Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Vista vs. Cairo - A Microsoft History Lesson

Comments Filter:
  • Cairo vs NT/Cairo (Score:5, Informative)

    by DreadSpoon (653424) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @11:52AM (#17277402) Journal
    This article has a confusing title, given that dominance of the Cairo graphics library these days.
    • by 6Yankee (597075) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @01:13PM (#17277940)
      Even more confusing when you read it as "Vista vs. Casio", and look forward to a story about a digital watch being forced to run Vista and bursting into flames :(
    • by julesh (229690)
      This article has a confusing title, given that dominance of the Cairo graphics library these days.

      Some of us get confused and think articles are talking about NT4 when they mention the graphics library. I guess it's a young v. middle-aged thing.
  • by mccalli (323026) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @11:55AM (#17277420) Homepage
    Daniel Eran has been spamming uk.comp.sys.mac for weeks now, ignoring every polite request for him to stop. He shows no sign of engaging with the group (beyond calling us "a hateful bunch of queens"), just spams links to his blog against charter and then swans off again.

    Daniel Eran. Just Say No.

    Cheers,
    Ian
    • by cloricus (691063) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @12:02PM (#17277472)
      We don't have to; His server is already slashdotted!
       
      Maybe he is still running an early 90s NT server?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cpct0 (558171)
      Hmm, I don't want to sound any less stupid than I really am, but other than people using some signature on their Usenet mails, anyone can really make themselves appear to be anyone else on Usenet don't they? I've known these kinds in *cough* less respectable places, where they would get annoyed by the group, then suddenly prove they got no life and spam the heck out of the place with semi-plausible stuff, named against the member that pissed them off or simply ripping out the place.

      Not making an apology, ju
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by davecarlotub (835831) *
      There are 15 messages from DanielEran in uk.comp.sys.mac since November 12th. They are indeed blog link posts, but hardly a FLOOD.
  • by Joebert (946227)
    I shit you not, I was listening to the Wizard Of Oz on TV in the background when I opened this story.
    Coincidence ?
    I think not.


    On a serious note, if it worked before, why do anything different ?
    Are you trying to tell me that Microsoft doesn't have all the money ?
    • by StikyPad (445176)
      Yeah, I love that part when "Money" starts playing and the movie goes color. So appropriate.
  • That's part of competing -- to give your customers EVERY reason to pick you over someone else. Any good business does it by:

    1. Providing a product that meets the current needs of their customers.
    2. Providing a path to new features/efficiencies for their customers' futures.
    3. Working with third parties to offer incentives to provide your product solely.
    4. Providing a proven ROI for a short-term and long-term focus.

    Microsoft, to me, is not a monopoly -- except when the State is involved (providing patents an
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 17, 2006 @04:43PM (#17279514)
      Being a monopoly is NOT illegal. It is leveraging the monopoly in an anti-competitive manner that is illegal.

      Items 1, 2 and 4 on your list are just good business sense. Monopoly or not.

      But "3. Working with third parties to offer incentives to provide your product solely." is illegal. If you leave off the word "solely" its ok, but when your "incentives" come off like strong-arm bullying, and the "solely" provision is the primary objective, that is anti-competitive. That is also what Microsoft was (repeatedly) found guilty of.

      And from what I've seen and heard of Vista, application of the other three items is questionable.
      • by DECS (891519) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @09:16PM (#17281638) Homepage Journal
        Actually exclusive deals are not illegal, and maintaining a monopoly often is.

        Try googling news for "exclusive deal," and tell me how many of those are illegal. There are lots of examples of exclusive business deals.

        However, while monopolies are allowed in specific areas where it is determined that competition would create more problems that it would solve, the existance of legal monopolies (for cable, power utilitites, water) generally overlap into areas often supplied by the government (municipal transportation, power, water), not competitive industries.

        In competitive industires, monopolies are generally illegal. When Lowes Theaters bought AMC Theaters, it was forced by the state of California to divest itself of certain theaters so that it wouldn't own the majority of outlets in certain markets. That happened despite the fact that AMC/Lowes didn't even own all the theaters and had significant competition.

