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December 9th, 1999

[8:00 AM] Microsoft Once Again Demonstrates Its Ability To "Innovate"
by Staff

Microsoft shows their innovation yet again with some announcements surrounding their new streaming media and digital video efforts. According to a C-Net article, Microsoft has stumbled upon the incredibly innovative concept of giving their upcoming Media Player update a brushed-steel interface. Even more innovative, Bill Gates, Microsoft's Chairman, announced the company would be including consumer oriented digital video editing software in Windows 2000. According to C-Net:

Streaming media technology promises to offer a better experience on the Internet and improve worker productivity, but Microsoft first has to make it easier to use the technology first, Gates admitted. To that end, Microsoft demonstrated an upcoming version of Windows Media Player that allowed users to speed through an event such as a lecture by automatically taking out pauses in a speech and cataloguing changes in the presentation so that users can skip to specific segments of an event.

The new version will also feature a revised graphical interface that looks like a television with a brushed metallic face.

Gates also demonstrated for the first time how the upcoming version of Windows for consumers will have software that will make video editing easier. The software automatically takes video and automatically separates it into segments for editing based on pauses on the tape and scene changes. Users can drag and drop scenes they want onto a "storyboard" representing the final edited version that can be sent over the Internet, representatives said.

More information on Microsoft's Innovation can be found at the Freedom To Innovate web site.

Thanks to Mike S. for directing us to this article.

The Mac Observer Spin: Miserable Sods. This is another fine example of Microsoft aping the truly innovative technology companies of the world. While we have not seen the new interface for the Media Player, it certainly sounds like the interface Apple uses with the QuickTime Player and Sherlock 2.

Microsoft's consumer video effort also sounds a lot like iMovie that Apple includes with the iMac DV and iMac DV Special Edition.

Microsoft can scream til' they are blue in the face that they have to retain the "freedom to innovate," but it doesn't change the fact that they have created almost nothing of their own. Microsoft would be on more truthful footing if they were trying to protect their right to include technology and ideas found in other companies' products. Certainly they have the right to develop their own consumer video editing software, they should simply spare us the farce of claiming they are innovating while doing so.


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