Microsoft adviser: Apple does not have a lock on innovation

Microsoft is no slouch when it comes to creating cool and forward thinking technology and software products. Many of those innovations were on display, both publicly and privately, as part of the company's TechFest event in March. This week, Craig Mundie, Microsoft's former chief research officer, showed off part of what Microsoft is working on to a group of students at Yale University.

The Yale Daily News website reports that Mundie, who is now a senior adviser at Microsoft, showed off just a few of the company's current research projects during his Yale lecture on Wednesday. One example had Mundie and a colleague on stage, each of which had a desk lamp with a camera and projector installed inside. Mundie and his teammate wrote on pieces of paper, while the lamps projected the writing each person was doing on the other piece of paper, in an interesting new twist on collaboration.

Another article on the lecture from the Hartford Courant website said that some Yale students asked Mundie why Microsoft had seemingly been beaten to the punch in terms of new technology products by companies like Apple. Mundie replied, "Our problem wasn't technology. Our problem was marketing. I don't think Apple has any lock on this stuff at all."

Source: Yale Daily NewsHartford Courant | Image via Microsoft

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Microsoft needs to focus and follow through. MS has had many firsts but they seem to lose interest too quickly. They seem to run out of steam and ideas and let products die. Windows Mobile, SPOT watch, ZUNE, Tablet PC's.

No one has a lock on tech. One day a company will be on top, the next another. One company doesnt have all the ideas/innovation.

Agree. But marketing isn't the only problem. The first is taking a research project (or several) and making it/them into a good product that works.. then comes marketing. I wish MS could just get more projects out.. like Microsoft Home. The demo on the MSR page is pretty neat. Now that their making more hardware of their own, maybe we'll see more. *Hoping..*

That is true, Apple doesn't have "a lock" on innovation. However, has Apple ever laid such an "egg" as Windows-8? I so, how much better did Apple recover? Microsoft is still in denial. It not just marketing, but also what is being marketed.

Your using Windows 8 as a "negative" ? I think Windows Vista is more fitting... and yes, Apple has had plenty of failures in products... do some research.

xendrome said,
Your using Windows 8 as a "negative" ? I think Windows Vista is more fitting...

More like Windows ME.

But yea, companies marketing sucks at times, and other times what is being marketed sucks. Nothing new and nothing any company hasnt gone through.

TsarNikky said,
That is true, Apple doesn't have "a lock" on innovation. However, has Apple ever laid such an "egg" as Windows-8? I so, how much better did Apple recover? Microsoft is still in denial. It not just marketing, but also what is being marketed.

tell me again...what's bad about windows 8?
the fact that our start menus have been upgraded to full screen menus where we can literally pin anything we want to for quick access and have more room??

yeah...that sounds so bad.. /s

xendrome said,
Your using Windows 8 as a "negative" ? I think Windows Vista is more fitting... and yes, Apple has had plenty of failures in products... do some research.

Windows 8 is a definite negative due to its complete failure at the retail level, it even has a lower adoption rate than vista.

TsarNikky said,
That is true, Apple doesn't have "a lock" on innovation. However, has Apple ever laid such an "egg" as Windows-8? I so, how much better did Apple recover? Microsoft is still in denial. It not just marketing, but also what is being marketed.

There is nothing wrong with Windows 8. It's setting the base for the next 20 years in PC evolution, and it's getting a major update later this year.

Order_66 said,

Windows 8 is a definite negative due to its complete failure at the retail level, it even has a lower adoption rate than vista.

The adoption rate may be low, but, as with Vista, the hardware wasn't in step with the software. Vista required a massive amount of RAM when it was released. They slowly refined it, tweaked the kernel to require less RAM, and RAM became cheaper. They also had driver issues at release. All of which were remedied over time. Windows 8 is touch-first, mouse second. Unfortunately, people are too lazy to learn a couple new mouse gestures, and nobody wants to buy a new PC with a touchscreen just so they can use Windows 8. Windows 8 is a paradigm shift. We're moving away from the days of computing with a big box to the days of computing with handheld devices. They've simply decided to strike a balance between content consumption and content creation with Windows 8, rather than focusing more on content consumption like Apple and Google have with the iPad and Android tablets. Windows 8 is a shift away from what the Windows brand has always been. They're keeping it relevant. This is just the start.

