VOGONS


Reply 60 of 77, by 640K!enough

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ZanQuance wrote on 2020-02-11, 01:59:

It would be a really interesting piece of journalism to recount the entire history of Creative and not just focus on the products they released, but how they treated and interacted with their competitors and consumers all these decades, exposing the truths behind their designs and software choices, where they copied them from ect... like what the OP article is about, Creative copied Adlib to get a leg up but Mr. Hoo reimagines history that he had created his own innovative design a decade before which was superior to adlib and THAT is what got him started. (smug)
Like when Creative wanted E-Mu because they saw a company that had the technology, they were still far behind tech wise.

Were such an article (or book!) ever to be written, it would be just as important to tell the stories of how they treated not only competitors and end-users, but licensors, licensees, sub-contractors and suppliers. Take Yamaha, for instance: they strong-arm them into making the Magic chipset "fail testing", then develop CQM and dump them anyhow.

It seems that Mr. Sim's revisionist history disease is contagious. In the article linked about E-Mu, there is an implicit claim that they didn't desperately need Ensoniq for a viable PCI solution; they already had one before anyone else that they never released. Sure, and there's a free tropical vacation waiting for you on my private seaside resort on Ellesmere Island.

Reply 61 of 77, by ZanQuance

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640K!enough wrote on 2020-02-12, 21:53:

It seems that Mr. Sim's revisionist history disease is contagious. In the article linked about E-Mu, there is an implicit claim that they didn't desperately need Ensoniq for a viable PCI solution; they already had one before anyone else that they never released. Sure, and there's a free tropical vacation waiting for you on my private seaside resort on Ellesmere Island.

"Maximum PC Was the SB Live! Creative's first PCI product? Rossum No. In May 1995 we had a PCI wavetable product, but we didn't […]
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"Maximum PC Was the SB Live! Creative's first PCI product?
Rossum No. In May 1995 we had a PCI wavetable product, but we didn't bring it to market because we were still making too much money off the ISA bus."

Maximum PC But one of the complaints leveled at you in the last year or so was that Creative didn't have its own PCI product. What gives?
Rossum Back in 1994, we identified the PCI bus as someplace we had to go. We put together a project internally named E-Mu 8005 that was a PCI version of the E-Mu 8000. But after looking at the marketplace, we realized it was not in our best interest to release it. It never saw, and probably never will see, the light of day as a product in itself because, in parallel, we were also beginning the development of the 10K1, which was the next generation of PCI-better, faste r, cheaper.

Link to original Maximim PC article here
They were happy with the sales of the Awe 32/64 and proud of their high selling price for 3 years, see Creative vs Aureal for the details.
What Rossum says is just an excuse for their internal ineptitude to design a native PCI soundcard, remember everyone, they HAD to buyout Ensoniq to get a working PCI soundcard. It took them too long to design the EMU10K1 and bring it to market, and by the time they did the specs on the thing were already behind what the competitors had. Creative had no working PCI card ,and decided to just keep riding on the success of the Awe 32/64, while attempting to shoehorn those ISA chips into a PCI bus. Lmfao!
This explains why they told so many marketing untruths about the EMU10k1 to make it look far superior to the competition, it was too little and too late to the party, but being the 400-pound bully they "were" they just kept pushing and belittling the other party members till they all left, and whoever remained, the bully attacked and beat to a pulp!

Heres also a fun tidbit, which had linked to in the NTCC lawsuit paper on page 2 in this thread. When Creative acquired E-mu and Rossum got his patent filed in 1996 for the Digital sampling instrument employing cache memory, they went after DiamondMM making boards with the ESS Maestro-II chip, accusing them that the chip made use of tech in that patent.
This is the SAME patent they accused Aureals Vortex 1 with...they were attacking some of the first PCI sound cards cards on the market, probably trying to clear the way so that their upcoming Live! had less competition to deal with.

Just read on their own website the history in their own words...

