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Best Brands, Innovative Products

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the know-what-to-buy dept.

104

conq writes "BusinessWeek just came out with its best global brands list. The list is quite similar to last year's with Coke topping it. The brand with the highest growth year over year: Google. The comment: 'Its recent inclusion as a verb in the Oxford English Dictionary confirms what competitors feared: Google means search to an army of Web users.'" I thought this tied in nicely to tappytibbins' story. They write "eWEEK.com has posted a feature with their picks of the 25 most innovative PC products of the last 25 years. Their #1 pick is a bit uninspired: The IBM PC. Down at #8 is the Mac. And is Apache really more of an innovation than Linux?" From that article: "15 - Palm Pilot: With an almost Zen-like minimalism of both software and hardware complexity, the Palm Pilot was no more than users needed?and exactly what many wanted."

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Watch out Coca-Cola! (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802942)

Number 1, Coca-Cola had better watch their back for Number 2, Microsoft!

With Microsoft's flair for chumming up to other businesses, just before "innovating" their own brands right into that market, one must be cautious.

New from Microsoft: Microsoft Cola Soft Drinks! Available in the following popular flavours (as determined by Microsoft's own R&D department.)

  • Vista Beta Cola (container sizes are all the same, but content may vary)
  • IE 7.0 Cola
  • Sushi Soda
  • Zune Soda (Every bit as good as Apple Soda!)
  • Latte Cola
  • XCola 360
  • Diet Wasabi Cola
  • Beer Soda
  • Lite Beer Soda
  • Steve's Chairy Cola (With a flavour so great it'll f___ing kill you!)
  • Cool Ranch Cola
  • Redmond Springs Mineral Water (Low Fat - Caffeine Free)

Please check www.microsoftcola.com/support periodically for updates and patches to our famous beverages

MS Cola FAQ (5, Funny)

servognome (738846) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803078)

Why doesn't my cola can open?
MS cans are complex devices. While they are engineered to world class specifications and thoroughly tested, it cannot be guaranteed that it will function in all conditions. Please take the following steps before contacting customer service:
Ensure you have the can oriented correctly
Ensure you are lifing the tab - This is located at the top of the can
Ensure sufficient force is being applied to lift the tab - Check finger for any breaks, muscle tears, or other abnormalities which may cause insufficient force to be applied

Why must I agree to a EULA before opening my drink?
EULAs are standard throughout the beverage industry. They are designed to clearly communicate your rights, as well as the rights and limitations of Microsoft, its partners, and subsidiaries.

My drink is coming out of holes in the can other than the one for drinking
This is a known issue. Please apply the latest security patches to address this issue

MS Cola went up my nose when I was laughing, and it hurts
Microsoft is not responsible and does not support such use of soda as outlined in the EULA. For information on development of undocumented soda use please navigate to the developer forum: microsoft.com/MCola/developer/forum.htm

I purchased a 12 pack, can my kids drink some of the soda?
Sharing is prohibited for the standard home edition of MS Cola. Multi-user packs are available for purchase as a seperate product.

How can I beta test Crystal Microsoft Cola?

Beta testing has not begun. You may subscribe to the CMC Newsletter for the latest information on this development product.

When will CMC be available
Crystal Microsoft Cola is scheduled to be part of the Vista launch event.

Re:Watch out Coca-Cola! (3, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803107)

heh, MS hasn't dealt with any industry as hardball as the cola industry.
They would be destroyed. Heh.

Re:Watch out Coca-Cola! (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 8 years ago | (#15807646)

But Steve Jobs cajoled some dude (who we're all supposed to hate now) into becoming Apple CEO by asking if he wanted to 'sell sugar water' for the rest of his life.

The irony came a few years ago when the marketing hucksters was selling iTunes on Pepsi bottlecaps. (or was iTunes 'selling sugar water'?!?)

Re:Watch out Coca-Cola! (1)

partenon (749418) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803222)

Just remember: you may need to drink these only with MS Cup's, due to compatibility issues. And don't even try to drink some opensource drinks [voresoel.dk] . It will give a huge stomache pain.

Re:Watch out Coca-Cola! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15803271)

I can see it now:

Breaking News! Microsoft's Cola Plant, ran by Windows OS, encountered a fatal exception error, resulting in the toilet pipe being routed into the soft drinks channel.

Re:Watch out Coca-Cola! (1)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803277)

Great, except that Beer soda was already invented by Tim Buckley at Ctrl alt del productions (I'd post a link but I can't find the specific comic strip right now). Also, Beer Soda sounds like a really good idea.

Re:Watch out Coca-Cola! (1)

bringert (520653) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803401)

It's already here: Windows Vista Lemon - Lime [flickr.com] .

Re:Watch out Coca-Cola! (3, Funny)

gamer4Life (803857) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803848)

Microsoft is always playing catch up to Google:

http://www.google.com/googlegulp/ [google.com]

Re:Watch out Coca-Cola! (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#15807634)

Microsoft is always playing catch up to Google:

Heinz watch out! - Microsoft Ketchup!

But. . . (2, Funny)

Slithe (894946) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802943)

where is Microsoft on that list?

