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Michael's Minute: Gates at my Alma Mater


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Agent007

hi all,Just thought of sharing this interesting article.......Btw,Michael Robertson is CEO of Lindows

Date: Wed, 28 May 2003 08:37:44 -0800From: Michael Robertson <mailer@mailer.lindows.com>This week Bill Gates came to my alma mater to speak. I have to admit that I was less than thrilled to have UCSD roll out the red carpet for him, but it's understandable since he is the richest man in the world and runs the richest company in the world. I started to think about the young people who would be in attendance though, and that they were in diapers when Microsoft started. They've grown up in a Microsoft-only world, that's the only thing they know and few have any perspective about how Microsoft came to dominate the PC business. In the absence of information otherwise, they'll assume that it was through healthy, free enterprise -- which I don't believe is true. Anyone who tracks the PC business, recognizes that Microsoft has clearly been on a propaganda campaign for the last few years to clean up their image. They have been spending big money in an effort to do so on TV, in print and public appearances. They would like the world to think of Microsoft as an innovative company and of Mr. Gates as a visionary and a philanthropist. Mr. Gates is clearly very smart and Microsoft is a vicious competitor, but I'm not so sure the facts indicate they are innovative or visionary. So I've put together a two-page background on Mr. Gates and Microsoft to add some historical perspective to the debate, which I passed out to those in attendance. I hope you find it helpful to form your own conclusions. Fact Sheet On Bill Gates and the Microsoft Corporation Q: Can you provide some background on Bill Gates?A: Bill Gates was born in 1955 and founded the Microsoft Corporation in 1975 with Paul Allen. Mr. Gates was CEO and Chairman of Microsoft until 2000, when he gave up the CEO title to Steve Ballmer. During that time, Microsoft became the largest and richest software company in the world, with $46 billion in the bank and adding nearly one billion per month to that total. It has made Bill Gates the richest man in the world with an estimated wealth of $54.44 billion dollars or $187 for every man, woman and child in the United States. Q: Can you provide a brief history of Microsoft?A: In the early 1980s, IBM asked Microsoft to produce an operating system for their upcoming "personal computer." That product became MS DOS and made billions for Microsoft. Microsoft followed that up with Microsoft Windows and the components of Microsoft Office (Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint). Q: Doesn't that make Microsoft the most innovative PC software company?A: Virtually every successful Microsoft product was either purchased from another company, or a direct copy of an existing company's successful product. Microsoft's first major success, MS DOS, was purchased from another company and renamed from QDOS. Microsoft Windows was a copy of Apple's innovative Macintosh operating system. Microsoft Word (1983) was a copy of Wordperfect (1982). Microsoft Excel (1985) was a copy of Lotus 1-2-3 (1983). Using revenue from their monopolies, Microsoft purchased PowerPoint (from Forethought), Frontpage (Vermeer), and Visio (Shapewear).Q: The history of PC software is made up of companies borrowing ideas from others, so what is wrong with that?A: To some degree, almost all technology companies build on existing ideas. Microsoft, however, has often engaged in wholesale copying without adding much. With many of the original companies gone or withering, Microsoft is embarking on a calculated plan to rewrite history and position themselves as the original innovator. For example, Microsoft now claims that they are the sole inventor of "windows" and no other company can use that term -- in spite of the fact that Microsoft Windows was such a close copy of the Apple Macintosh that it triggered a lawsuit upon its release (See http://law.richmond.edu/jolt/v1i1/myers.html).Q: Even if they're not innovative, Microsoft's products are used so widely that they must be making great products, which makes Microsoft a great company, right?A: Normally, when a company enjoys success it's a sign of a good company serving their customers. While Microsoft employees have surely worked hard, their success has been tainted by decades of illegal actions by Microsoft's management to secure, maintain and extend their monopoly position. After the success of MS DOS, a competing product emerged called DR DOS, causing MS to lower their prices. Bill Gates wrote in an e-mail, "I believe people underestimate the impact DR-DOS has had on us in terms of pricing" (May 18, 1989). So Gates gave orders to executives at Microsoft to purposely sabotage DR DOS. "Make sure it [DR DOS] has problems running our software in the future." And where it didn't have problems, programmers were instructed to create bogus error messages saying that it did. The tactic worked and DR DOS was forced out of business, leaving the Microsoft monopoly. Years later, MS paid more than $100 million to settle this case -- long after DR DOS was no longer a threat (See www.drdos.com/fullstory/factstat.html). With the MS DOS monopoly as a foundation, Microsoft continued a series of illegal actions designed to extend their monopoly to additional products, including Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office. For example, they stifled competition by threatening and extorting computer manufacturers to enter into licenses agreeing to only carry Microsoft products. By the time the Justice Department caught up to them and filed two antitrust cases for a wide range of unfair and anti-competitive actions (1993, 1996), Microsoft had cemented a massive monopoly which gave them hoards of cash to fight any company -- or even the government. Microsoft settled the first case, agreeing to change its illegal marketing practices and was found guilty in the second case (See www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/business/longterm/microsoft/documents.htm). Q: Isn't this just a case of the losing companies complaining because they couldn't compete? A: Over the last 20 years, it is difficult to find another company which exhibits such a lengthy pattern of illegal behavior designed to thwart competition. E-mail from a MS executive said it best, "It seems clear that it will be very hard to increase browser share on the merits of IE [internet Explorer] 4 alone...It will be more important to leverage the OS asset to make people use IE instead of Navigator" (2/24/97). There have even been cases where Microsoft has stolen technology which has put companies out of business, such as San Diego's Stac Electronics. A jury found MS guilty and ordered them to pay $110 million (See www.vaxxine.com/lawyers/articles/stac.html).  