"The EMU10K1 APU, with two million transistors and unprecedented audio processing power and performance of 335 MIPS, blew away the competition. "

Looks like their chips loose mips as they age, it's only a 1/3rd as powerful as they claimed when it first came out at 1000+mips. And the only thing that "blew away the competition" was the court litigations.

Reply 62 of 77, by SirNickity

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ZanQuance wrote on 2020-02-12, 23:21:

This explains why they told so many marketing untruths about the EMU10k1 to make it look far superior to the competition, it was too little and too late to the party

The 8K and 10K both were more than sufficient. Most people never even tapped them for the potential they had. I'm not sure who's fooling who over the whole "MIPS" thing, as if anyone knew or cared what that meant. Anyone who DID understand the implications would know enough to know that how that power was used is FAR more important than the raw numbers.

If I were looking over the boxes of two competing cards back then, I would care about this, and only this: What does each cost? How well supported is it? What software does it come with? What, if any, unique advantages does one have over the other in terms of sample quality, compatibility, effects, features, etc. -- and do any of those unique advantages matter to me? MIPS doesn't even make it on the list. Who cares? Marketing wank, nothing more. I'm more frustrated with the reviewing community for giving oxygen to those ridiculous arguments.

In terms of Creative themselves, well... I dunno.. I don't like how successful businesses act. Business is war, and to compete against other businesses, you have to be willing to walk on the razor's edge of legality. Steal, lie, cheat, obliterate your competition by any means at your disposal. And if you get caught, mount a defense that keeps you juuuust inside the line of culpability. That's how it works. Nice guys don't survive the marketplace, because we don't value ethics and morality. We're far more concerned with the lowest price.

Our recourse is to apply pressure that draws those lines of legality where we want to seem them, but frankly, there aren't enough people who care about anything beyond what directly affects them right now. That's why airline seats recline -- because people are selfish a-holes with a fatal case of egocentric tunnel-vision, and care more about their comfort and convenience than anything or anyone else.

Creative is just a company doing what companies do. I love their product line, back when they were relevant, and those products are deeply entrenched in the nostalgia I feel for those old times. Same with old Windows versions, even though Microsoft is as horrible in every way as Creative could've ever dreamed to be. That's why they still exist. Sorry, Ad Lib. Sorry, Be, Inc. You were too nice for this game.

Reply 63 of 77, by 640K!enough

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SirNickity wrote on 2020-02-14, 21:42:

Business is war, and to compete against other businesses, you have to be willing to walk on the razor's edge of legality. Steal, lie, cheat, obliterate your competition by any means at your disposal. And if you get caught, mount a defense that keeps you juuuust inside the line of culpability. That's how it works. Nice guys don't survive the marketplace, because we don't value ethics and morality. We're far more concerned with the lowest price.

That, friends, is exactly the attitude that leads to things like the 737 MAX 8. There's a lesson to be learned here; it didn't work for Creative, and I'm not so sure it will end well for Boeing, either. How long before Creative ends up where they forced Ad Lib? How long before governments have to prop up Boeing to stave off its implosion? It's time business schools started teaching these case studies: Creative's squandering of an empire, and the implosion of Boeing and the failure of the United States as a major player in commercial aviation that resulted from the profit-first mentality.

When Creative was still relevant, they had the name, the market dominance and the resources to do something truly innovative. Instead, they contented themselves with follow-the-leader, only ever rushing new products to market when it was clear somebody else was about to eat their lunch, and courtroom machinations. At the very least, they could have paid someone to develop decent software for them, and shipped quality WHQL-certified drivers that weren't known to single-handedly de-stabilise a system, but they were too busy counting the money from people who were gullible enough to buy their over-priced, under-performing junk. Sometimes, the hardware was somewhat passable, absent their borderline-false-advertising, grandiose marketing, but the software made it a better fit for the wastebasket. Are we really surprised Microsoft resorted to the sledgehammer solution that they did?

SirNickity wrote on 2020-02-14, 21:42:

Sorry, Ad Lib. Sorry, Be, Inc. You were too nice for this game.