        Microsoft's monopoly in operating systems was defined as a monopoly in the court, and found to be abusive in the narrow portion of evidence that was actually considered. Significant efforts were presented to solve that illegal monopoly and abuseive use, but then the current administration swung into power and dismissed any and all action.

        So no, despite the rule of law being uninforced in America, monopolies are not generally "legal" just because an anonymous coward says they are. That's a myth. The US has a long history of breaking up monopolies and companies that exercise undo influence over markets. In other countries, including Europe and Asia, monoploy control is more common and not always illegal. Massive conglomerations are typical in Japan and Germany, but were always frowned upon in the US, back when the rule of law was enforced.

        Illegal monopolies are not legal any more than illegal wars are legal. Just because something is allowed by a kowtowed populace and an uncritical press does not mean that the law does not exist or that it will never be enforced. Just wait until the red states have a moment to consider how much money they have lost! Once that happens, the US is sure to have a revolution of sorts and elect an administration more interested in enforcing the laws than in distractions of jews, flag burning, gay marrage & all the problems caused by minories.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by GaryPatterson (852699)
          "So no, despite the rule of law being uninforced in America, monopolies are not generally "legal" just because an anonymous coward says they are. That's a myth. The US has a long history of breaking up monopolies and companies that exercise undo influence over markets. In other countries, including Europe and Asia, monoploy control is more common and not always illegal. Massive conglomerations are typical in Japan and Germany, but were always frowned upon in the US, back when the rule of law was enforced."

          D
          • by DECS (891519) on Monday December 18, 2006 @01:32AM (#17283094) Homepage Journal
            I'm glad you like my site.

            However, as in the example I gave, antitrust policy is the way the US works. GE, GM, and General Mills might be big companies, but they are not conglomerates on the scale of German and Japanese companies, where mega umbrella companies enter and control multiple markets. As a sloppy example, Mitsubishi does everything from banking to heavy industry, oil, real estate, steel, cars, ag, beer, logistics, insurance, and it even cans tuna.

            No American groups can do that because of different economic policies on competition. In the US, there are laws preventing companies from dominating industries and distorting competition, let alone owning multiple industries. The US similarly has had far less support for nationalized utilities.

            The US government always investigates mergers and acquisitions to make sure that comeptition won't be distorted as companies converge. Back when Aldus and Adobe became Adobe, the company had to divest itself of Aldus Freehand (because it also had Adobe Illustrator); It sold it off to Macromedia.

            Things have changed. When Adobe bought Macromedia, it stripped the software world of far more competition, but no action was taken. Adobe didn't have to get rid of Macromedia Freehand for Adobe Illustrator this time around, nor did it have to allow Dreamweaver and GoLive to remain in competition, and any of a number of other examples. The difference is a change in politics and economic thought.

            Despite that shift, monopolies are only allowed where competition is unlikely to benefit consumers. Newspapers in a city are often allowed to join in non-competitive joint contracts to fix prices on advertising, keeping ad prices artificially high in order for newspapers to cheat off obsolescence. But that doesn't mean its legal for gas stations to collude on price fixing too.

            Making blanked statements that "monopolies are legal as long as they're not hurting anyone" is similarly misinformed, particularly under the rather arrogant title "Bull... Once more for those who skipped class," so I had to jump on it.

            I'm a sucker for arguing against anonymous cowards I guess.

            Why Microsoft Can't Compete With iTunes [roughlydrafted.com]
  • WTF (Score:4, Informative)

    by Timesprout (579035) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @12:05PM (#17277496)
    Article rambles all over the place, seems more to be pleading for reader to look at previous articles by author rather than make its higly convoluted point. Reads like a lot of sour grapes about historical irrelevance so I assume the author is just looking for hits by trying to be inflamatory.
    • by DECS (891519)
      The point is pretty clear: Microsoft gamed the world through the 90's by promising to outdo the competition, but ended up not even matching it ten years later.