Q: Where does Microsoft make their money?A: Microsoft makes money largely from two product lines: operating system (Microsoft Windows XP) and office suite (Microsoft Office). Virtually every other venture that Microsoft has embarked upon has not generated a profit -- including WinCE, Xbox, MSN, WebTV, Sidewalk, MSNBC, etc. (See http://biz.yahoo.com/e/l/m/msft.html). Q: If most product lines lose money, how can they generate such large profits? A: Through illegal tactics, Microsoft has been able to secure and keep a monopoly which allows them to charge very high rates for their software. Enabled by the monopoly, Microsoft's profit margins are 5 times greater than the average from top 500 US companies. If Microsoft faced meaningful competition, their profits would be more in line with the rest of corporate America and software would cost 1/5 what it does today (See http://research.businessweek.com/scoreboard.asp). Q: Aren't all of these actions ancient history? Since Microsoft has been under government scrutiny, haven't we seen improved corporate behavior?A: Microsoft's massive war chest and unchanged management team means more corporate wrongdoing. This makes it extraordinarily difficult for competition to emerge. Just last week, an e-mail was revealed in which Microsoft executives disclosed a $180 million fund designed to thwart Linux by giving away Microsoft software and services -- the same successful strategy they used to put Netscape out of business (See www.iht.com/articles/96369.html). In another example, over the past year, Microsoft has spent millions in legal fees in an attempt to shutdown a San Diego Linux company, Lindows.com (See www.lindows.com/opposition). Q: But doesn't Microsoft do a lot of good? A: The charitable giving that Microsoft advertises is usually a business tactic, where they give away software in an attempt to gain traction in a market, such as they do with schools. The software costs them just pennies to reproduce, but they advertise the full retail value for tax and PR reasons. Microsoft rarely gives actual cash (See: www.nytimes.com/2003/05/26/technology/26SOFT.html). Q: Hasn't Mr. Gates given away billions of dollars? A: Nearly 20 years after starting Microsoft and only after antitrust issues emerged, Mr. Gates created a foundation and moved billions of dollars of stock, tax free, into this new organization, which he controls as the sole trustee. Mr. Gates' PR folks have convinced major publications to carry as many as 5 stories in 3 days about the multi-billion dollar foundation in an attempt to bolster Mr. Gates' image (See http://theregister.co.uk/content/4/28039.html). By repeatedly trumpeting the formation of the foundation, then announcing individual initiatives and finally announcing individual grants, readers are left with the impression that billions of dollars are routinely dispersed, but that is simply not true. In 2001, the Gates Foundation collected more money in interest from their holdings than they dispersed in grants (See: www.fdncenter.org). More troublesome, Mr. Gates has used monies from the foundation he controls, in concert with Microsoft's corporate goals. In an attempt to sway Cox Communications to use Microsoft software, Microsoft agreed to financially back them in November, 2001. Two months later Mr. Gates purchased $500 million dollars of Cox stock using $200 million of funds from his non-profit foundation (See www.eureka-boston.org/readings/gates_foundation.htm). In another example, MS gave hundreds of millions to thwart Linux growth in the Indian government, while also making funds available from the Gates foundation to Indian government initiatives (See http://news.com.com/2100-1001-965378.html). Q: What can we expect Mr. Gates to talk about? A: Mr. Gates will likely spend some time speaking about the importance of innovation and open standards. However those are just platitudes, since their actions achieve exactly the opposite. Their monopoly is built upon proprietary formats that they have no intention of publishing (e.g. Microsoft Office file format specifications), because that would allow competition. Furthermore, they have attempted to squash any standard which they believe threatens their stranglehold -- such as MP3, HTML and Java. An internal MS document entitled "Strategic Objective" had this to say about Java: "[Lets] Kill cross-platform Java by growing the polluted Java market." In spite of the conciliatory comments Mr. Gates conveyed, Microsoft will continue to use their monopoly powers to destroy other companies - which limits competition and innovation and keeps software prices high. "Do we have a clear plan on what we want Apple to do to undermine Sun?" (Bill Gates e-mail 8/8/97) A series of recent leaked internal memos reveal an ongoing attempt by Microsoft to discredit and derail the latest perceived threat - Linux. (See www.opensource.org/halloween/)  Microsoft is engaging in a calculated and comprehensive effort to rewrite history. In doing so, they position themselves as an innovative company and Mr. Gates as a visionary and philanthropist. Please research those claims for yourself on the Net, use the sources listed in this document to determine for yourself, the veracity of their claims. -- Michael
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Agent007

