Microsoft Disagrees With 'Clumsy' Criticisms

Yesterday former Microsoft VP Dick Brass wrote an opinion piece for the New York Times calling the software giant a "clumsy, uncompetitive innovator."

Frank X. Shaw, Microsoft corporate VP of communications, responded (and disagreeing) in the official Microsoft blog by touching upon points brought up by Brass.

"At the highest level, we think about innovation in relation to its ability to have a positive impact in the world. For Microsoft, it is not sufficient to simply have a good idea, or a great idea, or even a cool idea," Shaw wrote. "We measure our work by its broad impact."

To highlight his point, Shaw said that ClearType now ships with every copy of Windows and is installed on around a billion PCs around the world.

"This is a great example of innovation with impact: innovation at scale," Shaw states. "Now, you could argue that this should have happened faster. And sometimes it does. But for a company whose products touch vast numbers of people, what matters is innovation at scale, not just innovation at speed."

Shaw pointed to Microsoft's OneNote product as being "essentially created for the Tablet and is a key part of Office today."

Shaw also rejected Brass's assessment of that Xbox being an equal contender in the game console business: "Fact is, Xbox 360 was the first high-definition console. It was the first to digitally deliver games, music, TV shows and movies in 1080p high definition. The first to bring Facebook and Twitter to the living room."

Read the original report on Dick Brass's criticisms here.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • deadlockedworld
    I read that article. It was good.. spot on. I would think he knows what hes talking about.
  • Zoidman
    I too read the article, and one point Brass brought up, that I've heard a lot tricking through about Microsoft having incredibly hostile internal dynamics. What I mean is one sector often works against another in order to ensure their product reigns supreme, even if the other product is in fact superior.
  • randomizer
    ClearType reaching a billion PCs is not even related to innovation. That's called a monopoly on a product. Is IE6 innovative because for the longest time it's been installed on more PCs than any other browser?

    MS is a pathetic innovator, just as all big software companies (and indeed most companies in every market) are. They rely on patenting the whole world so that they can sit on their existing products' success and keep out the competition through lawsuits. True innovation comes from sharing ideas freely, not locking them up in a complex web of restrictive licences and closed-source programming.
  • duckmanx88
    "The first to bring Facebook and Twitter to the living room."

    my laptop has done this for a very long time. as well as many televisions.
  • hakesterman
    The Xbox360 hasn't done anything revolutionary. Yes it was the first console to bring high def
    movies to the living room, and it was the first to be obsolete. The PS3 is the Bluray player of choice
    and it plays all the same games the Xbox360 does and then some. Windows itself is also a sleeper, yes
    they lead in technology but what do they have for competition???? Basically in a nutshell, Nobody! Yes they
    do drag their feet and we all accept it, until someone comes along and really challenges them it's going to
    be the same old same old year after year after year..............
  • burnley14
    All other points aside, the man's name is Dick Brass. 'Nuff said.
  • jlyu
    the only thing I can say microsoft is doing well will be the "natal" motion gaming addon
  • Basically, the only reason Intel's monopoly has lasted is because of Microsoft handing the PC market to them on a silver platter, and in turn, unless another architecture can gain strong ecosystem support from a broad range of hard-and-soft-ware vendors, then Intel also props up Microsoft's monopoly.

    Neither innovates unless they absolutely have to, and Microsoft "features" tend to include tying everything into Active Directory, which in turn ensures that if you use somebody else's web-browser/database/whatever, that you'll lose tons of features and integration(anybody who works with AD knows what an epic-fail of a standard it really is). Intel, on the other hand, does the same thing with hardware, with the recent Ion, Pinetrail and Westmere shenanigans, they're scared shitless that Nvidia might make $20 off of one of their motherboard sales, they'd much rather force you to have their shit graphics....
  • bgd73
    simplify, make a standard, and stop dressing it up like a whore with dangling jewels of useless...
  • sha7bot
    Good grief people, why all the hate for MS? I would place money on the fact that every person reading this uses MS on a daily basis. (You mac users can piss off w/ your 6% of the market)Sure they have their problems, but they are perhaps one of the most innovative companies in the world. I would love to see anyone else create a more stable operating system with the infinite hardware and software combinations that MS deals with on an hourly basis.

    Uninovative? 93% of the PC market uses their software. That alone creates a standard and thus driving innovation world-wide.

    MS brought gamming into the 21st century, a feat that Sony, Mac, Nintendo, Sega, and the thousands of other competitors can't lay claim to. X-Box alone has created a gaming network far superior to any other console available. Quibble if you will about bugs and flaws, but ask yourself, "Would be here were it not for MS?"