using it now or why isn't it shaping up to be better than Spotlight?"

Because developing Windows is much different than developing OS X?

I don't know if Windows Search is or isn't "shaping up to be better than Spotlight" but I do know that Windows concerns are much different than OS X ones. The application base is much larger and more diverse, there is compatibility baggage and the user expectations are different. It's also clear that MS's developers and methods are not the same as Apple's for better or worse. To attribute any differences to "close to the chest" is silly. MS soliticited customer feedback for future plans and now you're slagging them for it? Perhaps you're just upset that doing so provided proof that Search wasn't a ripoff of Spotlight.

The fact is that developing features takes time and companies often develop similar ideas and technologies side by side. Claiming that these two companies rip one another off is frequently overdone and global search is a classic example. Neither company stole the idea from the other.

Re:Paul Thurrot (4, Informative)

hunterx11 (778171) | about 8 years ago | (#15892808)

If one wants to be nitpicky about "stealing ideas," then both Windows Search and Spotlight are stolen from BeOS.

Re:Paul Thurrot (4, Insightful)

Space cowboy (13680) | about 8 years ago | (#15893028)

Yeah, but at least Apple hired the original engineers :-)


64 bit unix "at least" 5 years old (4, Informative)

brokeninside (34168) | about 8 years ago | (#15892793)

Digital Unix [] on Alpha in the early nineties.

Re:64 bit unix "at least" 5 years old (4, Insightful)

Tim Browse (9263) | about 8 years ago | (#15892887)

This is the part of all this nonsense I don't understand.

Making a nice interface onto a backup system (Time Machine) - yes, great. Tooltips, even - yes (read Alan Cooper on this - I can't be bothered to argue). Stuff like that is innovative and worth talking about.

Stuff like "Oh, we invented the 64-bit OS" or "We were the first to integrate wifi into our computers" - who gives a toss? Both are stepwise/obvious improvements to any competent practitioner in the field.

Oooh, you thought of using a 64-bit CPU to run your OS? How ever did you think of that? I mean, first we had 4 bit CPUs, then 8-bit, then 16-bit, then 32-bit...but you came out of left field and decided to use a 64-bit CPU? Fantastic!

You thought of putting another peripheral inside the main box?! Awesome!

I'm not having a go at you in particular, brokeninside, - 'you' here means anyone who claims to be first with such improvements and claim they're more amazing than they really are. It always seems a bit "I'll piss on your boots and tell you it's raining" to me.

The whole 'first' thing is kind of dumb. I once pointed out to a tedious Mac fan who had a website detailing just how great and 'first' Apple were with everything, that contrary to his belief, Mac OS was not the first OS to support anti-aliased fonts - Acorn's RISC OS pre-dated it, for one. He then told me that Apple were 'the first to make it mainstream'. Typical fanboy - when you come up against contradictory facts, just change your criteria.

(Apologies if I sound cranky - can't sleep...)

Re:64 bit unix "at least" 5 years old (2, Informative)

Burdell (228580) | about 8 years ago | (#15892942)

HP Tru64 Unix was previously known as Compaq Tru64 Unix, Digital Unix, and DEC OSF/1 AXP. It was a full 64 bit OS on the Alpha CPU, first released in 1992 (a couple of years before Apple switched from the 68K to the PPC).

I think OSF/1 on the Alpha may have been the first 64 bit Unix variant.

Interestingly, Tru64 is based on a Mach kernel, same as Apple's Mac OS X.

Both of them suck (3, Interesting)

wheatking (608436) | about 8 years ago | (#15892794)

Both companies suck at caring for their customers. I wish Google will start making and selling consumer PC terminal thin clients that do not have any 'state' and do not require any local software to be loaded at all. the geekboys can battle out the oh so 90s choices. all i want are my applications and i really do not want to give a damn about the OS anymore.

Re:Both of them suck (1)

Mistshadow2k4 (748958) | about 8 years ago | (#15892840)

When you have a problem with Google, try emailing them. Then you'll see how much more they care then MS or Apple. Experience has taught me that no major corporation really cares whether their stuff works as it should or not so long as profits are up; the only good customer service I've ever recieved was from small companies, with Newegg being the only exception.

I did just that (1)

jdbartlett (941012) | about 8 years ago | (#15893146)

I had a problem with Google Base (a free Google service) a few nights ago and sent an e-mail. Next day, I received a personal reply (not a bot response) from a Google Team member thanking me for my e-mail, letting me know the issue had been resolved, and asking me to let him know if I had any other questions.