LOL! Hey Quint, do u have a huge database of images or something?? B) U always bring out the right ones at the right time! :unsure: :angry: 007

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LOL! Hey Quint, do u have a huge database of images or something??  :( U always bring out the right ones at the right time!  :angry:  B) 007
Yes:FSLO-1054415507-511257.jpeg :( :unsure:
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Guest genaldar

Man I just can't take Robertson seriously. It's the same old ms bashing. The funniest part though is him saying ms just copies everything it does when there is nothing more un-original then lindows. Except the pricing, which is more than windows. If lindows catches on (hopefully it won't) this guy will make gates and company look like humanitarians.

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jbredmound

One concept that Robertson put out is true; MS's work has been tainted by their actions. I do not understand the (is it hate?) level of contempt for MS that floats around out there, nor the incessant product bashing. I do suppose that, when any company behaves as poorly as MS has in some cases, that company gets to be a target on every front.The part about "looking at all those young people...never known anything but Microsoft" was outrageous. Perhaps we should take pictures of them and run ads with Sally Struthers telling their stories and asking for donations to the "Lindows Fund". Poor little wretches, you know, they have so little.I don't know who invented the wheel, but Henry Ford got the idea from somewhere, and then that wretch Chrysler copied him, and before you knew it, all those guys had their own wheels, and they were all round! To bad Henry didn't think about copywrite protection...It really is hard to take this all seriously.

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nlinecomputers

jbredmound,The point is you CAN go buy a Chrysler, you can buy a Honda, you can buy many cars. It is very difficult to buy a computer without Windows installed on it. Dell will sell you one without an OS if you complain but they don't change the price and you still give money to Microsoft.Microsoft repeatedly commits acts of criminal fraud and theft of intellectual property. It uses it vast market strengh to force OEMs to sell only their product which in turn bolsters there market share which allows them to use that market share to force OEMs into the same cycle. If I tried to do that I would get arrested for racketeering.I would not say that Microsoft is totally without inovation. If there wasn't some usefullness in Windows none would buy it. But I tell my customers that if Windows worked I would not have a job. And it is true. Windows is a sloppy OS and it could be better. Better OSs have tried to appear only to be squashed not by merit only by Microsoft's marketing. OS/2 was by far a much better and more stable OS then Windows 3.11. But contracts with OEMs prohibited other companies from offering it. Only IBM and Tandy offered it. Windows 95 was rushed into production as a counter for it and Microsoft used its little protection racket to force OEMs to offer only it. The lawsuits in 1996 cover some of this.Microsoft repeatedly gets convicted for such things but it doesn't get punished enough to stop them. For Microsoft it the cost of doing business for its competition it is often bankruptcy.