      Rinse, repeat. The same thing happened in the 80s and again in our decade. You chose to ignore all this, but it doesn't make the facts go away. Everyone hails Microsoft as an innovator and highly successful, but ignores the fact that it has trampled up on real innovation, and outside its monopolies, has been a huge failure.

      Calling the truth "inflammat
  • NT (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DrSkwid (118965) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @12:13PM (#17277526) Homepage Journal
    NT stand for Nested Task, it's a register in the 286 that helps preepmtive multi-tasking which is the feature of both OS/2 and NT that distinguishes them from Window 3.x/9x that used co-operative multi-tasking.

    http://pdos.csail.mit.edu/6.828/2006/readings/i386 /s04_01.htm [mit.edu]

    4.1.1 Systems Flags
    The systems flags of the EFLAGS register control I/O, maskable interrupts, debugging, task switching, and enabling of virtual 8086 execution in a protected, multitasking environment. These flags are highlighted in Figure 4-1 .

    NT (Nested Task, bit 14)
            The processor uses the nested task flag to control chaining of interrupted and called tasks. NT influences the operation of the IRET instruction .
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MLopat (848735)
      NT as in Windows NT has always stood for "New Technology". In fact, the operating system at one time was simply going to be branded "NT" except that Northern Telecom (Nortel) had something to say about it.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by man_of_mr_e (217855)
        Actually, no. "New Technology" was actually the second name of the code name. It was originally derived from the first CPU they wrote NT for, the Intel N-Ten, which eventually became the i860 Risc CPU.

        When they ported NT to x86, they changed the name to "new technology", then later claimed it didn't stand for anything anymore (because it's harder to trademark an acronym).
        • by MLopat (848735)
          Were you on the team? Or did you simply read the misleading wikipedia article?
      • by AJWM (19027)
        That's what I figured it stood for. As in "nice try, but it's not quite there yet". Or maybe it just stood for "nearly there".

    • Re:NT (Score:5, Interesting)

      by pla (258480) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @12:39PM (#17277706) Journal
      NT stand for Nested Task

      Or, officially, "New Technology".

      Or, the most likely of all, by analogy to IBM -> HAL (as in, HAL-9000 from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey), VMS -> W(indows)NT. I would normally consider that a cute coincidence, if they didn't share Dave Cutler [wikipedia.org] as a lead designer on both projects.

      But given that he did help design both OSs, and the propensity for geeks to come up with bizarrely convoluted acronyms, I'd call that the "right" answer as to the origins of the name "NT".
      • Re:NT (Score:5, Interesting)

        by diegocgteleline.es (653730) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @01:03PM (#17277882)
        Sight. This topic. Again.

        Just check the Windows NT [wikipedia.org] wikipedia page, which links at page, where you can find this quote from one of the original NT creators:

        "We checked the first code pieces in around mid-December 1988," Lucovsky said, "and had a very basic system kind of booting on a simulator of the Intel i860 (which was codenamed "N-Ten") by January." In fact, this is where NT actually got its name, Lucovsky revealed, adding that the "new technology" moniker was added after the fact in a rare spurt of product marketing by the original NT team members. "Originally, we were targeting NT to the Intel i860, a RISC processor that was horribly behind schedule. Because we didn't have any i860 machines in-house to test on, we used an i860 simulator. That's why we called it NT, because it worked on the 'N-Ten.'"

        So please, stop all those theories, the origins of the name are well documented.
        • by AJWM (19027)
          the origins of the name are well documented.

          Sorry, the recollections of an involved party long after the fact do not constitute "well documented". Show me the contemporaneous emails or memos, that's documentation.

          I can't imagine why anyone would make up a story like the "N-Ten" story (although who writes it "N-Ten" rather than "N10"? Calling it Windows NIO (or Neo?) would make more sense), but what you quote does not constitute "well documented".
        • by DECS (891519)
          TFA actually pointed out the NT name is said to come from i860, and also mentions the use of NT in OS/2 3.0. Both were ~1988, so we don't need wikipedia in 2006 telling us trivia.

          Recall that the Wikipedia is hardly well sourced. Many tech articles are supported by sensationalist articles from the Register which are "original research," or in other words conjecture designed to be snappy used as supporting facts.

