There's a long and extremely interesting article about Windows 8 here
that goes through the history of Windows from day one and then looks based on that at Windows 8.
Interesting, yes, but what I especially picked on was one almost throw-away part of a sentence.
Talking about those earlier versions of Windows, the writer says
"This was a pre-iPad world"
I doubt if the under-thirtys among you would react at all at this, but I was in computing when IBM dominated and even though IBM dominated less when the IBM PC had been out for a while, old habits still died hard.
The phrase "not invented here" comes to mind when I look back at an IBM seminar I once attended in Germany (which would make it the eighties - probably the mid eighties) when Lotus 1-2-3 had been out for quite a while and completely dominated the spreadsheet market. The IBM speaker avoided mentioning that [this was long before IBM bought Lotus] and instead talked about Multiplan which was a poor Microsoft product that IBM sold under their own packaging and which had sold (in US parlance, I hope) zip.
While I can't recall any specific instance of it, I'm fairly sure that for many, many years Microsoft people in a similar way denied the existence of competitive products by not mentioning them. I remember for instance being impressed that a guy from Microsoft UK (who was already vested, so maybe that's why he felt able to take the risk) was spending time trying to get people within Microsoft to even think about Linux.
But to have a statement about the pre-iPad world in a major article under the heading of Steve Sinofsky (even if he didn't write it) is something else entirely.