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Agent007
Microsoft repeatedly commits acts of criminal fraud and theft of intellectual property.  It uses it vast market strengh to force OEMs to sell only their product which in turn bolsters there market share which allows them to use that market share to force OEMs into the same cycle.  If I tried to do that I would get arrested for racketeering.
I absolutely agree with this! :) 007
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jbredmound
Microsoft repeatedly commits acts of criminal fraud and theft of intellectual property.  It uses it vast market strengh to force OEMs to sell only their product which in turn bolsters there market share which allows them to use that market share to force OEMs into the same cycle.  If I tried to do that I would get arrested for racketeering.
I absolutely agree with this! <_< 007
So, why did all of the OEMs kowtow, so early in the game. What was in it for them?Netscape says Microsoft didn't play fair, but why wasn't there another OS? Were the OEMs getting sweetheart deals, and if so, why aren't we taking them to task; they would be just a culpable as M$!Why has M$ gone to court, oh these many times, and never suffered more than a slap on the hand? Somebody will say "good lawyers", but I don't think that is the answer. I think it's something like, "Well, everybody liked the OS, and to ge the sweetheart deal...". Later, their dance with the Devil changed, but whose fault was that?What did IBM attempt to do to M$ early on? Gee, M$ survived, without any help from anywhere. Why is IBM not served some vitriol for being as culpable in this as any other organization?To this day, no one is seriously challenging M$'s market share, although the Linux Movement seems to have a chance. But remember something; so far, if you are going to be a serious user of Linux, you had better be geek-leaning. I remember MS Dos very well, and how it precluded many people from the computer revolution. Apple and M$ changed all that, and M$ won the war (handily). Linux isn't even there yet.M$ is one of the most unethical companies that I had seen until the 21st Century, when a whole bunch of new, scum-sucking players came on board. Look at the facts; many of those scum-suckers are in jail, or receiving stiff penalties and sanctions from the courts, and Microsoft is not.Unless you wish to be just totally cynical, the lesson here is the M$ did not get where they are alone; many OEMs, among others, were more than glad to help, and that is why no one can get a significant conviction today.
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nlinecomputers
So, why did all of the OEMs kowtow, so early in the game. What was in it for them?
They didn't. Early in the game Microsoft didn't have exclusive contracts. But for the most part they were the only game in town. Microsoft was the only Dos out except PC-DOS from IBM. And IBM didn't want to sell the product to independents. (That isn't a crime. It is a stupid business move but not a crime.) IBM didn't want to even admit that there WERE independents. That is not Microsofts fault. Orignally IBM and Microsoft were working together to produce OS/2. The bulk of the work was being done by IBM. They broke up(stupid move on Microsoft's part, or was it?) and IBM continued to produce OS/2. Microsoft knew that real competition was brewing for them with OS/2 as it was a superior OS. So they began to require that OEMs have exculsive contracts. This was back in 1992 and 1993 when the country was in a recession. The OEM were cash hungry and no real OS alternative was in sight. Also the market was used to Windows and switching to OS/2 would have been a risk and hard to sell to clients in a bad ecomomy.Now you can criticize the OEMs all you want but for the most part I can't blame them. They really had no other place to go. Tandy was the only company to offer OS/2. Microsoft refused to sell Tandy software at the same price level of all the rest. Is Tandy still making computers anymore? Radio Shack PCs were more expensive because the software was more expensive.-
What did IBM attempt to do to M$ early on? Gee, M$ survived, without any help from anywhere. Why is IBM not served some vitriol for being as culpable in this as any other organization?
Sorry I don't follow you there. What did IBM do to anyone? IBM was so missmanaged that it was easy for Microsoft to rob them of IP and of market share.
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jbredmound
They didn't.  Early in the game Microsoft didn't have exclusive contracts.  But for the most part they were the only game in town.  Microsoft was the only Dos out except PC-DOS from IBM.  And IBM didn't want to sell the product to independents. (That isn't a crime.  It is a stupid business move but not a crime.) IBM didn't want to even admit that there WERE independents.  That is not Microsoft's fault.
So, the current monopoly was born of a "small fry" outfit breaking away from the big outfit that was doing it's best to create a monopoly? You are right in that IBM was so blunted in those times that one could scarcely blame them for anything but ignorance, but they also "went after" Microsoft, in more ways than one.I still do not see how M$ "created" it's monopoly. I see how M$ took advantage of it's monopoly, I see how M$ worked to keep it's monopoly, and I see how those actions hurt the industry. What I don't understand is the complete lack of product diversification and competition, dating into the 80's. Who fell victim to what.M$ was not, repeat not, a powerhouse in those days. Why, then, the power? How was the market surrendered to them so early on? Why did they succeed, and virtually everyone else fail so miserably?Absolute power corrupts, absolutely. In a free market, competition should prevent that, but the free market collapsed so completely in those early days that I cannot believe that even Bill & Co. could have engineered it.Lot's of people have tried to create monopolies, including Thomas Edison, but failed in fairly short order. Henry Ford never cared about monopoly at all; he just continued to focus of building cars that would continue to compete (remember his famous "they can have a Model T in any color they want, as long as it is black"). Even Henry had his ignorant marketing moments. But M$ has had free-reign, and that sounds a lot like intentional or unintentional collusion on the parts of many others.Steps off soapbox into mid-air.
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nlinecomputers
So, the current monopoly was born of a "small fry" outfit breaking away from the big outfit that was doing it's best to create a monopoly? You are right in that IBM was so blunted in those times that one could scarcely blame them for anything but ignorance, but they also "went after" Microsoft, in more ways than one.
Well by the early 1990s Microsoft was the big fry compared to IBMs PC software arm. That is one of the reasons the Microsoft was able to walk away from the joint venture with all the new code. Where do you think NT came from? Part of your statement still makes no sence. HOW did IBM "go after" Microsoft? It was the other way around. IBM hired Microsoft to help them write OS/2. Microsoft then began to lock down agreements with OEMs to exclude them from offering any new OS other then Windows. So how the heck was IBM and Microsoft going to sell the new OS? IBM got pissed broke contract while all the new code that Microsoft helped create stayed with Microsoft. Microsoft never entered that contract in good faith. They deliberately used it as an opportunity to examine OS/2, steal the code, and then make new products that BROKE the code.
I still do not see how M$ "created" it's monopoly. I see how M$ took advantage of it's monopoly, I see how M$ worked to keep it's monopoly, and I see how those actions hurt the industry. What I don't understand is the complete lack of product diversification and competition, dating into the 80's. Who fell victim to what.
Microsoft created it's Monopoly being the only producer of DOS. That isn't a crime. However using your marketing power to keep that monopoly IS. "The complete lack of competition dating into the 80s?" Were you under a rock? You had Word Perfect, Novell, Symantec, Central Point, Digital, Lotus. Most all of these companies were offering one product so sales were limited. Microsoft was offering only an OS at first but as EVERY computer needs an OS they were able to build cash very quickly. Not every computer needs Lotus but they all need DOS. And later DOS AND Windows. Creating an OS is no cheap thing. IBM gave Microsoft it's first funding to create DOS 1.0
M$ was not, repeat not, a powerhouse in those days. Why, then, the power? How was the market surrendered to them so early on? Why did they succeed, and virtually everyone else fail so miserably?
Well that is not quite correct. By the time true competitors for OSs began to emerge in the early 90s, DR-DOS and OS/2, Microsoft was a major player and it used its money and power to crush out that.
Absolute power corrupts, absolutely. In a free market, competition should prevent that, but the free market collapsed so completely in those early days that I cannot believe that even Bill & Co. could have engineered it.
You don't give Bill Gates credit for that? Gates knew the same thing that Sam Walton of Walmart knew. You can make a LOT of money by selling A LOT of the same thing. Every computer has to have an OS. He made sure that when IBM first began shopping for an OS that his company would provide it. QDOS didn't even fully work when he first showed it to IBM. But the man had the guts to show it off and sell his product.An OS is extremly hard to create. Look at Linux it been out over 10 years and still isn't ready for the desktop. I think that Bill knew if he could get started he would get on top just because of bulk sales. He also knew that any OS created would have to have applications that run on the OS. The more applications that run on your OS the more demand for your OS. So if creating an OS is hard, creating an OS that emulates another OS without violating copyrights or patents is VERY hard. One of the reasons Linux can't fully take off is because so many people can't let go of the Windows applications.
But M$ has had free-reign, and that sounds a lot like intentional or unintentional collusion on the parts of many others.
Microsoft owes it's life to IBM. IBM made two serious blunders when it created the PC. One to be cheap it used open standards and off the shelf parts. IBM assumed that it would be the only one building them. With open standards everybody could build clones. And everybody did. Two it let Microsoft sell DOS to others. Had they made an exclusive contract then no one else would have made PCs as they all needed an OS. None of this is a crime. BG was just the man in the right place and the right time. An OS is diffficult to make and no one else had the money to make an second OS. Besides why do so? DOS did what you wanted it to do. By the time anyone wanted a second OS Microsoft was allready cemented as the only provider of one. Part of that was pure opportunity but they acted illegally to keep that status quo.
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jbredmound

