Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.

From the day we migrated from OS/2 to Windows, every new version of Windows meant Microsoft was going to lift some ideas for the next version of the OS from Object Desktop. And we would have to adapt. 

Think I exaggerate?

Look at Object Desktop for OS/2 (which was developed prior to Windows 95) with its ZIP files that worked as folders, DesktopX with its widgets and gadgets, Control Center with its side bar of “gadgets”, GUI Skins (where uxtheme.dll so blatantly borrowed from that it until Windows 7, it had bugs that were carried over from an early version of WindowBlinds in how it did hooks), Smart File Dialog which allows users to add short-cuts and favorites to their file dialog, Enhanced Folders which added an address line to what we today call Explorer windows, and on and on and on. And that doesn’t begin to touch what they borrowed from MacOS.

Don’t get me wrong, we’re not complaining. When you make successful OS enhancements, it’s natural that some of them will wind up in the next version of the OS.  As some OS/2 users may recall, Stardock designed the OS/2 Warp 4 desktop for IBM even though we knew we’d have to release a new version of Object Desktop since were were obsoleting ourselves.

Based on Windows 8, which no one can doubt is very much pure Microsoft innovation, we’re going to really miss the days of embrace and extend.

Screenshots

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Object Desktop for OS/2, first beta release – 1993 and Object Desktop 2.0 in 1996

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Microsoft Windows in 1993 and Windows 95 in 1996.

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Windows 8 Preview: It’s certainly…original


Comments
on Apr 19, 2012

Stop fiddling with that unhappy boring stuff, and come online and throw nukes around with us!

on Apr 19, 2012

Good one, Draginol. Intellectual ownership has always been a rather vague boundary for the big corporations.  Steve Jobs touring PARC back in 1979, and getting a Smalltalk demo complete with the brand new, utterly secret GUI by the suits over the protests of the engineers...?  Then that GUI shows up almost immediately in Jobs' own work.  And nothing had been patented.

 

But you're right: at its height, Microsoft was the King of Assimilation.  It borrowed ideas everywhere.  It even tried to get companies to lend them their private code, as in the case of Stacker; and when that failed, Microsoft used one of its subsidiaries to copy part of the code and issue the result as DoubleSpace.  Stac Electronics actually showed samples of both codes on the screen that year at COMDEX.  They also won big in the courts, which didn't often happen against Microsoft's well-oiled attorney machine.

 

Ah, memories.

on Apr 19, 2012

every new version of Windows meant Microsoft was going to lift some ideas for the next version of the OS from Object Desktop. And we would have to adapt.

Think I exaggerate?

Not a bit.

we’re going to really miss the days of embrace and extend.

Why? With Windows 8, history has repeated itself:

Humor aside, I understand you, because of MS's W8 weirdness and unusability I don't understand how Jeff and the skinners can possibly 'fix that'.

But I would soooo enjoy being surprised! Start 8 was a welcome and good beginning.

In truth, Windows 8 will be the first MS OS I won't migrate to, unless SD comes up with more apps to make it a heck of a lot better.

 

on May 20, 2012

While I don't share the conlusions MS made, this is an interesting read :

MSDN Blog

on May 21, 2012

While I don't share the conlusions MS made, this is an interesting read :

MSDN Blog

Thanks for posting that link, Carl, it was an interesting read.  While I currently do not like Win 8, I do understand it better after reading the blog, and perhaps, just maybe, sometime in the future, I may revisit Win 8 and see how I feel about it then. It seems as if MS has put some thought into the better use of hardware and seamless/fluid operation with Win 8, so it may be the emergence of OS of the future, who knows.

In the meantime, however, and probably for quite some time to come, I am more than happy with Win 7 and will stick with it.

on May 21, 2012

Looks like Neil has his work cut out for him. And that I'm probably wasting my time updating my skin(s).  

on May 22, 2012

I still can't imagine Win 8 in a corporate environment. I wonder MS thoughts about that.

on May 22, 2012

I still can't imagine Win 8 in a corporate environment. I wonder MS thoughts about that.

 

I'm remembering when I was assistant to the network guru at a large paper mill. My job was to phase people over from old computers to new (same OS) I had to make sure that all the personal files and task specific apps were moved/reinstalled/whatever. Some of the scientific ones were copied directly, databases and all. There was no install. Some of them were still DOS based and installed as such.  Now I think of spending almost an hour to put just one link of the opening page of Win 8 and still not get it working. Even when I was actually making a custom link it wouldn't show it to me. Some of them when I had something to click on there was nothing else to do to finish the process. I'm no dummy, but I couldn't figure it out. Then I think of roll out of a new machine and learning the script to install the OS and remove all those things that bosses don't want. And there are sure a lot of things that would be considered non-productive. That and put all those custom apps needed by a science based workplace.  Definitely NOT a workplace OS.

 

 

on May 22, 2012

Daiwa
Looks like Neil has his work cut out for him. And that I'm probably wasting my time updating my skin(s).  

Not at all, Daiwa. No excuses, now. Get busy.

From other posts, I gather not many folks are much interested in W8 at this point, so it wouldn't be a wasted effort at all.

on May 23, 2012

Hopefully MS will copy from the latest WindowBlinds, then I won't have to look at that ugly Windows 8

on May 23, 2012

What interested me was the video. I see news shows do this all the time, manipulating the screen by touching it in certain places. Win 8 would fit that profile exactly. But! and this is a big one. My impression is that MS is using Win 8 like a test platform, to see what kind of new technologies work. IMO

on May 23, 2012

Good read, but i see 2 problems off the bat

 

1. Mice still suck for data intensive work and a good GUI with properly alligned tabs works my opinion better and faster than most.

2. I don't know about you guys, but in my house files still rule, tell the 10 terabytes of data that - I don't care about slow guis and pretty pictures when I need a file I want to be able to hit a button and search for it and get it instantly.  Google Desktop search is one of the most used  programs on all of my computers

 

I see windows 8 as something i would consider for my media machine, or as an extra machine like i do with ubuntu, but as my primary win 7 does the job I need it to do and it's stable.

 

 

 

on May 23, 2012

Win7 has quite a few accessibility options for grabbing files. Aside from the tradition of just putting them on the desktop, you can bind up files in a slew of ways. I have all my shortcuts in the taskbar, which disappears so I have a blank screen. Move to the bottom, taskbar pops up, right click my Word icon and the pop-up menu give me the last bunch of things I worked on. Click and go. Even with more complex programs, like M2:TW which I have an enhanced AI program for. M2:TW pinned to taskbar and AI pinned on top of that shortcut. Right click M2:TW, pop-up menu to click AI start, then click M2:TW icon. Three clicks is all. So while Win8 may give a better touch template that works for quick access here and there, I don't see its other showy, and eye-sore, features improving the experience enough to make it worth replacing Win7. At this point, I'm going to acquire a couple cheap backups of Win7 so I can blank slate new computers I later buy. I won't at all argue with the efficiency of a desktop search program. Always nice to have the extra tools just in case.

I see what you mean about the mouse, but touch screens still aren't terribly cost effective or durable IMO and I can't properly do detail work on Photoshop without a mouse or pad of some type.

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