Re:But. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15803143)

where is Microsoft on that list?

Just wait, they're finalizing their purchases of #4, #13, #23 and #25. With these innovations under their belt they should have no problem breaking into the top 3.

I think I'll start a brand and call it RTFA (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803196)

RTFA has such a nice ring, and lots of free advertising on Slashdot!

BTW - Microsoft is listed as the second best brand, right behind Coca-Cola.

It doesn't matter if you like Coke or not, it doesn't matter if you like Microsoft or not, their "brand" is out there.

Re:But. . . (1)

el cisne (135112) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803756)

You haven't noticed that eWeek is a defacto Microsoft brand? Every page in that print rag has something to say about MS, and all sounding like it was approved by Edelstrom and Whatever. Explains a lot. I let them keep sending it to me but toss it in the trash hoping to cost them a few pennies. Ok, the postal service had to carry it, but presumably this was paid for, at least to mail it?

Google's Brand (4, Insightful)

LaNMaN2000 (173615) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802960)

I am very surprised to see Google mentioned as a company with a strong brand. While they are the market leader in search, their brand value is minimal with respect to the myriad of other services that they have launched. Yahoo seems to have a much stronger brand as indicated by its ability to establish top 5 contenders in markets as disperate as online dating, business/finance, e-mail, etc. under the Yahoo brand. While Google has a strong reputation in search, its ability to attract people to other services under the Google brand has been lackluster at best.

Re:Google's Brand (4, Insightful)

loteck (533317) | more than 8 years ago | (#15802991)

Nobody I know ever says that they "Yahooed it".

I think it's a pretty strong indication of brand value when the name of your company becomes a commonly used verb in the english language. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Google's Brand (5, Informative)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803017)

Nobody I know ever says that they "Yahooed it".
I think it's a pretty strong indication of brand value when the name of your company becomes a commonly used verb in the english language.[link to wikipedia/googling]

Google (as a verb) is accepted in the Oxford On-line Dictionary [weblogsinc.com] , too.

Not sure Yahooligans caught on. I'm certain it was even frowned upon in some countries where Hooligan has a stronger negative connotation than it carries in the USA

Re:Google's Brand (2, Insightful)

servognome (738846) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803127)

I think it's a pretty strong indication of brand value when the name of your company becomes a commonly used verb in the english language.

Actually common use decreases brand value. Once people stop associating the word with the product, the value is lost. For example, when somebody mentions aspirin, do you immediately think of is as the aspirin brand, or the generic term for acetylsalicylic acid?

Re:Google's Brand (1)

quanticle (843097) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803346)

Agreed. Another good example of brand devaluation through overuse is Kleenex. Now, whenever someone wants a facial tissue, they say, "Could you give me a Kleenex?" You don't hear people saying, "Hey, give me a facial tissue." The same thing has also happened to a lesser extent with Xerox.

Only worthless if you don't own it (1)

Foerstner (931398) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803390)

The Aspirin trademark may not be valuable to Bayer, but only because Bayer no longer owns it (at least in many countries.) Bayer's ownership was overturned by the courts because of a failure to defend it. You can bet Bayer executives still curse their predecessors for their stupidity in losing control over that name.

Companies are under no obligation to keep their trademarks. Plenty of companies give up on brands that aren't worth what it costs to advertise them. They spend billions to build and maintain the ones that are. Xerox is still Xerox and Kimberly-Clark still sells Kleenex because those brands are worth a fortune. If the weren't,the parent companies would waste no time rebranding themselves.

A widely-recognized trademark turns your competitors' products into advertisements for your own. The trick is protecting the use of the name so that your competitors can't use it to sell their products.

Re:Only worthless if you don't own it (2, Interesting)

kalel666 (587116) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803486)

Do you think Bayer feels the same way about the Heroin brand name?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heroin/ [wikipedia.org]

Bayer lost to war, not genericization (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15804433)

Actually I'm pretty certain that Bayer lost the trademark to both "Aspirin" and "Heroin" (two of their major ones) after World War I, as part of the assets that were seized by the Allies and sold as war reparations.

Wikipedia indicates that the rights to the "Aspirin" name were purchased from the U.S. Government by one Sterling Drug [wikipedia.org] , and it was they who lost the trademark in 1921 [wikipedia.org] because it had become too genericized -- not Bayer.

In short, Bayer lost their trademark because they were on the wrong side of a war, it was Sterling that lost it to genericization here in the US. The story might be different in other countries, if they didn't play along with the seizure of the brand from Bayer in the first place.

Re:Only worthless if you don't own it (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 8 years ago | (#15806437)

Another good example is Band-Aid.
When the a group of singers called themselves Band aid and made the song "Do they know it is Christmas time at all" the company that owned the Band-Aid brand had to send ask them to stop. They then granted a license to use that name for one year free of charge. That is why the name has been changed ever since to Live aid.
I doubt that the owners of the brand where really wanted them to not use the name. Talk about your bad press. The problem is if they had not defended it there would be a good chance they they would have lost the trademark. Band-Aids are about as close to common usage as you can get in the US.

