While sitting here waiting for a "blue norther" to blow through, I started thinking about table saws and how little they have evolved since their invention about 150 years ago. I'm using that date as the time the Shaker lady (can't remember her name) came up with the idea of a circle saw blade, since everything really dates from that. I realize that initially that blade was used to replace the pit saw, but it's still where the whole concept started.
When you really think about it we haven't come very far. Moving the blade to a table, making the table out of cast iron, and adding a fence seem to be evolutionary steps that have produced the Uni Saw and all its imitators. The basic saw, the one that became the Uni, evolved just after the turn of the 20th century. It took a bit longer for it to find its way into the home shop, but then there were not that many home shops until after around 1950.
Quick note--the temp here has gone from about 70* to 44* since I sat down here an hour or so ago.
For the past 50 or so years there has been very little movement in TS evolution. I see part of the reason as the "off shore copy" revolution. That is manufacturers going after markets based on price and cheap labor availability. I think everyone is familiar with this, but you have to ask yourself what could have been had companies like Delta sought alternative approaches rather than attempting to go head to head in a price war.
You have to ask yourself what if Delta (or anyone else) had developed a slider combination, that integrated Saw Stop technology, and other bells and whistles, pattented the bundled technology, and owned the show for the next 18 years or more (they could extend the patten by making timely improvements). When I look at Saw Stop's web site I see they are developing additional products, but most are based on their "one trick pony."
So what do you think. Did Delta et al miss the boat by a failure to innovate, or did they stay with the traditional saw because their customer base would shy away from innovation? When I look at some of the Saw Stop threads from the past I think the latter. When I see how well thought of SS is by people who voted with their $$ I think the former.
Let's keep any discussion civil, even though we all know their are some strong feelings about the subject.