          Compare the wikipedia article on the iPod and the Zune. The iPod article scrounges up criticisms f
      • by dryeo (100693)
        Except NT started out as OS/2 NT v3. I have a Byte around here with a little news blurb about MS actually booting up OS/2 NT v3 for the first time. This was on a MIPS processor IIRC.
    • by lseltzer (311306)
      >> NT stand for Nested Task, it's a register in the 286 that helps preepmtive multi-tasking which is the feature of both OS/2 and NT that distinguishes them from Window 3.x/9x that used co-operative multi-tasking.

      As others have said, NT of course stands for "New Technology" and is a marketing term, not a reference to a bit flag in a register.

      And Windows 9x preemtively multitasks.
    • by drsmithy (35869)

      NT stand for Nested Task, it's a register in the 286 that helps preepmtive multi-tasking which is the feature of both OS/2 and NT that distinguishes them from Window 3.x/9x that used co-operative multi-tasking.

      This would be more convincing if there had ever been even the slightest hint that NT would ever have been targeted at the 286.

  • Vista should be compared with the construction of
    a custom build bike/car to be displayed at Detroit's Autorama
    and hopefully will draw the last 8 cut.
    Well it might make the best 8, but Vista will never be
    a winner in real day practice, because no-one is going to
    drive a $1 million cost custom to the supermarket or even
    to the next state or cross country.

    Vista is not the next industry desktop workhorse,
    certainly not of what i have seen. Being the biggest bad ass
    ballmie bully on the block might pull it through,
  • by Aphrika (756248) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @12:26PM (#17277610)
    Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] - generally a little more authoritative than a (rather opinionated and flawed) blog entry.

    Incidentally, I distinctly remember Cairo not being vaporware or a hoax as stated in the article, there were certainly dodgy builds of it floating around before it was canned and NT 4.0 appeared as a Win95-ified NT 3.51 replacement. The idea that Cairo was a hoax in a non-starter. That's like saying Copland was a hoax, no, sometimes projects get shelved because they're not working out - OS design is an area of computing where it's incredibly easy to be idealogical about features, then figure out that you just can't deliver the goods.
    • by lseltzer (311306)
      I followed all of this very carefully at the time. Microsoft was always careful to call Cairo a "set of technologies" and not necessarily a specific version that would be released at some specific point. Almost all of what they promised for Cairo did come true except for the "object-oriented file system."
    • by rs232 (849320)
      Remember they were included in Cairo in some form in 1995. Vaporware as usually described, is announcing something that don't exist in the hope of warding off the opposition from entering the market and also with the full knowlege that such feetures are not implementable in a realistic timeframe. Else why haven't we seen the pre-announced features even now in late 2006.

      "The top level will .. [be] the Cairo desktop itself .. Cairo's Object File System (OFS) makes the whole hard disk a single huge docfile
      • by cnettel (836611)
        OLE structure storage was present as alternate NTFS streams in NT 5 Beta 2 (and maybe also Windows 2000 beta 3, not sure anymore). Some Office files could become strange when saved on such partitions, especially when later accessed over the network. It was dropped from the actual release, but this also means that it was present, in a limited way, in Real Code. There's also a lot of support for storing keywords/properties for individual files in NTFS and exposing some of it in Explorer, but "nobody" uses it.
        • by twitter (104583)

          Taking out the non operative words, we have:

          OLE structure storage was present as alternate NTFS streams in NT 5 Beta 2 ... [but did not work and was not released] ... but ... it was ... Real Code.

          Did not work and never saw the light of day is who's idea of software?

    • by PsychicX (866028)
      Parent is right, this article is just...bitter.

      Vista is Cairo. As is Win2K, and Active Directory, and Exchange, and SQL Server, and god knows how many other technologies out of that company. It dissolved out of product status long ago, but the overarching goals are really what have driven Windows and related development for close to 15 years. Vista was a badly executed push towards that same ideal. That "information at your fingertips" motto has controlled Windows development. Just look at the sheer preva
      • by SmurfButcher Bob (313810) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @06:48PM (#17280518) Journal
        Actually, I'd suggest that you missed the author's point, entirely. Perhaps it is due to you not being in the position to buy the various products at the time, I don't know.