Re:Google's Brand (1)

gotih (167327) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805009)

but if yahoo started advertising as a 'google engine' it wouldn't matter much would it? only one company gets traffic from going to google.com

Re:Google's Brand (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805361)

but if yahoo started advertising as a 'google engine' it wouldn't matter much would it? only one company gets traffic from going to google.com
It does matter if "googling" is not longer associated with google.com. If the brand has widespread disassociated use, it could be deemed generic like "Raisin Bran." Do you think most people would know that Yahoo's "Google Search" service was different than Google.com?
That's why companies have lawyers who write letters to TV networks and newspapers, about improper use of their brands. It's also why Google sent in the lawyers [bbc.co.uk] against the dictionary publishers. The dictionary definition [m-w.com] directly refers to the Google search engine, to appease the lawyers, although in common use is for any online search.

Re:Google's Brand (1)

farble1670 (803356) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803116)

yes, we know you love google and own a bunch of stock, but relax and read the comment first. nobody said google wasn't a household name when it comes to serch.

Re:Google's Brand (1)

I'm Don Giovanni (598558) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803601)

Having "Google" be the generic word for web-search is great for Google over the short term, but not necessarily good over the long term. In fact, over the long term, such a thing can actually devalue the company brand.

Examples:
"Xerox" is the common verb people use for "photocopy", but people don't think of the Xerox company when using that word, they're just referring to photocopying in general. And Xerox is no longer the top photocopy company even though people use "xerox" as the verb for "photocopy".

"Kleenex" is the common noun for tissue paper, but people don't think of the Kleenex company when using that word; they're just referring to tissue paper in general. (I think Kleenex might still be the top tissue company, but not nearly as dominant as they were when "kleenex" became a common noun.)

Not to say that it can't go the other way. "Coke" is a common noun for any "cola", and people don't necessarily think of Coca-Cola when using the word "Coke", but they think of it enough that Coca-Cola is still the dominant cola company. Google could end up like that rather than like Xerox, but it's not guaranteed by any means.

Re:Google's Brand (3, Insightful)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803682)

Ah, but Google isn't a generic word for "web-search". It's a word for "web-search using Google". That's quite a distinction. People don't Google things on Yahoo.

Re:Google's Brand (1)

Weedlekin (836313) | more than 8 years ago | (#15804728)

That's because (a) Google is still new, and (b) for huge numbers of non-nerds, web searching is just as new, if not newer than Google. It takes far more years than Google has existed for brand dilution through common usage to have an effect, and with the ephemeral and fast-moving nature of computing (and the Web in particular), by that time web searching as we know it will have probably ceased to exist except in places like the Smithsonian, where it will sit alongside card punches, paper tape readers, and the Apple-II as an example of the sort of stuff people had to put up with when computers were still so dumb that the unfortunates who used them had to operate the things.

Re:Google's Brand (1)

pjludlow (707302) | more than 8 years ago | (#15804737)

Ah, but Google isn't a generic word for "web-search". It's a word for "web-search using Google". That's quite a distinction. People don't Google things on Yahoo.

And when everyone says iPod they only mean the player from Apple right? Sure, that's what it should be, but a lot of people will say iPod in reference to any mp3 player (yes, that does irritate me), and the same goes for Google to mean web-search. I really don't care what the specific definition says in the latest version of Webster or wherever (come on, some of the words they added this year shouldn't have made it). If people use Google as a verb for web-seach then web-search is Google, and while you don't "Google" on Yahoo you most likely don't search there either.

Re:Google's Brand (2, Funny)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 8 years ago | (#15807666)

a lot of people will say iPod in reference to any mp3 player (yes, that does irritate me)

Let me guess. You paid all that extra money for a 'name brand' iPod, eh?

Re:Google's Brand (1)

pjludlow (707302) | more than 8 years ago | (#15807947)

Let me guess. You paid all that extra money for a 'name brand' iPod, eh?

If by extra money you mean I spent just over a hundred dollars on an iPod that would have cost $300 (got a Powerbook at the same time and there was a promotion to get a $200 rebate on any iPod) then I guess you could say that. Of course I've only used Macs in my house since we first got one in around 1988 so I probably would have bought an iPod eventually. Anyway, for the majority of the time I use my iPod as a portable drive for files to and from work and use it less for listening to music.

Crash and burn (1)

rs79 (71822) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803654)

"Nobody I know ever says that they "Yahooed it".

Sure I do.

"What happened to the red car man?"

"I freaken yahood it into a freaken wall".

I took a look at the list of brands in TFA. Q-riste, I'd only want about 7 of them in my house. What a bynch of crapola.

fat lot of good it's doing TiVo... (1)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 8 years ago | (#15804647)

"Mom, I told you to TiVo Crank Yankers!"

But TiVo is in financial trouble.

Even before the iPod, Sony didn't make a large fraction of the "Walkmans" sold in the US anymore.

Very few demoliton saws sold are actually Sawzalls, or circular saws actual Skil saws.

I don't know why people keep drawing a connection here. A shorthand gets adopted, and that shorthand might be a companies' trademark. But I dunno if there is a real strong link there.