Two points that still need some discussion...1). M$ walked away from IBM with the code. I take it that IBM also had that code. Why was Windows 95 almost ubiquitous before IBM came out with anything! By the time anyone brought anything to market, all of the innovation was surrounding Windows!(By the way, I did some re-reading, and you are right; what little vengeance that IBM tried to exact was nothing at all in the big picture.)2).The expense and hassle of creating an OS; so often in business, creating late is like not creating at all. I find it hard to believe that all of those "players" you mentioned were totally lacking resources to work a project. Perhaps they were lacking the talent...but the resources? If all of this were true, then we would be saying that Bill & Co. had a well-deserved monopoly, because they were so far ahead of the curve that there weren't any other players to beat!I might also suggest that they saw the horrible failure of IBM, as they were eaten alive by the clones, and decided that they would not be "picked to death" by every little adventurer into the computer market.At that point, they did start breaking the spirit, if not the letter, of the law. Unfortunately, they could afford to, as no one else had seen how lucrative the market would become (apparently).Now, everyone points to Linux, Linux, Linux. I'm already on record that no "open source" solution will be properly supported so as to bring in the "average consumer". The proprietary wars of Linux have just begun. How does one differentiate? I really think we need to understand all of this. I really need to understand some of this. Is there another Bill Gates in the wings, and what will make him infamous (it could be a woman, so please, no offense).