In general, though, I agree. The best customer service e-mail response I ever received was from Bare Bones Software, the company that makes BBEdit. I wasn't e-mailing about a BBEdit issue, though. I was e-mailing with an issue concerning their free (and excellent) TextWrangler text editor. I received a personal response (again, not a bot) within the hour with instructions on how to solve my issue.

Re:I did just that (1)

Phroggy (441) | about 8 years ago | (#15893196)

Yeah, Bare Bones has excellent support, I've reported several bugs to them (a couple were my own mistakes) and not only do I get a personal response, but usually the bug is fixed in the next release (and the release notes contain a complete list of everything they fixed in each version). Sometimes they've sent me a beta version to verify that the bug has been fixed before releasing it to the public.

Re:Both of them suck (1)

westlake (615356) | about 8 years ago | (#15893055)

I wish Google will start making and selling consumer PC terminal thin clients

The network appliance tanks whenever it is tested in the marketplace. Dell at entry level is under $400.

Re:Both of them suck (1)

wheatking (608436) | about 8 years ago | (#15893086)

It is not the cost that matters at all. Net app (in the late 90s) were all about offering a cheaper alternative. Now, the challenge is a low-cost-of-operation "appliance" that has no more "state" than my toaster. And the "Cost" I seek to minimize is the ongoing cost in time and $$ of updates, storage, backup, anti-virus, and sharing. I think in the long run, google is on the right track (and maybe Skyblue out of Stanford CS dept - see Monica Lam's work), broadband links are reliable enough and fat enough, and the customer-side operations-"cost" is well understood vs. capital cost of acquisition of hardware. Who knows, a wimax linked x-tunes/zunes/iPod may prove the model first but that "untethered" (as in software-installs and "state") PC is a coming me thinks.

Oh so familiar (2, Informative)

vinividivici (919782) | about 8 years ago | (#15892800)

"each may have been inspired but certainly not by Microsoft." Just like Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby" was 'inspired' by Queen's "Under Pressure"

Re:Oh so familiar (2, Funny)

radiotyler (819474) | about 8 years ago | (#15892908)

And the award for most creative analogy involving both Vanilla Ice and consumer operating systems goes to....


Bravo, my friend. Bravo.

Three Skills Come To Mind (5, Insightful)

buckhead_buddy (186384) | about 8 years ago | (#15892820)

Seeing the itemized list of who's providing what, made me think about why everyone thinks their "allegiance" is the one to do it right and to do it first. In general I think the trend is:

  • Unix needs a bulletproof implementation
  • Apple needs a bulletproof interface
  • Microsoft needs a bullet point

That probably sounds negative to any of the three groups, but I think it explains more about why users don't "remember" that someone else perhaps did it first. An Apple aficionado who appreciates good user interfaces will never acknowledge anyone else as coming "first" after seeing the demo of Time Machine; there's just never been anything like it. But a Unix user will guffaw at the crash they had during the demo and state that they're the ones with the "first" version since they really see reliability as their cornerstone. As for adamant Microsoft users, it just seems to matter about when something was released rather than the quality. The next version may completely drop the interface or re-engineer the back end. But often these users can quote feature lists and continuity better than most Trekkies or Whovians.

In a lot of ways, I think there's a lot to be improved from all three camps. Make it work. Make it usable. And make it known. I think there are things each developer group can learn from the other, but advocacy will be self-selecting.

TechBlog is missing the point (2, Interesting)

kjart (941720) | about 8 years ago | (#15892823)

It's not so much that Thurrott is claiming that Microsoft invented all of these features, it's merely a rebuttal against all of the Vista bashing that Apple indulged in. Thurrott is not claiming that Microsoft invented the 64bit OS (contrary to what TechBlog seems to think) - he's just saying they beat Apple to it.

Also, for those that seem to think this is all pro-Microsoft hogwash, the following came up within the first few paragraphs:

As Serlet effectively demonstrated, Windows Calendar is almost identical looking to iCal, right down to the candy-colored appointment blobs. That's just embarrassing.

He said that Vista's IE 7 stole the friendly RSS view from Safari, Apple's Web browser. And sure enough, he's got a point. I said so in my own reviews of IE 7 betas. It's a great feature, and Apple did it first.

Re:TechBlog is missing the point (1)

jdbartlett (941012) | about 8 years ago | (#15893201)

Those two statements were made so that Thurott could feign objectivity. Your second quote is worded as an admission: "he's got a point"=="touche".