        Here's the perspective. It has zero to do with "15 years later, we have a feature". It has *everything* to do with, "15 years ago, when we needed a solution, Microsoft said they would provide it in a TIMELY fashion." As a result, purchase decisions were directly impacted.

        We needed a mutlitasking OS to replace a DG Mini. Windows 1.0 was reputed to provide this functionality.
        We called them. "Multi tasking?" "Yes." "Multiple users?" "Absolutely."
        We bought it.
        They lied.
        We called them back.
        "The sales engineer was confused with the next version." End Quote.

        The project was shelved.
        CDOS, released by a company named "Digital Research", became viable.
        The project was rehashed, but Windows 2.0 was out. It's DOS support had few caveats, compared to CDOS.
        We called Microsoft.
        "Multitasking?"
        "Yep!"
        "You said the other one was. It wasn't."
        "We've totally rewritten it. It works for real."
        "Multi user?"

        We bought it.
        They lied.
        We called them back.
        "It doesn't work."
        "No? The NEXT one will, and it's due soon."

        See the pattern yet?
        We eventually bought CDOS (and later, CCDOS, a value-add version).

        We also bought Win30. Hazard a guess why?
        They lied, again.
        We also bought Win31. THAT one was initially stated to be preemptive, remember? And the sales pigs all claimed it was, when it was time to sign the check. Perhaps you've forgotten the RAGING DEBATES over that very issue, at the time... "Preemptive!" "No, it isn't!" "Yes, it is!" "No, it isn't!"

        Our project was fairly simple - run a couple of DOS boxes, and redirect STDIO to a serial port so that two people could run a program. This specific detail was explained to "Microsoft", EACH TIME.

        Every time... EVERY time... the MS tactic was to stall our purchase of a competing, fully viable product, via the gross misrepresentation of their own.

        The MS philosophy is, and has been, that it is better to ship an "empty box" on-time than to ship a working product a day late.
        And they have done so, and I have the disks to prove it - Excel's initial "DMF" floppy distribution, who's lzexpand didn't comprehend DMF... they literally put the "standard" Win31 lzex onto disk 1. Funny, it's LZEx that needs to READ these FATless disks. It couldn't POSSIBLY work. But, the version they needed wasn't read yet, so... ship it! ...To NT BO4.5, which contained such setup.ini script error gems such as "Syntax error line xxx: ***REMEMBER TO FINISH SQL INSTALL SCRIPT". I'm NOT joking. And, you don't know the half of the extent of this.

        Clearly, two "top tier" products at the time, and the installations not even been tested. Not once. NOT ONCE. And, the devs KNEW the crap wasn't finished. The Mgt KNEW the crap wasn't finished. Both cases, which were a year apart... the "official" MS reason for issuing new disks to me?

        "Media Defect". Again, I am NOT joking. Both cases, no matter how hard I argued, the call takers flat out REFUSED to admit the actual flaw. "No, the media is perfect. The setups are WRONG. Syntax errors... referencing a directory path that doesn't exist on the CD... trivial little things like that..."

        Because, you know, the standalone install disk for Exchange had the base directory in the root. On BO4.5, the base setup was a subdirectory. And the scripts hadn't been adapted for it.

        Trivial, little things. Right? Or, an omnipresent pattern, that just keeps on recurring.

        The point of the article is exactly correct; promise vaporware as a solution NOW, to prevent or stall the purchase of an existing solution, NOW. That they *might* actually deliver the vapor in five years? Irrelevent; I am NOT going to buy a "viable" solution today, when "nervana" is coming next week. I will wait, so that I can assess. Or worse, if the "vapor" is claimed to now exist,
        • by master_p (608214)
          Well, if you and your company buy products based only on what the sales guy says on the phone, then I have a really good ranch for sale right in the middle of Manhattan...

