When it comes to Microsoft, I have long argued that they got lucky int heir deal with IBM. Aftewr that, pretty much everything they ever did was either ripped off from someone else — as in stolen — or a very obvious “inspired by.” (They did occasionally buy stuff as well, but not if they could avoid it).
In terms of revenue, the vast majority of their revenue comes from what I would call misappropriated technologies — if not legally, then certainly ethically.
Windows was a copy of the original Apple OS, Excel was from Lotus 123, was Word Dont forget Microsoft the Innovator is opening retail stores; their innovation has also led to the brilliant idea to digitize 100,000 books. Even the purchase of DOS was done in a nefarious way, leading its creator to commit suicide.
And now, we find out that Bing is stealing from Google results — and in a very creepy way: “Google says it suspects Microsoft is doing this by using Internet Explorer 8 and the Bing toolbar, both of which send user data to Microsoft, to watch how people use Google.” (See Google: Bing Is Cheating, Copying Our Search Results).
No, I have never been a fan of Microsoft. A company I am on the board of sued MSFT for patent infirngment, and eventually wrested a $60 million settlement from them. One day, I will explain how Mister Softee was the prime cause of the tech bubble in the late 1990s.
But for now, let’s stick with the simple thesis: The Microsoft culture never respected intellectual property of others, and was a bully that took what it wanted.