Re:Google's Brand (1)

Frenchy_2001 (659163) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803034)

Yahoo obtained most of their other known departments through acquisition and mergers.
(Their recruiting was with hotjob).

Some of their services developped as extensions of their portal. They did it well enough though and still maintain an interesting mix of services, such as the ones you described (finance, personnals...). This is the whole POINT of being a portal, a one stop for all your information.

I do check news on yahoo, while i search on google. However, the news market online is much smaller than the search market... (you search for news, you don't news for search).

Sheesh! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15802979)

Their #1 pick is a bit uninspired: The IBM PC.

Yeah, clearly nothing ever came of that.

Re:Sheesh! (1)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803096)

I recall rumors to the effect that a lot of 3rd party hardware manufacturers saw the open bus design as a great opportunity to build more compatible hardware. 'Tis a pity that they never did. It coulda been a contender. Couldn't match a Mac of course, but coulda been a contender.

Re:Sheesh! (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803357)

Couldn't match a Mac of course, but coulda been a contender.

The Mac is the pinnacle of "could have been" technological innovation. It was leaps and bounds ahead of the competition in it's day, but many things worked together to keep it from becoming the dominant personal computer on the market.

LK

Re:Sheesh! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15803634)

but many things worked together to keep it from becoming the dominant personal computer on the market.

The number one factor is that the majority of us aren't gay....

Re:Sheesh! (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805855)

The operating system might have been, to some extent, in one area, ie user friendliness. The rest of the machine was a tiny black and white monitor, 128k of RAM, a floppy drive, mouse, and a substandard keyboard. There was a mono single channel sound system and a serial port that doubled as a slow networking system if you're counting. There were plenty of computers in 1984 that beat that spec, and did it for much less. The thing wasn't even expandable so the bulk of its features were stuff you were stuck with. The OS was user friendly, but limited. Early versions of Windows, while less friendly, beat it for features. Remember - early versions of Mac OS didn't even support hierarchical file systems. There was no shell beyond the GUI, and the GUI was so anti-keyboard many people found it unusable and anti-productivity.

One year after the Mac, the Amiga came out. Better operating system (once it was debugged. Remember, we're comparing early versions of Mac OS here. Workbench 1 was argubly uglier, and many applications routed around it, but otherwise it was feature complete, faster, and multitasking) Expandable architecture. More memory. Colour. Four channel sound. Accelerated, higher resolution graphics. All that jazz. About half the price. The Atari ST also came out about that time. While not as sophisticated, and with an arguably poorer OS, it easily beat the Mac and Amiga's price points while being a more powerful, feature complete, expandable, machine.

I wouldn't say the Mac was a particularly pleasant machine until the Mac II, where the first colour, expandable, Macintosh systems started to come out. They were still absurdly expensive, and it wasn't until System 6 that useful multitasking arrived (albeit cooperative), but even at that point, it wasn't "leaps and bounds" ahead of anything.

It would be better to describe the 1984 Mac as "different" rather than "better". For some people, the differences mattered. The Mac was inferior to many systems at its price point in every respect other than user friendliness. It took a long time to get to a system that was "right for everyone", and even when it got there, most people saw some other system as having advantages.

Re:Sheesh! (3, Insightful)

warrigal (780670) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803362)

There was very little innovation in the original PC. It was the result of a 12 month project and had to be designed around off-the-shelf parts and a cpu that was easy to implement, rather than one that would perform. Hence the Intel 80XX rather than the Motorola 68000. Development time for the 68000 would have taken too long.

The PC was IBM's third try at a desktop computer. The failure of the first two was responsible for the short time allowed for the development of the third.

64K, no floppies, no color... lame.

Re:Sheesh! (1)

Weedlekin (836313) | more than 8 years ago | (#15804802)

"There was very little innovation in the original PC"

While this is true, you should read the linked article instead of what someone wrote in the Slashdot fragment, because it actually lists the top 20 most _influential_ products. And as the whole reason for it being there in the first place is the 25th anniversary of the IBM PC, the fact that the IBM PC is at the top of the list is not particularly surprising.

Re:Sheesh! (1)

Dolda2000 (759023) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805080)

Well, the submitter's point was the fact that while the IBM PC has definitely been infinitely influential, it was very innovative, and thus didn't fit on the top 25 innovative products list. However, that seems to be a misunderstanding as a whole, since the TFA doesn't mention anything about being "most innovative", but actually is only a list of "top products".

Huh?.. Who is "tappytibbins"?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15803018)

I thought this tied in nicely to tappytibbins' story. They write


Inquiering minds want to know...

pffft ... crappy list (3, Funny)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803032)

Any such list that excludes the Creative Labs 3DO blaster can not be taken seriously

what a strange list. (2)

jigjigga (903943) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803033)

The "linksys 802.11" router is more important than windows 95... among other things.

Re:what a strange list. (1)

anup_at_mac (821069) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805688)

Yes .. and that's because Windows 95 was a pretty bad copy of the original Apple Macintosh that appeared around 12 years earlier .... in 1983. That's the reason you see the Mac higher up in that list.

Yes .. I'm a Mac fanboy.

Do we not know this? (2, Insightful)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803036)

What is their metric? How are they measuring this? Best is a subjective term, you know.