That aside, you are correct: a hefty chunk of Thurott's piece was rebuttal of Apple's incendiary anti-Microsoft campaign. Specifically, it was a rebuttal of the claim that Microsoft copied Apple. TechBlog is simply explaining that both are copying (or rather, "taking to the next logical stage") older technologies.

It's been said before... (2, Insightful)

thejeffer (864748) | about 8 years ago | (#15892835)

Everyone copies everyone. Microsoft copies Apple copies Linux copies Microsoft copies... you get the picture. If they want to be successful, they really have no choice. Consumers see a great new feature in one OS, they're going to start whining that theirs doesn't have it. So whoever writes that OS has to grit their teeth, suck it up, and copy that feature. Or alternatively, they can find a way to implement the feature in a way that's so much better, that whoever introduced it first is forced to turn around and copy THEM.

Copying is great for the consumer because it means we'll pretty much all get those snazzy features sooner or later. And if we don't, we'll just move on to whatever's better at the moment. Hooray for copycats!

Re:It's been said before... (1)

alfredo (18243) | about 8 years ago | (#15893120)

Reminds me of what Chet Atkins said about writing.

"Good writers borrow. Great writers steal."

Chances are, he stole the quote, but Chet Atkins was The guitar god. He can be forgiven.

Of course he probably orginated this observation:

When watching K D Lang perform on the TV at Brown's diner he says, "She's eaten more pussy that Porter Wagoner."


Everything is stolen nowadays (1)

jdbartlett (941012) | about 8 years ago | (#15893210)

"Why, the fax machine is nothing but a waffle iron with a phone attached!"

iChat (2, Informative)

cyborch (524661) | about 8 years ago | (#15892839)

Notice how in his iChat bashing he neglected to mention desktop sharing. Which I would also neglect to mention if I had to say that there were no major features. Adding desktop sharing is indeed a major feature.

Re:iChat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15893058)

Microsoft has had desktop and application sharing in messenger products for a while. "Request Remote Assistance". Application sharing in Office Communicator. It's probably better for Apple fans that Thurrot ignored it.

Re:iChat (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 8 years ago | (#15893063)

Not quite as major, but the presentation/video/photo thing is big too. Universities (well, mine anyway) is going gaga over teleconferencing and telelearning. You can see the Powerpoint slides and the speaker at the same time! These systems cost hundreds of thousands. They do the same thing, but not quite as nicely, as iChat in Leopard does. And they need a technician on each side to set up each conference.

Who cares? (1)

Diordna (815458) | about 8 years ago | (#15892845)

All I care is that I get nifty new features. I could care less about this childish argument about "who thought of it first."

Who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15892846)

At this point, it seems like the only point of this article is for fanboys to say, "See? I TOLD you my team invented this!"

Otherwise, the articles bring nothing to the table. In fact, even the summary suggests that there is room for doubt on many points.

But we'll get some nice arguments, and traffic will increase, and 2 or 3 people will go to bed with a smug smile on their face.

The OS X/Windows/UNIX feature cycle (2, Interesting)

mblase (200735) | about 8 years ago | (#15892870)

1. Windows (or UNIX) implements a useful feature. It is kludgy, difficult to use, and powerful in the right hands.
2. OS X (or Windows) borrows the feature, puts a GUI on top of it, and trumpets it with the next release.
3. UNIX (or OS X) copies the feature, customizes the GUI, tweaks it a bit to make it more powerful, and mentions it in the next release.
4. Windows (or UNIX) copies the feature, integrates it into the OS completely, tweaks it a bit to make it less useful, and fails to mention it at all.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Re:The OS X/Windows/UNIX feature cycle (1)

jdbartlett (941012) | about 8 years ago | (#15893219)

Swap 3 and 1 and you've about covered it.

Making Mountains out of Nothing (1)

astrosmash (3561) | about 8 years ago | (#15892879)

People in the Apple camp have to admit that Steve Jobs set Apple up for this kind of criticism when he playfully trashed Microsoft for copying OS X and then immediately proceeded to unveil new features in OS X Leopard that aren't necessarily all that new (although many are new takes on older concepts that have yet to be taken to the mainstream for any number of reasons)

On the other hand, the Microsoft fans have to admit that Microsoft too has set themselves up for criticism by being so far behind on Vista that a lot of its most compelling features have been around on OS X (and other platforms) for two years or longer.

