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We Don’t Really Want Innovation

Innovation is one of those things we pretend to want and then complain when it happens. It’s like women who say they want sensitive men who understand their feelings and then always fall for the bad boy. In the technology world, everyone always views copying with disdain. “Where’s the innovation?” they decry. Case in point, everyone is always yelling at Microsoft for stealing copying Apple’s GUI interface with Windows 95. (Everyone seems to forget Apple stealing borrowing from Xerox) When they try to get innovative with Vista or Windows 7 everyone complains they can’t find anything because it was moved around. Linux is not immune to these complaints. On the one hand, everyone mocks Linux for co-opting technologies from other operating systems. “Oh, you have a dock – why do you always have to copy the Mac?” or the ever-present “If Linux really wants to take the lead, they’ll have to stop copying Windows and Mac and start innovating on their own.” But then, when Linux improves upon something from the leading OS all you hear is, “Why is everything so different? Until Linux is easy for a Windows user to just jump over to without relearning things, they’ll never succeed.”

When the KDE team decided to innovate with plasma, all they got were heaps and heaps of criticism thrown at them. I think their original idea where instead of having a desktop, having folder plasmoids to show different folders was amazing.

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