What if I think that Linux is more influental than Apache. Am I now wrong because Buisness Weekly says otherwise? I thought these were opinions. You know, use what you think is best, which is influenced by the job at hand...

If these just are opinions (or even surveys of opinions), do we need them? And, better yet, do we need them on /., where everybody has their own opinion on best stuff?

Re:Do we not know this? (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803069)

(realizes should RTFA before someone else suggests it and makes look like fool :P) Sorry... OK. It seems that they are taking money and prevalence in other markets as factors. So, not opinions.

I find the article title misleading. "Best Brands" are (essentially) the ones that make the most money. Now, why is this in hardware, on Slashdot? Most of them don't even seem to be tech companies...

I must be missing something

car brands (3, Interesting)

vivek7006 (585218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803037)

I found the rankings of car brands quite interesting. Surprisingly, Toyota came out at the top. I would have thought that Honda and Toyota would share the same place as both are Japanese car manufactures and both make excellent cars.

Toyota = 7
Mercedes = 10
BMW = 15
Honda = 19
Ford = 30
Volkswagen = 56
Audi = 74
Hyundai = 75
Porsche = 80
Nissan = 90
Lexus = 92

Re:car brands (1)

prockcore (543967) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803662)

Hell, I would've thought Toyota and Lexus would've been next to each other, since they're made by the same company.

Re:car brands (1)

Richy_T (111409) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803975)

Toyota's rep may be buoyed by Lexus even though they are listed separately.

List of innovations, or a popularity contest? (3, Informative)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803077)

The IBM PC, innovative? Back in the day, it was just one among several lines of personal computers. Not the first, not the best, it just happened to become extremely popular. The first true personal computer was the Apple II, and that should have had the top spot instead! (The 2nd place should have been a draw between Mac and Lisa - and maybe the Amiga, or that in the 3rd place).

Other bad picks:

- the Palm Pilot... no mention of Apple Newton or Atari Portfolio.
- Windows 95... back then jokingly called "Macintosh 89".
- Microsoft Office... Appleworks for the Apple II, anyone?

Re:List of innovations, or a popularity contest? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803100)

Actually all the others were clones of the IBM pc.

Re:List of innovations, or a popularity contest? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15803128)

That is completely wrong, stuff like the Commodore PET was on the market way before IBM even considered getting into the personal market. According to the book 'On the Edge' about Commodore, the PET was hailed as the first personal computer at the time.

Re:List of innovations, or a popularity contest? (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803348)

Now that complicates matters; who came first? Both the Apple II and the Commodore PET were introduced at the 1977 West Coast Computer Faire. [wikipedia.org] Then again, there's also the IBM 5100, [wikipedia.org] introduced in 1975. If it qualifies as the first personal computer, it also qualifies as the first portable one!

Re:List of innovations, or a popularity contest? (3, Insightful)

erikvcl (43470) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803175)

I agree with you that the article is confusing "innovative" with "influential".

The IBM PC wasn't innovative in the sense that it wasn't the first personal computer. It was, however the first computer widely accepted in business/corporate environments. It was no doubt more influential than any other computer of its time.

The Palm Pilot was popular, influential and, quite frankly, a great product. The Netwon, which was far more innovative was expensive and had terrible handwriting recognition.

AppleWorks was definitely innovative for its time -- and it was good for home users. For business applications, it really sucked compared to WordPerfect, Lotus 1-2-3, etc. Office was a far better piece of software and more influential.

BTW: It's great to see support for banning MGM! We need more people like you to fight the battle.

Re:List of innovations, or a popularity contest? (2, Funny)

SirSlud (67381) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803195)

As an umcircumcised male, I say, you go girl!

I dont get circumcision ... =)

Re:List of innovations, or a popularity contest? (1)

donaggie03 (769758) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803243)

huh?

Re:List of innovations, or a popularity contest? (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803287)

Uh, I'm a guy. =P

Re:List of innovations, or a popularity contest? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15803307)

The "last 25 years" puts the cutoff at 1981, which is when the IBM PC was introduced. The Apple II came earlier.

I agree that the "innovative" tag is vague as it encompasses both technical and business innovation, as well as success in the marketplace (there was an early PC called Mindset that was quite innovative but didn't sell much; then there was IBM's Microchannel bus). Before checking the list, I was sure that Netscape would be one of the top three, but it didn't even make the list - instead Mosaic checked in as #2. But that doesn't seem too consistent with the IBM PC and Windows 95 being in there, which (as noted) were hardly innovative technically. Mostly, they were notable because they dominated the market and defined the rules that everyone else had to follow.

Re:List of innovations, or a popularity contest? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15804948)

Go back to your IBM PC based Macintosh you stupid applefag.

Re:List of innovations, or a popularity contest? (1)

colmore (56499) | more than 8 years ago | (#15806234)

The IBM PC was the first open platform, whether IBM wanted it to be or not. Had Apple's model of home computing taken off, the computer world would be a world of incompatible little feifdoms (think the 80s with Amigas, Ataris, Colecos, etc. etc. etc.) cheap interchangeable hardware from multiple vendors ultimately allowed Linux to happen.