I think part of the problem with Ad Lib was that they genuinely believed they could win just by being good; just by developing a product that was genuinely better than the competition.

This is where we'll disagree some more: since when was Be nice? Be is gone because its founder was greedy; remember the quote about having Apple by a certain appendage, "and I'm going to squeeze until it hurts". Maybe Jean-Louis Gassée didn't realise that his primary adversary was someone who was an even better lying sleaze than he was: Steve Jobs.

Reply 64 of 77, by SirNickity

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640K!enough wrote on 2020-02-15, 05:28:

That, friends, is exactly the attitude that leads to things like the 737 MAX 8. There's a lesson to be learned here; it didn't work for Creative, and I'm not so sure it will end well for Boeing, either. How long before Creative ends up where they forced Ad Lib? How long before governments have to prop up Boeing to stave off its implosion? It's time business schools started teaching these case studies: Creative's squandering of an empire, and the implosion of Boeing and the failure of the United States as a major player in commercial aviation that resulted from the profit-first mentality.

I don't disagree with your sentiment, really. Airliners are a much different business than sound cards, though while the scale of importance is vastly different, the model is the same. Boeing is going to be profit-first just as much as anybody, because that's the system we've agreed on. People have to be motivated by something, and money == livelihood is pretty effective. Though far from perfect. Anyway, having questionable safety standards has a severe impact on your trustworthiness, and reputation is hard to get back once squandered. Particularly when 150 lives can be lost with one oopsie. Ergo, there's a financial incentive not to build flimsy jets. In general, we seem to be OK with "Good Enough." The Max fell short of that.

640K!enough wrote on 2020-02-15, 05:28:

When Creative was still relevant, they had the name, the market dominance and the resources to do something truly innovative. Instead, they contented themselves with follow-the-leader, only ever rushing new products to market when it was clear somebody else was about to eat their lunch, and courtroom machinations. At the very least, they could have paid someone to develop decent software for them, and shipped quality WHQL-certified drivers that weren't known to single-handedly de-stabilise a system, but they were too busy counting the money from people who were gullible enough to buy their over-priced, under-performing junk. Sometimes, the hardware was somewhat passable, absent their borderline-false-advertising, grandiose marketing, but the software made it a better fit for the wastebasket.

I would argue that Creative walked the line of "good enough" up to the point where the industry just moved on without them. A really savvy business owner may have pivoted to another market, rather than trying to milk PC audio in an era when half of us aren't even using a DAC in the computer itself anymore. If they failed today, I would say they were, overall, a successful company for the period in which their product line had market relevance. They survived a lot longer than some other big names from back then.

I'm also unable to come up with any personal evidence of software quality issues. Around the XP days, they started getting ridiculous with the bloated media players and control panel apps, but that was industry par at the time. I remember 200MB+ printer driver downloads being normal around that time. It's not an excuse, they're just not worthy of being cast as uniquely evil in that regard.

Before that, the drivers always seemed... fine. I never had stability issues I could pin on the sound card. (Far more often, shoddy PSUs.) The Live! variants debacle was obnoxious, but even that... you weren't really intended to end up with bare Dell OEM cards via Ebay. I had some issues with Permedia 2 drivers this weekend, but TBH, I'm not sure the first set I tried was even meant for the model I had, and the 2nd set I tried worked 100% fine. So that's about a typical experience, I would say.

In terms of software bundles, I got tons of mileage out of the AWE CP, Vienna SF Studio, EAX, the PC-DVD player, etc. etc. The Live! bundle seemed like a treasure trove. Kinda hard to find something to complain about there. My MediaVision years gave me a so-so MOD player and some smaller media apps for Windows. Meh. Just starting to dig in to the GUS software suite, but from what I've seen, it's a mixed bag of cool stuff and... uh.. not.. so great.

