A very well put together piece. What is interesting is all the "firsts" they claim for Minolta. It would be interesting to try and validate them.
I was doing some web searching on the issue of "Image stabilized lenses", you know, the thing Canon made famous. The amazing thing is most of the patents end up referring back to some very seminal Minolta patents from the 1980's. The question is why did Minolta never use them? (The Vectis system was touted as supporting lens-stabilization).
My guess based on the timing was that they would have been the next step after the Xi system if the Honeywell lawsuit had not drained the cash from Minolta at the same time that the Xi cameras received a very hostile reception resulting in a drop in sales. By the time the Si cameras were brought out post-haste to recover from the Xi flop, there was no money to develop stabilized lenses and Canon walked off with the spoils.
I guess we will never know, but it is always fun to speculate.