Not content to imitate Mac OS X Tiger, today Bill Gates unveiled that Longhorn is going to contain a giant rip-off of Delicious Library, as well!
I know this sounds like a joke, but check out the screenshots above from his keynote at WinHEC. Hey, if only there were some way that you could have an online catalog of books, movies, music, and videogames... and what if you displayed the full-size covers of those items, and there was a search field to refine your choices, and a slider to zoom in and out, and you could buy an item with a single click? Yah. Someone should invent something like that.
The amazing thing is THERE IS NOT ONE INNOVATION IN THIS. 100% of the things in this screenshot are things we did first in Delicious Library, except for the über-ugly look of their shelves. That's theirs. (And apparently you can view the BACK of the cover in theirs. Man, they are thinking OUTSIDE THE BOX!)
I'm amazed, yet appalled. Seriously, if there were ONE SINGLE THING in there that wasn't a copy of us, I'd think maybe they came up with the idea on their own. But... exactly the same categories as we have? You couldn't add any others? Like, say, software titles? I mean, you're Microsoft, why would you not have a category for software? Oh, because WE didn't think of it for you?
Zoom slider at the bottom? Couldn't be anywhere else? Search field at the bottom? I mean, come on, guys. Sure, you moved the categories to the top, but, seriously. This is just embarrassing for you.
Next week: Bill announces that he's going to invent the "laptop" computer, if we all just wait two years.
ADDENDUM: I should point out that it's my personal opinion that this demo is a rip-off of Delicious Library. Mike actually disagrees -- he thinks it's a wild coincidence that they have all the similarities.
Some people have pointed out on this and other forums that the program in question was just a "technology demo" of the kind of the thing people "might" do when and if Avalon ever comes out. But what's funny, to me, is that they take someone else's idea and say, "Look, this is the kind of thing we can enable in two years! Wait for it! It's gonna be great! Ignore that the interesting part of this is available today!"
Now, you can argue that it's not the same idea, that they came up with it independently. I admit that's a possibility (and Mike's on your side), but I think there are too many similarities for it to be coincidence.
Also, I should point out that in my view Microsoft has EVERY RIGHT to make an app similar to mine, or do a demo of one. I don't believe in software patents and all that crud.
For instance, check out mCatalog.
Note that this nice fellow actually copied the Delicious Library interfaces directly (and said as much). All I asked him to do was give us credit on his site, and I granted him a permanent license to use our interfaces for free. (Plus, he has our product name on his page, so it comes up if you search for open source versions of our program.) So, I'm not claiming "the idea of a library is mine for all time and nobody can touch it."
All I'm saying is, I think Microsoft's demo was based on my work, and I don't like seeing it copied without getting credit. There. Also, Mike disagrees. Of course, I disagree with Mike's blog sometimes, and that's cool.
Labels: mac community