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Canadian By Choice
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
From Sandy McMurray's TechStuff email advertising his new iThink column:

"Writing on this topic challenged me to think of things Microsoft has invented or created (rather than buying or borrowing them from other people or companies). So far I've only been able to come up with two that I'm certain about: Microsoft Bob and "Clippy" the Office Assistant
(the animated paperclip in Microsoft Office). There must be more, though. How many can you think of?"

I think Bob and Clippy says it all.....
 

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Ummm... who was Bob? And I know Clippy is wanted deader then a doorknob or a paperclip by nearly every user of Word on the PC... that's not much of an innovation. Oh wait its Microsoft
, its real hard to get things right when your goal is to do things wrong.
 

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Keeping in mind that while MS buys or copies just about everything they do, a few of Apple's innovations were purchased as well. Take Final Cut, they bought it and almost every addition they have made to it was bought from another company.

Then again, Apple seems to do a much better job of combining their purchases into slick and easy to use packages, so maybe that is innovation enough.

--PB
 

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Apple has been pretty slow adopting some of the useful stuff from the dark side... My fave is the right click! Not sure who invented it though...
 

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Microsoft Bob. Heh heh. Forgotten about that. I think that stupid, annoying, stupid, annoying paper-clip thing has its conceptual roots in Bob.

There's not much there but check the following website, and say these words aloud, slowly, and relish every syllable: ill-fated operating system.

Heh heh.

http://www.techtv.com/screensavers/showtell/story/0,24330,3316324,00.html

Do a Google on "Microsoft Bob" but try not to lose your lunch on your Mac while doing so.
 

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I always wondered where that dog in XP came from... well what do you know. Bob doesn't seem like too bad of a program, an attempt to practical and make computing worthwhile, but at the wrong time. Too bad, MS might have actually had something with some tweaking for new users. People who had already used computers for a while would almost definitely hated it thoroughly and despised it.
 

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Microsoft Bob and the various 'Assistants' in Office (and now in XP) are forms of software agents.

This is a good idea that has not IMO been done right so far. Microsoft's agents interrupt you and try to offer helpful hints, but they're rarely helpful. Mostly, they train you -- teaching you to do things the Windows way.

This, in itself, IS helpful long-term, if you have to use Windows, but it doesn't feel good at the time. Which, I think, is why most users want to turn them off. "Leave me alone!" is a typical reaction to the little pop-up guys.

"You appear to be writing a suicide note..."

SMc
 

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For the life of me I can't think of any innovations that have come out of Apple. Apple's taken a lot of innovations and refined them over the years, but I can't think of anything groundbreaking that's come out of Apple that someone else hadn't developed first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
jfp, see the Apple Innovation thread. Apart from FireWire, there are also many design innovations. We tend to forget that things that were traiblazing when introduced, became commonplace later. The iMac was revolutionary in its lack of legacy ports (and is credited with bringing USB mainstream). The iPod is an evolution (i.e not the first HD mp3 player) but its synching integration and use fo firewire made it the first practical HD based player.

I think Apple is better known for design innovation than technical innovation. The two do go together though.
 
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