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Guest ThunderRiver

Michael may be right about his facts at some point, but we and most of the GNU communities are not supportive of his initiative, Lindows. His pricing scheme is scandalous, and by bashing Microsoft, it won't accomplish him much. Failed once in MP3.com, he should know better by now.

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nlinecomputers

jbredmound,On your two points.On point 1. NO IBM didn't get the code. Why should they? Microsoft did the work. IBM broke contract(ie. didn't pay Microsoft) so Microsoft kept all the new code they wrote and it became much of the 32 bit code in NT. OS/2 code written before the argeement(version 2 and below) was kept by IBM. It became OS/2 Warp. Still exists by the way. Goto allmost any ATM, you find it runs OS/2 Warp 4. OS/2 Warp 3 was on the market I think a year before 95 was. Windows 95 on launch had no native apps and had much trouble running the 16 bit ones. OS/2 could run any 16 bit app out and often out performed Windows 3.11. The "inovation" was with OS/2. The bulk of the market was running Windows and buying computers with 95 preintstalled. Why did VHS beat Betamax? Because Sony was the only one selling it. Everyone else sold VHS.On Point 2. Yes they DIDN'T have the resources. Either cash, talent, or both. Most of those companies bought and sold each other or there products just to survive. DR-DOS was created by Digital, was sold Novell, then sold to Caldera. If the talent and cash is so freakin plentiful then where are the other OSs?

