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Mistakes made by Microsoft's competitors

By Jim Phelps ·
Does it astonish anyone out there when a company makes a ROYALLY STUPID mistake, and then Microsoft eats their lunch?

I immediately think of Borland, formerly THE STANDARD in compilers. One of their products was Paradox. Their then-CEO, Phillipe Kahn, decided he wanted to increase the market share and customer base of Borland, so Borland bought dBASE 4 (FULL OF BUGS!). It took them a long time to clean it up, but they finally did. But they lost their shirt on that one, as well as their market dominance in the compiler market, to, SURPRISE, Microsoft!

Meanwhile, Microsoft bought FoxBase (a good product). They cleaned up the interface, then repackaged it as FoxPro. Virtually overnight, they became the dominant database program.

So all the money, time, and market dominance which Borland spent on that deal went for NOTHING!

I'm not blaming Microsoft here, I'm simply sharing my astonishment at the mistakes other companies have made along the way, and Microsoft's ability to profit from them.

What other royally stupid mistakes can you tell us about? (Boy, what a loaded question that is!)

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The essence of stupidty

by cass.harley In reply to Mistakes made by Microsof ...

A guy just wrote a book on it.

I think the book is called 'the essence of stupidty'.

I have read the intro, sounds interesting.

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Apple, the GUI and the mouse ...

by jardinier In reply to Mistakes made by Microsof ...

If you look back on the history of Apple, it appears that the company has always had a death wish. There have been a number of reasons why Apple lost out to MS in a big way, but I think the mistake from which they never recovered was to market the "user friendly" personal computer with the GUI and the mouse.

Unfortunately at that time (in the late 1980's I think) not too many people could afford to buy a personal computer, and most software was written for business use. Now as we all know, once the keyboard commands for any programs are memorised, then the keyboard leaves the mouse for dead as regards speed, and hence efficiency.

Another factor was that they didn't license out their OS for the clone market, and in a flash and a twinkle, only Apple were making Apples, but every man and his dog were churning out generic PCs.

There has never been any question as to the quality of the hardware, but I can tell you from personal experience (I have numerous models of Mac and their associated OSs)that in the mid nineties, Mac OS 8.6 is a c**t of an OS compared with Windows 95 which came out at about the same time. The Mac crashes much more frequently than Win 95, and there is no Ctrl+Alt+Del to get you up and running again. And you can't run "Disk Fird Aid" (Scandisk) on the boot-up drive, which is usually the only hard drive ... and I could go on.

HOWEVER, as I am allowed to play with the things at the local Apple shop, OS X is really something. But they took a wrong turning so long ago that I doubt they can ever gain a reasonable share of the market. But then, with their 5 per cent share world-wide, well that's a lot of computers!

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Also, Steve Jobs gave away the store

by Jim Phelps In reply to Apple, the GUI and the mo ...

Also, I understand that Steve Jobs gave away the store when he contracted out some programming to Bill Gates and co. He handed an Apple computer, with all specs, to Bill Gates, so Microsoft could write software for it! Bill stole the design and put it in his overseas products (he carefully avoided the US market, to keep out of trouble). Why Jobs didn't sue Bill Gates is beyond me.

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The ones that spring to mind without really thinking are

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Mistakes made by Microsof ...

Word Perfect once the only Word Processor worth considering, then there was Lotus 123 wich has now gone the way of the Dodo and then Paradox.

All of those where once "Industry Standards" and they have all lst their way to the mighty Microsoft who's products still arn't as gtood as some of those that they have replaced.

But I suspose that progress you give up something good for a second rate unit and the public is happy with this.

Now if I could ever manage to understand this I'd be a lot richer than I currently am.

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Of course I forgot the really big one

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Mistakes made by Microsof ...

Xerox thinking that there would be no future in the PC market so they brought in all the compitition and allowed them to not only look see but have a play with the Lidia and then trashed the whole lot.

Talk about snatching disater from the jaws of being the "Next Big Super Stars" that one has to be the best ever within this industry.

While it didn't strictly give Microsoft the advantage it did give them the idea to develop a GUI along with Apple who got there first and then threw the whole thing away in some unfathonable idea where they managed to throw the baby out with the bath water and not realise it until Microsoft had taken over the market.

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