Of course, NONE of that would be possible in today's patent environment.

Linksys by Cisco (2, Insightful)

7grain (583823) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803101)

From the article, regarding Cisco:

"Cisco's decision to lead with its Linksys brand for consumers hasn't made the company a household name yet, but it's helping."

I don't understand why Cisco doesn't push their name harder in the consumer market. They bought Linksys some time ago... so why don't the Linksys boxes say "...by Cisco!" on them somewhere? Just to gather geek cachet?

Informed insight welcome.

Re:Linksys by Cisco (2, Informative)

kidgenius (704962) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803316)

Umm....they do say Cisco and have said it for over a year on Linksys wireless access points at least.

Re:Linksys by Cisco (1)

7grain (583823) | more than 8 years ago | (#15806152)

Ha. You can tell it's been a while since I've shopped for home networking hardware. Thanks.

Re:Linksys by Cisco (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15803649)

Probably because Linksys is engineered with consumer quality in mind and not enterprise quality. By attaching the Cisco brand to it you might help the Linksys name, but damage the Cisco name.

Just a thought.

Re:Linksys by Cisco (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803767)

Anything with a Linksys logo on it tends to have the Cisco logo as well.

Apache vs. Linux (4, Funny)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803112)

"And is Apache really more of an innovation than Linux?"

  • Apache: a Free server for a networking protocol (HTTP) introduced in the early 1990s.
  • Linux: a Free operating system modeled after an OS introduced in the early 1970s.
Yeah, in the context of the last 25 years, I think one of those is more of an innovation than the other.

Re:Apache vs. Linux (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803373)

Man, Coke must be a much younger product than I thought.

Re:Apache vs. Linux (1)

Teresita (982888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803671)

And is Apache really more of an innovation than Linux? If this list came out in a parallel universe where GUIs never developed, the complaint would be "And is Visicalc really more of an innovation than FreeDOS?"

innovative? (1)

pbjones (315127) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803138)

innovative |?in??v?tiv| adjective (of a product, idea, etc.) featuring new methods; advanced and original

Broadly speaking, NONE of these items are actually innovative, almost every one of them is an item that built on the idea's of it's predecessors. Successful, yes, innovative, no, sorry. A good example, the IBM PC, successful only because IBM didn't defend it's IP, innovative?, name something about the IBM PC that wasn't found in an earlier computer/operating system.

How we forget (3, Insightful)

caseih (160668) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803173)

From the article:

"With a brand that said 'business machine' and an open architecture that invited third-party innovation, the IBM PC transformed the IT industry."

It seems we forget that when the PC was first introduced it was closed and proprietary. It wasn't until Compaq clean-room reverse-engineered the BIOS that the PC revolution really got started. If IBM had had their way the PC would have been locked down and controlled by IBM forever. Remember they used to call clones "IBM compatible." After Compaq started the cloning revolution, and Microsoft moved to make IBM-specific aspects of DOS irrelevant, not long after that IBM started to become less and less relevant. They no longer directed where the platform was going. By the i386, one could no longer talk about IBM-compatible. IBM tried to start over with a proprietary system (careful not to let cloning happen this time) withe Microchannel Architecure. Fortunately the market said, we'll stick with ISA, VESA-Local and PCI (even if MCA was superior at the time). Had IBM been successful in keeping the PC proprietary, I don't know what computers we would be using today. Maybe DEC alphas or Sparcstations. Or maybe we'd be paying $10000 a pop to IBM.

Re:How we forget (2, Insightful)

Mattintosh (758112) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803350)

Had IBM been successful in keeping the PC proprietary, I don't know what computers we would be using today. Maybe DEC alphas or Sparcstations. Or maybe we'd be paying $10000 a pop to IBM.

I use a Mac. The more things change, the more people still buy the same ol' "locked-in" stuff. And yet, it works so well that I don't feel like I paid too much. A lot, but not too much. Vendor lock-in isn't as bad as most paranoid /.-ers would have you believe.

Re:How we forget (1)

gurudyne (126096) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803974)

"It wasn't until Compaq clean-room reverse-engineered the BIOS that the PC revolution really got started."

I'll hold out for Phoenix/AMI reverse-engineering the IBM BIOS. It allowed inexpensive clones to be manufactured. That, plus FedEx/UPS/etc shipping created a vast market for the garage shops.

I purchased a Kaypro AT clone back in the day with Phoenix BIOS. It was such a close PC clone, I had to purchase PC-DOS, not MS-DOS to run on it. It beat the Compaq AT equivalent to market by several weeks.

Re:How we forget (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 8 years ago | (#15807736)

It seems we forget that when the PC was first introduced it was closed and proprietary.

Actually, when the IBM-PC was first introduced, you could buy the Technical Reference Manual. It included all the schematic diagrams along with detailed technical info about all the hardware and add-on cards.

All the hardware components of the IBM-PC were built using commercial off the shelf (COTS) chips and components. There were NONE of the custom ASICs that plague many of the other 'PC type' systems of the era.

The technical reference manual also included a printed, commented copy of the BIOS source code.