If all of this were true, then we would be saying that Bill & Co. had a well-deserved monopoly, because they were so far ahead of the curve that there weren't any other players to beat!
I thought I said just that in my previous post so I will not repeat. Go reread my last paragraph. I say as much.
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Peachy

Hands up! Who has used IBM OS/2 Warp v. 3??? Anyone? Admit it. C'mon... :( I did when it came out in October 1994. It sure the heck was a lot more stable than Windows 3.1 and it could run pretty much every Windows 3.1 application that wasn't Win32-based. I was even playing Lucas Arts' Tie Fighter on OS/2!But, it arrived just before the World Wide Web exploded so it didn't have support for Ethernet; you needed Warp LAN for that. You only had SLIP support out of the box for your modem. I remember having to set that up, dial into my SLIP account, FTP the PPP driver from IBM then install it so that I could actually use my PPP account. Web Explorer was the browser, technologically just more advanced than Mosaic. Luckily IBM bundled the OS/2 version of CompuServe's front end.But, the point is, IBM had 10 months to carve a huge chunk of the market for desktop OSes. How'd they drop that opportunity is probably one of the greatest business mysteries of the late twentieth century. In 1995, just before Microsoft released Windows 95, Bill Gates proclaimed that the internet was a passing fad. By December of that year, Bill saw the internet juggernaut for what it was; a cultural tectonic shift that would change the world economy. NT 4.0 would be released in August of 1996 and IBM wouldn't have OS/2 v. 4 (Merlin) out in time to compete in the consumer market choosing instead to penetrate the corporate market for vertical applications like banking machine software.

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Guest ThunderRiver

OS/2 Warp is still being widely used. It is no longer being called OS/2 warp. Instead it is now called eComStationIt still very cool because you get to run 16 bit/32 bit applications as well as BSD/UNIX programs in one OS. Quite cool.

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Guest LilBambi

We have a friend who uses OS/2 on his main computer. He doesn't do Windows. He loves it. I saw a screen shot of it.Previously, I had only seen OS/2 on one computer when it came out, after a friend had used it for about 6 months and was raving about it. He showed it to me and I was highly impressed with its stability...especially since we were using Win 3.1 at the time. Real multi-tasking from the get go! Ah, it was like a wonderful dream .... Then I had to go back to work and sit down at my desk and use Win 3.1 ... what a rude awakening!

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jbredmound
I thought I said just that in my previous post so I will not repeat.  Go reread my last paragraph.  I say as much.
Again, point well taken. I am afraid that I read that since they, by luck, were the only game in town, they were in the driver's seat. A reread after your comment tells me different.How would you like to find yourself so far ahead of the pack that it was doubtful that anyone could catch up? Yet, you would know that things change rapidly in a swashbuckling market like the computer industry of the 80's. As you grow, you watch a powerhouse like IBM taking a huge beating because they made a couple of significant wrong moves.I know you maintain that M$ was at least as big as IBM's software operation at the time of their split, but IBM, in total, was huge; major market capitalization, dominance of several of their markets, and the ability (if they had been able to use it) to focus that power on any target that they picked. I lived in San Jose during the mid 70's, and I know the part that IBM played in that community; in fact, the rescue that I rode was in the heart of IBM-land, the Almaden Valley. A "think tank" was there, and I can't imagine the budget of that place. I also treated more than one "think-tanker" during his heart attack, and transported him to Santa Teresa Hospital.Imagine! Also, if you will, imagine the jump from QDOS to Windows! Imagine the pressure! Imagine the exhilaration! Imagine the fear.I will maintain that, if Microsoft was so blatantly monopolistic, history would have been changed. I am a big one to go with the underdog (in this case, perhaps, the OEMs) but when you get down to legality vs justice, everyone had choices to make, and they made them. The fact that IBM didn't welcome those OEMs into the fold didn't make Microsoft the bad guy. The fact that no one was pitching hard to create the "point and click" competitor to Windows doesn't make Microsoft the bad guy.Even the contract demands that Microsoft made to the OEMs were not sustained as illegal in court. But their bundling was, and that was M$'s "stupid mistake". Oh, there were plenty of potential players out there, who could have been doing anything in their basements (don't forget that M$ was started in a garage), and Bill & Co knew it. So they had some "nixon moments", became overly paranoid about the threats, and over-reacted.Nline, I suspect that if they hadn't blundered on the bundling, and if they hadn't tied up the OEMs so tight, things wouldn't be much different now; who even took a shot at it (not email or word processing, but OS)? Who had an OS that would open computing, not to techies, but to the world? Apple, that's who. Nline, after you get done thrashing what I have said here (I can hardly wait), can we talk about why Apple failed so miserably? That was, and is, a good company with a good product. Why did their software support lag early on? Who could get their hands on the code to build the apps for that wonderful system? Why am I not using an Apple today?Why not, Scotties?
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