Reply 65 of 77, by ZanQuance

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Mips was an easy example to grab evidence for of their marketing untruths, [edit] and it was plastered everywhere, in all Live! magazine reviews and many review sites, they all found that mips rating relevant enough. Mips may not mean much to the random consumer, but that larger mips number vs their competitors mips rating certainly made the impression they were offering faster, more capable products than their competitors, See their own press release and this interview with Rossum about that so called "untapped potential" of the 10k1.
It's their marketing tactic to fluff their products based on half-truths only long enough to sell their product, then they take the money earned to litigate all their competitors out of the market/business. The only ones they couldn't defeat in court were those with deeper pockets. It's a terrible business practice and unfair to consumers, because at the end of the day we're the real losers in their wars. The Sound Blaster products are okay-ish in my personal opinion and I'm not trying to cause any disdain for the products produced, I'm more focused on the companies bad marketing tactics as their success story, and the "real" history of Creative told from the perspective of us consumers, not re-imagined by the CEO.

As per the software issues Creative was notorious for, it all depends on the end users hardware and software configurations. Some had no issues, while other had nothing but issues.
"Good enough" audio for most end users was on motherboards . All Sound Card vendors had the burden of convincing consumers they needed a Sound Card for one reason or another. And some companies loved bundling software to help sell the cards, they offered end users a quick way to experience the newly purchased Audio hardware 😉 a win-win for all consumers, no issues here 😉

We all know Creative (post Adlib days) owes its market success to following Media Visions product releases. Sound Blaster Timeline
Our fellow member Cloudschatze posted elsewhere

That's an interesting view of things. […]
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Originally Posted by PeterLI:
Sound Blaster was the established brand for sound cards. Nobody was able to compete with them. They had the market penetration / marketing and were leading massive consumer market development.

That's an interesting view of things.

To paraphrase a post I made on Trixter's blog a few years ago:

...it’s pretty obvious that Media Vision was Creative’s main threat, and to whom they played catch-up on and off for a number of years. Consider the following:

Nov 1989 – Creative releases the Sound Blaster 1.0
Apr 1991 – MediaVision ships the MPC-compliant, stereo, 2xOPL2-based Pro AudioSpectrum
May 1991 – Creative announces the MPC-compliant, stereo, 2xOPL2-based Sound Blaster Pro
Aug 1991 – Creative ships the Sound Blaster Pro
Apr 1992 – MediaVision ships the 16-bit, OPL3-based Pro AudioSpectrum16
Jun 1992 – Creative announces the 16-bit, OPL3-based Sound Blaster 16
Nov 1992 – Creative ships the Sound Blaster 16

So, yeah, you can thank Media Vision for driving all of Creative's early "innovations."

Sim's memory seems to be a bit fuzzy on this, and seems to think his products drove the market. Media Vision went bankrupt (their own fault) Creative didn't have anyone to copycat anymore. Media Vision was later reborn as Aureal, and when Creative removed Aureal from the market forcefully, they no longer had any direct competitors. So all their money drained and they turned to patent infringement suits to keep them going, they even received a government bailout to stay Alive! (hehe). I do need to locate that bailout info again though...

Last edited by ZanQuance on 2020-02-18, 15:55. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 66 of 77, by SirNickity

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ZanQuance wrote on 2020-02-17, 19:48:

Mips was an easy example to grab evidence for of their marketing untruths. Mips may not mean much to the random consumer, but that larger mips number vs their competitors mips rating certainly made the impression they were offering faster, more capable products than their competitors [...]
It's their marketing tactic to fluff their products based on half-truths only long enough to sell their product, then they take the money earned to litigate all their competitors out of the market/business.

Sure, but when it comes to marketing, it's all either lies or %@#$ lies. Only a fool believes the nonsense printed on the box. Yes, it has to be true...ish... under circumstances defensible by law, but nothing says it has to be forthcoming. All those old first-gen advertisements used to talk about "the sound of an orchestra in your PC!", hawking a board with a square-wave generator or OPL FM synth as the only sound source. Yeah, ok, if it was an orchestra of whoopie cushions and kazoos, maybe.