It really couldn't have been more open than that. In fact, part of the challange that Compaq had in 'reverse engineering' the BIOS was that it was so widely known that many of the programmers that could have 'cloned' it were 'contaminated' by virtue of the fact that they'd seen the IBM source code.

It wasn't 'open' in the sense of a GPL'd work, but much closer than anything else being produced anywhere in the "Personal Computer" industry of the time.

What about Head On? (2, Funny)

QuantumFTL (197300) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803199)

Head on is so great, that they have taken it upon themselves to not only educate the masses about their product (Apply directly to the forehead!), but also discouraging couch potatoes by the incessent repeating of their usage instructions. That's like two services in one!

Mod Parent Up!!! (1)

donutz (195717) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803732)

I can't believe HeadOn hasn't made it to the list. I mean, with a commercial this innovative [youtube.com] , how can you not be a top brand?

What a useless top 25 list... (2, Informative)

Stick_Fig (740331) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803211)

...first of all, the list looks like it was created by the intern in Powerpoint using Google Image Search, and then quickly converted to JPGs. Why the hell would you lay this out as a slideshow? It instantly means you can't easily copy and paste the text.

How about the list itself? It's like they chose some of the things randomly -- example; VMware is a great piece of software, but is it really more essential to the workplace than Windows and Microsoft Office, two programs end-users make heavy use of daily? And why list Linux in general, then Red Hat? That seems somewhat disingenuous. Plus, they missed a few pretty big ones, like the Internet, ethernet, CD-ROMs, VoIP and mice. Looks like the intern had a pretty busy week, coming up with this list all by himself.

Nessus?!? hahah must be a slow week for news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15803245)

Seriously? It's a piece of shit that barely works. nessus is in the top 25? Everything else kind of makes some sense in a perverse sort of way, but nessus? It's not even close to being the first or best scanner. It might not even be the most popular one anymore. You have to do a lot of work to get really good results from it. That's funny.


That's just crappy journalism, when you've got nothing else to write about put together a top 10 list of something. It's not even December or January... IOS seems particularly funny to me for some reason, I guess it's the shit if you've never used it but if you've done any amount of network device setup just about everyone else has something better. You don't get a CCNP because networking is that hard, it's that shitty IOS and CatOS that you have to learn, you deserve some sort of reward or punishment for learning it.


PDF? What they mean is Postscript.

NASCAR (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15803270)

Some of us may joke about it, but NASCAR is becoming a huge brand in the US, particularly in the red states. Some fans will buy pretty much anything with the NASCAR logo (clothing, groceries, etc.) which is basically what brand strength is all about.

Apache Linux? Yes. (2, Insightful)

Goodgerster (904325) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803321)

Yes, Apache is more innovative than Linux: Linux is just a bog-standard UNIX-imitatory OS kernel (although admittedly an open-source one with the best features), while httpd is an innovatively modular and also innovatively free web server which has been probably the second most-used open-source product. And one mustn't forget non-httpd Apache projects, such as Forrest (a CMS) which is quite cool, certainly innovative in ways.

DOOM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15803369)

Can't let this PC list go without DOOM.

Sony (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15803371)

Amusing to me: While over the last year Sony has gone from "kind of widely disliked" to "the most loathed corporation of any kind on the entire planet" on Slashdot, according to BusinessWeek's list of brands Sony is the 28th "strongest" brand in the whole world, and in fact is 9% "stronger" than it was a year ago.

And so once again we see that the way Slashdot sees the world and the way the rest of the world sees the world are sometimes at quite unusual odds...

Re:Sony (1)

Weedlekin (836313) | more than 8 years ago | (#15805002)

"once again we see that the way Slashdot sees the world and the way the rest of the world sees the world are sometimes at quite unusual odds.."

That's because nerds in general have different sets of priorities from non-nerds, and Slashdot reflects this. Unfortunately, the Slashdot breed of nerd also seems unable to grasp the fact that nobody else in the world gives a hoot about the things that they think are important.

Some things people care about (in no particular order:

Their families
Wages
Being popular
Sex
The cost of living
Medical care
Crime, terrorism, and their justice system.
Taxes
Weather
Stuff about famous people
What's on TV

A sampling of things they do not care about at all (again, in no particular order):

DRM
Linux drivers for various bits of computer hardware
The GPL
Software patents
The iPod's inability to play Ogg-Vorbis files
ICANN, and who runs it
Richard Stallman
The opinions of science fiction writers

Re:Sony (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 8 years ago | (#15807787)

I would go so far as to narrow the scope. It isn't 'nerds' in general that exhibit the described viewpoint. It is that curious subculture of nerds known as 'slashbots.'

'Nerds in general' actually defy any narrow categorization. I know of nerds who specialize in all kinds of different ways, i.e. 'Calibration Equipment Nerds' and 'vintage gasoline engine Nerds.'

Re:Sony (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 8 years ago | (#15807766)

to "the most loathed corporation of any kind on the entire planet" on Slashdot,

A few days ago I was eating lunch in a cheap storefront Chinese Resturant, and a family at another table were having fun with the fortunes in their fortune cookies by tagging on '...in bed' at the end, a common and amusing practice. A fortune cookie would read "You will prosper"; it would translate "You will prosper in bed."