There isn't anything more to say than that; there isn't much point in defending either of them. Apple takes a swipe at Microsoft (rightfully so) and the Microsofties feel compelled to defend poor old Microsoft; they take a swipe at Apple (rightfully so) and the MacHeads feel compelled to defend poor underdog Apple. Boring.

Re:Making Mountains out of Nothing (2, Insightful)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 8 years ago | (#15893082)

What's impressed me most between the two companies is which one keeps their promises. Microsoft promises all kinds of things in Longhorn/Vista and then slowly strips them out and delays them.

Apple usually doesn't say anything until they've already got the particular feature working. When they do pre-announce things they almost always come through. The one exception I remember is when they promised 3GHz G5s. Whether it's because of that failure or not, Apple switched to Intel after they failed to deliver on that one.

Despite comments about Apple and marketing, they don't suffer from the marketing-wags-the-company disease that seems to have infected most of the tech industry.

Re:Making Mountains out of Nothing (1)

prockcore (543967) | about 8 years ago | (#15893126)

The one exception I remember is when they promised 3GHz G5s.

That's because Apple got burned badly with Copland. 10 years of development, announcments, product demos, development releases, and they had nothing to show for it. They'll not make that mistake again. That's why we find out years later than Apple has had an x86 OSX all along... they've been planning a switch to x86 for years.

Re:Making Mountains out of Nothing (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 8 years ago | (#15893155)

So Apple learned their lesson about making promises you can't keep. Think MS will? Weren't they talking about something called Cairo around the same time Apple was shooting their mouths off about Copland?

Re:Making Mountains out of Nothing (1)

MikeTheC (990441) | about 8 years ago | (#15893106)

Ok, but let's not forget that Microsoft's been promising the general public a "new" *coughbullshitcough* OS for years now, and hasn't delivered on it, other variations or feature-limited iterations notwithstading.

Let's also not forget that when Apple impliments (or invents) something, it does a far better job of making it intuitive to use than Microsoft or most of the rest of the Win32 developer community. They just dumb it down, candy coat it, put in big, colorful buttons and force-feed it down the public's collective throat.

I'm Visually Impaired (5, Informative)

TheZorch (925979) | about 8 years ago | (#15892897)

Text to Voice support in Windows XP is dismal to say the least. The built-in text-to-speech softrware is a joke. It works yes, but only in Microsoft applications.

There is a 3rd party software package called "JAWS" which costs around $400 - $500, is locked down with DRM so if you have to reinstall your system or upgrade you have to reactivate it. Also, the software is very picky as to what kind of video card and sound card you have, and its prome to crashing. The software had also been none to deactivate itself for no reason, thus requiring you to reinstall it and reactivate it.

I looked at VoiceOver in Mac OS X and I was very impressed. Someone with no vision at all (I have some, I just need an extra large monitor) would have little trouble navigating the system using it. I know a few people with no vision at all and they were also extremely impressed with Voice Over, and I know at least one person who will benefit from Mac OS X Leopard's support for Braille displays. Also, the APIs and tools needed to make Mac OS X apps work with Voice Over are freely available to developers so any Mac app can be made Voice Over compatible with minimal effort. For JAWS its much harder.

Beginning of the Post-Windows Era (4, Insightful)

copponex (13876) | about 8 years ago | (#15892904)

Looking on the horizon, it seems to me that early 2007 will determine the next five years of the computing industry. If Leopard is introduced on time in conjunction with an office suite (Microsoft or a truly comparable replacement) and the Adobe Suites as native applications, Microsoft is in serious trouble. Apple will have delivered on all of their promises; the industry will have supported their move in the form of third party applications, and Microsoft is going to look slow and stupid. Vista is going to suck early - there's no doubt about it. They're already talking about things they are "saving" for SP1.

When all of this happens, the other shoe will drop when business owners and business managers begin asking: Why is there no search feature on our corporate network that works like Spotlight on my kid's computer? Why is it so difficult for our marketing department to create a podcast, when my nephew can do it on his laptop in 15 minutes? Why do my wife's e-mails look better than the ones from my office? Why can't I get that spreadsheet back like I can on my computer at home? I can't video conference?! My kids do it all damn night on their computers!

Apple is trying to reach out and grab the teenage and college demographic, because no matter how smart an adult thinks they are, they never want to look stupid or "old" to their kids. If Apple can pull it off, it will be the beginning of the post-Windows era, when Microsoft's marketshare falls below 75%, the competition heats up, and software companies begin to deliver programs that actually save time and money for everyday office work.