I mean, did even one person stop by Computer Mart, hold a Live! box in one hand, a Turtle Beach box in another hand, and say.. "Woah! This one gots so many MIPS! I don't know what those are, but clearly this is the card for me!" Nah. They knew the Sound Blaster name, they knew it was the most common option in their game setup menus 6 years ago, and trusted that whatever the latest one was, it was probably a safe bet.

ZanQuance wrote on 2020-02-17, 19:48:

The only ones they couldn't defeat in court were those with deeper pockets. It's a terrible business practice and unfair to consumers, because at the end of the day we're the real losers in their wars.

You're totally right. But that's just kind of the way it is. Behind every industry juggernaut, there's a story of despicable business tactics. It's brutal out there. Try starting an automobile company and you'll hit a brick wall of regulations you have no hope of overcoming. Try competing with Amazon on retail. Try pawning an alternative OS and directory services for the enterprise. They'll feed you to the wolves by any means possible. Give me one example of a business that competes with anyone else and always plays fair, and I'll give you a hot tip on a foreclosure sale.

Reply 68 of 77, by ZanQuance

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SirNickity wrote on 2020-02-17, 23:51:

Give me one example of a business that competes with anyone else and always plays fair, and I'll give you a hot tip on a foreclosure sale.

I don't believe in this world such a company exists, however there are more "well behaved" companies that don't cross the ethical line of doing whatever it takes to sell their product like some others we know...

The company which had this as their mission statement at least tried to play it fair:

...mission is to target the end user's listening experience as the final criterion of success. The following three goals are cen […]
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...mission is to target the end user's listening experience as the final criterion of success. The following three goals are central to our success in achieving this mission:
1. By targeting the user's listening experience as the final criterion of success, rather than following current technology trends to cost-reduce existing standards, we will be able to create new product opportunities and set the digital audio standards of the future.
2. By using innovative techniques and leading edge audio technologies to improve the performance, quality and functionality of digital audio subsystems we will bring those new standards to the market place with highly competitive hardware and software solutions that offer next generation audio features at current cost targets.
3. The foundation of our success in creating these products is based on bringing together, nurturing and expanding highly talented individuals who are driven to continuously create the best in the field of digital audio.

But nice companies get eaten by bigger meaner companies.

Reply 69 of 77, by The Serpent Rider

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canthearu wrote:

Diamond Multimedia MX300 - $225 AU

There were more cheap Vortex 2 cards. Turtle Beach, for example.

All the other kids, with the pumped up kicks
You'd better run, better run, faster than my blaster

Reply 71 of 77, by Cloudschatze

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Cloudschatze wrote:
...it’s pretty obvious that Media Vision was Creative’s main threat, and to whom they played catch-up on and off for a number of […]
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...it’s pretty obvious that Media Vision was Creative’s main threat, and to whom they played catch-up on and off for a number of years. Consider the following:

Nov 1989 – Creative releases the Sound Blaster 1.0
Apr 1991 – MediaVision ships the MPC-compliant, stereo, 2xOPL2-based Pro AudioSpectrum
May 1991 – Creative announces the MPC-compliant, stereo, 2xOPL2-based Sound Blaster Pro
Aug 1991 – Creative ships the Sound Blaster Pro
Apr 1992 – MediaVision ships the 16-bit, OPL3-based Pro AudioSpectrum16
Jun 1992 – Creative announces the 16-bit, OPL3-based Sound Blaster 16
Nov 1992 – Creative ships the Sound Blaster 16

So, yeah, you can thank Media Vision for driving all of Creative's early "innovations."

I've had a few years to reflect on this, especially given some of the insight that Rich Heimlich has since provided.

It's important to note that, when the original Pro AudioSpectrum was released in April, 1991, the Sound Blaster was, to a large extent, already established as a gaming standard. Perhaps there's more to be said for that story, but regardless, and despite having a "better" product, Media Vision very quickly realized the need for Sound Blaster compatibility, hence the rapid development and release of the Thunder Board a scant three months later, and the augmented PAS Plus shortly thereafter.

Technology leapfrogging and further implications aside, it's questionable that Media Vision, or any other competitor to Creative in the DOS era, would have become or remained as such without a Sound Blaster compatible product.