Anyways...

I think a similar amusing practice can now be made by adding '...on Slashdot' to the end of various phrases and sentences.

Just a thought I had...

Where the heck is AT&T (1)

Wireless Joe (604314) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803382)

I know the brand has taken it on the chin for the last....uh....decade, but it's got to be worth at least as much as Heinz or Wrigley? I'd imagine we may see a resurgence in the next decade.

Re:Where the heck is AT&T (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 8 years ago | (#15804323)

They kinda took a nosedive by taking in, gutting, and selling off NCR a long time ago. It didnt help to lose the good parts of them that still existed afterwards (Lucent?).

Is eWeek on crack? (2, Insightful)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803396)

XNS, which nobody uses anymore, is an "innovative PC product", but TCP/IP, which everybody uses and which predates XNS, isn't even mentioned? WTF?!?

Re:Is eWeek on crack? (1)

stokes (148512) | more than 8 years ago | (#15806350)

Well, the timeframe was twenty-five years, i.e. 1981 to the present. TCP/IP was created before that. People were also saying the Apple II should have been on the list, but it's also a product of the 1970s.

This isn't, however, to say the list isn't a load of hooey.

Linux over Apache (1)

zzen (190880) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803438)

And is Apache really more of an innovation than Linux?

You must be kidding, right? With Apache market share being 63% [netcraft.com] and Linux being what? Like 3%? Even if we're talking just about servers, it's got less then 30%. [kryogenix.org] With Apache leading the web server innovation and Linux just trying to replicate more advanced OSes in OSS context (if we're talking about desktops)... ...sure, mod me down. Still, that doesn't prove me wrong.

The IBM PC was unimpressive in 1981 (2, Interesting)

Junks Jerzey (54586) | more than 8 years ago | (#15803713)

It was overpriced and underpowered. It had the IBM name, but at the time it was so completely blah compared to home computers of the time. But then again the author may be thinking of the PC in general, and not the system that started it all.

On Apache vs. Linux: Remember, Linux was just a rewrite of UNIX. Nothing amazing there.

Re:The IBM PC was unimpressive in 1981 (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 8 years ago | (#15807799)

It also had five expansion slots (later versions: 8) with which you could plug literally anything into it, to make it anything you liked.

And the specs for that expansion slot (along with complete, commented, detailed schematics of the entire system) were published and available for a (then) nominal fee.

I have the first edition of the IBM PC Technical Reference Manual to offer as evidence.

This was in the same spirit as the 'expandable' original Apple II and it fostered much the same community around itself. Then Steven Jobs came on the scene, and actually BOASTED at the launch of Macintosh that it was a 'hacker proof' (his very words) sealed box.

And where is the mighty palmpilot now? (2, Interesting)

xtal (49134) | more than 8 years ago | (#15804229)

Almost useless, overstuffed with features, with no battery life, sporting a screen that can't easily be read outdoors, with the wrong form factor, over weight, in OS hell.

Where is what I should have? A super thin version of the beloved palmpilot I got in 1997! The Palm V had the form factor right smack on. The screen technology is what palm should have spent the money on; not uninspired "me too" features.

Why, oh why, does my $70 Gameboy SP look great outside and in, and my $400 palm can barely stay charged through a day of use? I recently went back to my palm V, because at least, it did what I wanted.

Hey, Palm Executives and Product Developers:

PULL YOUR HEADS OUT OF .. and make a thin, minimalist PDA with a beautiful, high contrast, maybe B&W, display. The market will do the rest, just like it did when US Robotics released their own. ..or, you can wait until the next generation ipod does it for you. The nano is damn close.

Re:And where is the mighty palmpilot now? (1)

fatphil (181876) | more than 8 years ago | (#15807492)

I still use a Palm Vx. Only spoilt by one cheap component. Does your Palm V backlight still work?

Re:And where is the mighty palmpilot now? (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 8 years ago | (#15807815)

I have built up just about the right size supply of Palm III devices now to last me for the remaining decades of my life. I used a Handspring Visor for a time. I 'upgraded' to one of the new flimsy stamped-thin-metal case Palm Tungsten devices. It crapped out a few short weeks past the warranty period.

I can carry a Palm III in my pocket anywhere I go. The hard plastic case protects the innards, and the 2 AAA batteries last for months, not weeks. And I have the Code Warrior development environment for PalmOS of the era, so I can expand it with any apps I choose to write.

Palm III's can be had on eBay now for $5-15, and the ones that I have purchased appear to be brand new. I think a lot of people bought them and didn't use them much, and they're now very affordable.

TFA Says Influential, Not Innovative (1)

TomHandy (578620) | more than 8 years ago | (#15804257)

I might be missing something, but the submitter seems to be the one who inserted the idea that this was a list of the top 25 most INNOVATIVE products. The actual list seems to be based on how influential they are. Based on that, it makes more sense (although I think that I might argue that even on a list of influence, the Macintosh probably should be a fair bit higher than it is, and you might even argue then that Smalltalk and the Xerox Alto should be on there if you want to get into what products were the most influential on where computing is today).
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