Dot Matrix said,

There is nothing wrong with Windows 8. It's setting the base for the next 20 years in PC evolution, and it's getting a major update later this year.

It's unusable for real work.

astalvfnw said,
microsoft is no slouch. IE6 for 5 years.
now win8 and wp8 is a disaster.

I'd agree on IE6, but since when was WP8 a disaster? Win8 isn't a disaster either. I'm happily using it now and finding it a *massive* improvement over previous versions. A bit of a learning curve, but nothing major.

You could argue on Win8 but you must be joking about wp8?

astalvfnw said,
microsoft is no slouch? IE6 for 5 years.
now win8 and wp8 is a disaster.

IE6 was perfectly acceptable in it's time.

Just like using Netscape would be a bit comical now. Or the first firefox.

Or MSE which was great at first, but now isn't even certified via AV-Test.org, having failed twice already. It's like they have spotlight issues: focus on a product to make it awesome, then forget about it.

The 'bad marketing' excuse is really getting old... So what awesome competitive product did Microsoft have out there (and failed to market properly) when the iPhone, iPad or in fact the iPod were each released?

CSharp. said,
The 'bad marketing' excuse is really getting old... So what awesome competitive product did Microsoft have out there (and failed to market properly) when the iPhone, iPad or in fact the iPod were each released?

They had nothing. It seems to me they are late to the game every time. Just copying stuff. And doing average products. Windows 8, Surface, comes to mind.

I expect more of them, but they are like a drunk elephant, with no direction or talent.

CSharp. said,
The 'bad marketing' excuse is really getting old... So what awesome competitive product did Microsoft have out there (and failed to market properly) when the iPhone, iPad or in fact the iPod were each released?

I think this is very subjective and related to personal needs:
The Tablet PC, although ahead of its time, was launched in 2002; Media Center was butchered by short sighted management, wheel mouse, Windows Mobile again sunk by incompetent high echelon of MS executives.

CSharp. said,
The 'bad marketing' excuse is really getting old... So what awesome competitive product did Microsoft have out there (and failed to market properly) when the iPhone, iPad or in fact the iPod were each released?

The Zune was awesome and competitive but Microsoft epicly failed at marketing it.

FalseAgent said,

The Zune was awesome and competitive but Microsoft epicly failed at marketing it.

Are you being sarcastic? Zune was very late out on a already saturated market.

Buio said,

Are you being sarcastic? Zune was very late out on a already saturated market.

Um, no, the market wasn't saturated, it was just fighting the apathy of people that bought into iPod+iTunes at that time. Not only did this group of consumers buy a iPod, they pretty much ignored every single decent alternative at that time like the Creative Zen, Sony Walkman, and the Microsoft Zune.

FalseAgent said,

Um, no, the market wasn't saturated, it was just fighting the apathy of people that bought into iPod+iTunes at that time. Not only did this group of consumers buy a iPod, they pretty much ignored every single decent alternative at that time like the Creative Zen, Sony Walkman, and the Microsoft Zune.

But Zune (nor Zen or Walkman) brought anything new to the market other than what was already available for the iPod. That is why Zune failed. It was a decent device, but it didn't give anyone a reason to switch from an iPod.

Buio said,

Are you being sarcastic? Zune was very late out on a already saturated market.

I was around when WordStar, Word Perfect and Quattro Pro dominated the market.... along came Word and Excel and now they are the standard.
Same when Palm reigned wit PDAs, the market was "saturated", so to speak but MS dethroned it.

I would have to agree.. Microsoft has had major issues with Marketing.. Apple was awesome with marketing and changing the smart phone game (with their first iPhone).. Nothing was like it.. But now they keep manufacturing the same phone for the last 5ish years.. people are starting to look elsewhere.. mostly Android right now.. Maybe MS can pull out of there slump and make something happen..

Edited by xendrome, Apr 5 2013, 11:03pm :

They never really have, what they have is an ability to take someone else's idea and then turn it into a product people want to buy.

"Our problem wasn't technology. Our problem was marketing. I don't think Apple has any lock on this stuff at all."

in a nutshell, this!