Reply 72 of 77, by SirNickity

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That's how I see it, too. I loved my PAS 16, but it didn't support SB Pro and what kind of Melvin plays Wolf3D in mono? So when I could finally afford an AWE32, it had to go.

In terms of audio quality, the PAS 16 was fine. The AWE32 was also fine. They were 16-bit, supported CD-quality sample rates, and I don't remember noticing a difference in noise level -- at least, once unused inputs were muted. I ran them through my Dolby Pro Logic hi-fi.

So, Media Vision may have been the fire under Creative's @$$. I bought a PAS 16 pretty much because a friend had one, and the MOD player it came with sounded better than the one I had been using on an SB Pro. If Creative hadn't responded with their own 16-bit card, maybe MV would've taken the lead as a de-facto standard for new software when systems and installed base and download speeds made it feasible to start using 16-bit samples. But, in what world would Creative not have released a 16-bit card? I mean, maybe a month or six later, sure, but it was bound to happen, and they had the inertia of developer support behind them. MV would have had to fight an uphill battle. Their only answer was compatibility -- but with an old standard that was becoming more and more obsolete.

Reply 73 of 77, by ZanQuance

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Creative had a license for Dolby processing, Daniel_K in modding the driver packs enabled them for cards Creative didn't have a license for and told him to knock it off. Most people didn't realize that was the specifics Creative had an issue with and thus lots of backlash.
Creative shuts down Daniel_ K
What is interesting in the thread though is the amount of backlash from the users talking about how unusable the sound cards are without those modded drivers. This represents a portion of the driver issues talked about earlier in this thread.

Adlib, OPL2/3 were the standards for music, and MT-32 was awesome. I don't believe Creative ever sat down and wrote out a standard for themselves or anyone else, their company was plagued by "George Lucas Syndrome". For those that have no idea what GLS is, Creative "responded" to the market by quickly pushing products out the door, over hyped their specs to sell as many as possible, then when the complaints came in they revised the products to sell even more as a fixed/upgraded version, usually making everything worse than before. AKA George Lucas and his many...many movie revisions, thus Creative believing they "drove" the market.
Creative sold a ton of cards via their dishonest marketing tactics, and claimed they were setting a standard until everyone bought that hyperbole. Creative setting any "standard" is an oxymoron! 😉

Reply 74 of 77, by Cloudschatze

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Creative's case is that of an adopted standard, rather than one explicitly defined, where a considerable segment of the software industry "standardized" on the digital audio playback capabilities and routines of the Sound Blaster early on.

Perhaps my EQ is just super-low, but I'm having a difficult time empathizing with, or even relating to, a lot of the anti-Creative sentiment expressed in this forum.

Reply 75 of 77, by SirNickity

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Again, this is exactly my thoughts. Creative didn't come out and say, "hey, this is how PC audio works now." They just got developer support. Whether that's a lucky break, or it was due to their strategic involvement with development houses, or dastardly scheming and strong-arming is irrelevant. They won because DOS software nearly universally supported Ad Lib and Sound Blaster, and everything else was a far distant second.

If you'll notice, they stayed relevant in the Win95 era, even the Win98 era, but as the audio infrastructure in Windows abstracted away 75% of the difference between audio cards, their lead mattered less and less. Brand recognition inertia covered part of it, MIDI features covered some more, EAX a little more. After consumer MIDI appeal died, all that was left was brand recognition and EAX. Game engines started incorporating their own dynamic audio processing features to ensure everyone had at least some semblance of the experience that users with EAX and A3D had -- a market that was starting to dwindle, due to the rise of on-board audio, which is essentially free and good enough for almost everyone. Brand dominance suffered, predictably, to where now the name "Sound Blaster" carries an almost implied reference to the DOS era, despite the fact it's still used by Creative today.

