Windows

Poll Results: How far behind has Microsoft fallen in the innovation race?

Find out how your peers answered this question: When it comes to product innovation and creating new markets, how far behind has Microsoft fallen?

On February 5, 2010, I used Mary-Jo Foley's blog post about Microsoft's lack of innovation, "Microsoft's Challenge: Innovation, Innovation, Innovation," where she wondered out loud whether Microsoft would ever be able to recapture its ability to develop innovative products, as a basis for this question:

When it comes to product innovation and creating new markets, how far behind has Microsoft fallen?

Results

If anyone from Microsoft happens to be passing by, they might want to take a close look at the results, because as far as the very IT savvy TechRepublic Membership is concerned, Microsoft is woefully far behind when it comes to innovation. Perhaps it is time for the company to interject a greater sense of urgency in the research and development process.

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About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

17 comments
MaranathaP
MaranathaP

Things I did not see mentioned are how many total votes were received, if users were required to log in to vote, and how they were able to maintain any poll integrity. I agree that Microsoft isn't necessarily an innovator, but then again, I don't see who it is that has "lapped" them several times either.

DNSB
DNSB

The original post may have been edited but when I read it, the statement beside the pie chart was that it was based on 583 total votes.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

There were 583 total votes - it is shown in the pie chart. The poll was open for one month exactly.

MaranathaP
MaranathaP

That's one problem with using the web on a mobile like my Droid, it's tiny. I missed that on the graphic. Thanks for the clarification.

jkameleon
jkameleon

Microsoft never was in the innovation race, it always had shunned innovation, as a matter of fact. The only race Microsoft was ever in was a profit making race.

Slayer_
Slayer_

That is what MS does.

oldbaritone
oldbaritone

THERE would be an innovation for MS! W3C. ISO. ANSI. Play by the World's rules for a change.

etafner
etafner

EVERY single thing they do is based on RFCs and standards. Try looking on TechNet or MSDN. Eventually, they come with a standard that is BETTER or extend it with some margin. Is it innovation or not? They ARE indeed innovation juggernauts. Don't just say things out loud, try looking out a little. Please, don't believe the hype. I guess you will find things very interesting there.

oldbaritone
oldbaritone

Yes, MS uses many standards. But all too often, they ignore an existing standard, and go off to their own little world and create their own rules. They create their own nonconforming, proprietary standards that are more-or-less similar to existing worldwide standards - but they're owned and controlled by MS. It's the "Not Invented Here" syndrome. Somebody else invented it, so we don't want it. Last year, when the government insisted on compliance with published, available standards, we had the ISO OOXML debacle in Norway. XML already existed as a standard, but MS went their own noncompliant way, and then used their power and influence to badger an approval for an incomplete, ambiguous, inconsistent mess. "Don't believe the hype?" Ask yourself a question - why do web designers need to check the browser, and adapt the page rendering based on the browser? Then ask the REALLY important question - WHICH browsers need special accommodations? Answer: MSIE lives in its own little world, and there are even differences now between IE6, IE7, and IE8; if a developer wants to have the page render correctly, extensive processing is required to satisfy IE's version-specific peculiarities. Safari, Opera, Firefox, Chrome and many more all play by one set of rules. IE plays by a different set of rules. Microsoft Office lives in ITS own peculiar world, and each version of that suite creates files incompatible with the previous versions - 95/97/2K, or 2003, or 2007 are all different. Again, there are worldwide standards available, but MS doesn't work and play well with others. Yes, some standards become better as they grow. But there is a civilized way to do it. And going off into your own little corner, and trying to badger the rest of the world play by your rules, is not the way to accomplish it. "Get along with others." Not "MY way or the highway."

QAonCall
QAonCall

Bunch of haters... SharePoint, Cloud computing, vrtualiation, best SMB server and desktop os. Office and dev technoologies. The only market where they are clearly behind is mobile handheld market. In the browser markets there direction was totally security focused but now have expanded to w3c compliance and new standards. They are so far ahead in most areas google is still trying to copy them. They wasted time competing with apple to be cool, instead of staying focused on the prize. They will lead into the cloud and beyond... Linux may get the desktop because MS may hand it over in lieu of the cloud.

oldbaritone
oldbaritone

Sharepoint - new coat of paint on same-old server. New packaging on old ideas. Cloud computing - I agree it may be an innovaion, if it becomes viable. The jury is still out. Virtualization - they're still playing catch-up. Virtualization has been on IBM mainframes since the early 1970's (S/370 VM) SMB server - was created on other OS's as a compatibility bridge to MS. Not MS's idea, the other way around. Ironic that MS even has this product. Best Desktop OS - Must be you have never heard of the Palo Alto Research Center - where point-and-click began. Somebody else's idea. Office - Hmmm... WordStar, SuperCalc, VisiCalc, Word Perfect, dBase - growth by acquisition and mayhem, not innovation. "expanded to W3C compliance" - that's a laugh. Others innovate, now they're playing catch-up. Silverlight? - Flash and Shockwave HTML Editor? (FrontPage/Expression) - Cold Fusion, Hot Dog Browser with Plug-ins? - Firefox and others. "They will lead into the cloud and beyond... " - another interpretation of "cloud" is "a puff of smoke" Time will tell, but the days of Bill Gates selling a bill of goods to IBM, and then inventing it after-the-fact are long gone.

thamadgreek
thamadgreek

I am in awe. Funny when someone has input on things yet the research is lacked. Good show. I would like to refer to the other gentleman as what we call a "sheep" or "Robot" Someone who has been programmed to believe Microsoft is the innovator of all.

QAonCall
QAonCall

Or was the seatbelt the same thing? I think you might want to check the defintiion of innovation. I could have said distribution method, but that would have really hurt the anti MS crowd. Just because MS innovates, doesn't mean the innovation pie gets smaller. Apple now has the best distribution mmethod, but it sucks for users, it doesn't mean it isn't a good method. separate fact from emotion. MS still innovates, and innovation is not invention! Innovate: to introduce something new; make changes in anything established. Invent:to originate or create as a product of one's own ingenuity, experimentation, or contrivance: to invent the telegraph. The first response LITERALLY proves MS is the innovator!

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Okay, so the consensus is that Microsoft is not innovating, but then which company is?

Kappamerc
Kappamerc

It would seem the results, overall, weigh in Microsoft's favor. 57% Positive, 43% negative. That's just the way I'm reading it.

DNSB
DNSB

Call 31% they have fallen behind and are not gaining ground as being neutral, 43% they are still falling behind or not in the race and 26% they are gaining, neck and neck, juggernauts, etc. Hardly what I consider a majority. Could you explicate the logic by which you considered that 31% as a positive?