One of the constants of the computer industry (software and hardware) is that it is an industry built upon the mistakes of others.

Perhaps the best example of this is Xerox with its famous PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) which involved the mouse, the concept of a pointer and the modern graphical user interface (GUI).

Steve Jobs saw it, Bill Gates saw it, and both decided to copy and expand upon it.  At the end of the day we got the Mac and Windows.  Xerox, in the meantime, decided not to press on it with it declaring that photocopying would always be their core industry.  j(Give them their due, over twenty years after that mistake and Xerox is still in business.)

Microsoft is now in the process of becoming the latest large software company to commit hari-kari by stupidity.  They’re doing it with Windows 8 (now 8.1).

Microsoft is a behemoth and has been for a long time.  Its infighting is legendary (reminiscent of the fighting divisions of GM and of IBM) and its intolerance of its users –  its arrogance –  is much the same.  (It does seem to be a constant that those in industry who would commit suicide must first become blindingly arrogant.)

With Windows 8, Microsoft has decided to take its desktop operating system and cram it into a cellphone space.  Microsoft is stuck on the “one size fits all” framework and so it will die.

It’s a pity, too, because with Kinect, Microsoft had a chance to take the desktop and turn it into the interface of the future (and then extend that down into smartphones).  That’s what I was hoping from Windows 8, not this “take it or leave it” tribute to mediocrity (the worst desktop user interface and the worst smartphone interface combined).


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