Some people here see a villainous and undeservedly powerful organization. I see a company clawing and scratching like a dog on tile floor, trying helplessly to retain their brand strength while the market slips away from them. Companies in that position *always* fall back on their IP portfolio and become aggressively litigious. It's all they really have, and they have the livelihood of their entire workforce (and their leadership) to look out for. The ending writes itself.

Reply 76 of 77, by gdjacobs

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Cloudschatze wrote on Yesterday, 19:37:

Creative's case is that of an adopted standard, rather than one explicitly defined, where a considerable segment of the software industry "standardized" on the digital audio playback capabilities and routines of the Sound Blaster early on.

Perhaps my EQ is just super-low, but I'm having a difficult time empathizing with, or even relating to, a lot of the anti-Creative sentiment expressed in this forum.

I don't have a problem with their technology. I have an issue with their gross litigiousness and destruction of competitive technology (rather than incorporation) when they acquired the original developers.

All hail the Great Capacitor Brand Finder

Reply 77 of 77, by ZanQuance

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Cloudschatze wrote on Yesterday, 19:37:

Creative's case is that of an adopted standard, rather than one explicitly defined, where a considerable segment of the software industry "standardized" on the digital audio playback capabilities and routines of the Sound Blaster early on.
Perhaps my EQ is just super-low, but I'm having a difficult time empathizing with, or even relating to, a lot of the anti-Creative sentiment expressed in this forum.

It's not just seen on this forum, it's across the entire past 40 years of market history Creative established for themselves.
(If that comment was in anyways directed at what I've posted) I'm not personally trying to promote any anti-Creative sentiment, I've been digging through the archives for what the facts are behind their "success" story, and the opinions the market had about them at the time. I'm giving them a critical look for sure, but not in an Anti-Creative spirit.

SirNickity wrote on Yesterday, 20:39:

Again, this is exactly my thoughts. Creative didn't come out and say, "hey, this is how PC audio works now." They just got developer support. Whether that's a lucky break, or it was due to their strategic involvement with development houses, or dastardly scheming and strong-arming is irrelevant. They won because DOS software nearly universally supported Ad Lib and Sound Blaster, and everything else was a far distant second.

Sim Wong Hoo wrote:

In 1988, I felt the time was right for me to go to the USA, which was the world’s largest PC market at the time, and my mission was to create a PC sound standard for the whole world.

He did say just that though, his goal was to set the standard. Now the question is, what exactly was that "Standard" he wanted to set?
Communication to a PC-Speaker was a standard.
Communication to Adlib hardware was a standard.
What is the Sound Blaster standard, when Creative didn't even define one? The cards weren't even compatible with themselves half the time!

SirNickity wrote on Yesterday, 20:39:

Some people here see a villainous and undeservedly powerful organization. I see a company clawing and scratching like a dog on tile floor, trying helplessly to retain their brand strength while the market slips away from them. Companies in that position *always* fall back on their IP portfolio and become aggressively litigious. It's all they really have, and they have the livelihood of their entire workforce (and their leadership) to look out for. The ending writes itself.

Creative only had a share in the market because they had shoulders to stand on already (Adlib compatibility) to gain market traction, once the Sound Blaster (previously Game Blaster) was adopted and others needed to make their cards compatible with it, Creative took them to court for "claiming" Sound Blaster compatibility. They didn't pay Adlib a cent for "Adlib Compatibility" and yet they forced others to pay them for the Sound Blaster compatibility claim.
Their litigation was already fully in force at the beginning, not the end of a dying company. The court minutes show Creative placed undocumented commands in the hardware design specifically to trap makers of clone cards.
If they didn't support those commands then the competitors couldn't claim "(100%) Sound Blaster compatible" and were sued for false advertisement.
If they did support those commands then they were sued for infringement and must have reverse engineered their cards.

gdjacobs wrote on Yesterday, 21:13:

I don't have a problem with their technology. I have an issue with their gross litigiousness and destruction of competitive technology (rather than incorporation) when they acquired the original developers.

That is also what I'm saying, it's Creatives marketing lies and anti-competitive nature I have an issue with. The Hardware is innocent and always fun to play with.