Re:Beginning of the Post-Windows Era (2, Funny)

prockcore (543967) | about 8 years ago | (#15893134)

If Apple can pull it off, it will be the beginning of the post-Windows era, when Microsoft's marketshare falls below 75%, the competition heats up, and software companies begin to deliver programs that actually save time and money for everyday office work.

Apple will get out of the hardware business and make an OEM OSX for Dell and HP long before Apple ever gets 25% of the market.

Re:Beginning of the Post-Windows Era (1)

palad1 (571416) | about 8 years ago | (#15893186)

You are right. Might I add that even CEO were college kids at one point. Now THAT is long term planning ;)

He he he (1)

XnavxeMiyyep (782119) | about 8 years ago | (#15892924)

He he he, cats!

The entire argument is invalid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15892959)

The OS's are expected to copy each other. If one gains a popular or useful feature, users of the other will demand it too-- or figure a way to do it themselves. This is nothing new, it's been going on since the days of the Tandy. It's not underhanded, it's basic business survival. It's giving the customers what they want.

The only impropriety I could think of would be to steal code outright-- and correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe that's happening here.

Konfabulator (1)

JM Apocalypse (630055) | about 8 years ago | (#15893006)

Why is everybody saying that Apple stole widgets from Konfabulator? In actuality Apple had widgets in System 6ish (I don't know the exact number) under a different name. If you want to be technical it could be said that Konfabulator stole the idea from Apple. In reality Konfabulator improved on an existing idea and Apple improved on it further.

Re:Konfabulator (1)

prockcore (543967) | about 8 years ago | (#15893152)

In actuality Apple had widgets in System 6ish (I don't know the exact number) under a different name.

Are you talking about Desk Accessories? Sorry, those are nothing like Konfabulator widgets.

Desk Accessories were just little programs that used ROM tricks to enable a really poor pre-emptive multitasking.

Widgets were closer to Active Desktop than anything else.

Re:Konfabulator (1)

Phibz (254992) | about 8 years ago | (#15893160)

I believe you're refering to "Desk Accessories" I had these on my MacSE running System 5. I don't know but they were probably around before that.

I don't care... (1)

posterlogo (943853) | about 8 years ago | (#15893022)

...who did it first or who copied who. Didn't we just have this same thread a couple of days ago at Slashdot (seems like everyday now, we have to rehash this debate -- the original post should be marked troll). All I care about is who does it better. Apple wins. Period.

All the talk about copying ignores innovation (4, Interesting)

DECS (891519) | about 8 years ago | (#15893115)

Rather than trying to establish who came up with an idea, I'd like to see more attention given to new, innovative ideas. I'd like to see Microsoft, Apple, and open source groups copy each other's good ideas as much as possible. Good ideas deserved to be copied!

RoughlyDrafted Magazine has articles on what's really new in Time Machine in The Time Machine Rip-off Myth [] ,

explained what new stuff Thurrott overlooked in WWDC Secrets Paul Thurrott Hopes You Miss [] ,

and gave Three Reasons Why Microsoft Can't Ship (and Apple can) [] .

The RDM Paul Thurrott story was dugg 1300+ times today!

OneNote Notes (Mail) (1)

jimmyCarter (56088) | about 8 years ago | (#15893132)

The one app that I thougth they really parrotted was MSFT's OneNote. Their new "Notes" in Mail is very similar, but of course more refined in that Apple way.

You could make an argument that OneNote certainly had it's predecessors as well, but certainly not in the rich graphical way that made OneNote so neat when it came out.

Price Factor (1)

Klanglor (704779) | about 8 years ago | (#15893229)

Its true, when i saw the time machine i was like euhh volume shadow copy and the notes i was like euhh outlook! but now on a 2nd thought. there is a big price factor!!!!! Outlook is like 400$ c'mon its like crazy 400$ for outlook, word, excel and power point. ( i do give credit to excel to be worth a good 200$ but the rest. c'mon) and plus you are off to a good 5000K for VSC. i mean with the stupid CAL fee windows skyrockets. ( SERVER, ROUTER, LICENSE, ETC) well MAC OS X is 150$. that not even the 250 from microsoft. Beside, Microsoft screw up big time. true OS X is still OS X nothing major. Windows 95-98 :) they do the same and people would not have mind much to have windows 2002, 2004, 2006. its just that they anounced 2002 as longhorn and they can't deliver. Apple got smart, they don't announce what they haven't made yet. so they always seems to be ahead of schedule. and can release half of the whole. i guess steve job learned from his past failures, like the next. release bit by bit is more profitable.
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