          (seriously: you did not even wait for the magazine reviews?)
  • by defile (1059) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @12:37PM (#17277692) Homepage Journal

    Factual errors aside, I think he's trying to say:

    Microsoft announced it had big things in development, didn't quite release all of the things they announced. This is fraud. Microsoft bad. They did it on purpose, by design. We're onto you guys, you won't fool us with Vista!

    He references The Mythical Man-Month as if this would give him some kind of software development street cred. I don't buy it, mainly because he doesn't seem to have ever been involved with any software development project.

    Many software projects start with ambitious and optimistic sets of features. And by many, I mean all. The bigger the project, the more ambitious the scope. "Yeah! Our next generation Operating System is going to have an OBJECT FILE SYSTEM and DISTRIBUTED COMPONENTS and JUST IN TIME COMPILATION and ADAPTIVE HEALING and ADVANCED AI COMMAND INTERFACE and VOICE RECOGNITION. The future is NOW! We're awesome!" Developers believe the hype and do a lot to generate it. And if they believe it, and they're implementing the fucking thing, what chance do marketers have of looking at it critically? None. So they tow the line.

    Result? The ambitious wildly impractical story is impossible to keep quiet. Sure, you can certainly fault companies for announcing features well before they're release candidate quality, but ambitious features getting cut because project deadlines are slipping happens all the time. Aside from the bad press that's generated from missing your release date, and the investment you blew developing features which don't get commercialized, there aren't many other downsides. If you can afford it, who cares?

    I can totally imagine cutting these features if I were the project manager and we missed our release date; the decision process would go something like this: what is the most expensive feature we're developing right now that has the lowest return on investment that if we cut, would allow us to release much earlier? "Object filesystem" probably makes the top of everyone's list. It gets cut it in a heartbeat. What, was marketing hyping the shit out of it this whole time? I hadn't noticed, because I haven't left my cubicle in 36 months. Tough it out, marketing clowns.

    • by julesh (229690)
      Factual errors aside...

      Actually, factual errors not aside. This is a most peculiar piece of writing I've seen for a while. It ignores the popular myths about how Windows NT came to be, and cuts straight for the truth... then neatly sidesteps it and comes to incorrect conclusions. It's almost like it's been written by somebody who knows the real story as a deliberate disinformation piece. But who'd do that?

      From the article:
      Microsoft initially targeted NT to run on the i860, Intel's new 64-bit RISC proces
      • by DECS (891519)
        The i860 was a 32-bit ALU along with a 64-bit FPU. All of its buses were 64-bits wide, or wider. But lets ask Intel: the Intel i860 64-Bit Microprocessor Data Sheet.

        You pick out various other things out of context to discredit my article, but you are clearly just excited about Microsoft. The very real problem is that this article directly attacks the church you worship at; its not a personal thing, I just think you shouldn't be worshiping mediocrity.

        It's simply undebatable that Microsoft promised Cairo in 1
        • by julesh (229690)
          The i860 was a 32-bit ALU along with a 64-bit FPU. All of its buses were 64-bits wide, or wider.

          The same was true of the Pentium. That doesn't make the Pentium a 64-bit processor.

          But lets ask Intel: the Intel i860 64-Bit Microprocessor Data Sheet.

          Marketing bullshit. Intels engineers knew at the time that they weren't producing a 64-bit processor. But there were 64 bit aspects to it, particularly WRT its SIMD capability of working on two 32 bit words with the same instruction. Its ALU was 32 bits, though
        • The article is poorly organized. Slashdot's story about the article does not quote the most important parts. Slashdot readers have commented on the Slashdot story with numerous irrelevant points.

          The article is a description of what is reasonably, in my opinion, called fraud. Quote: "After a half decade of being presented as a legitimate competitor to NeXT's object oriented development tools and various other products, Cairo was revealed as a complete hoax."

          The author is trying to stop the "Fraud as a
  • by soulsteal (104635) <soulsteal@@@3l337...org> on Sunday December 17, 2006 @12:43PM (#17277732) Homepage
    1990-1995: Microsoft's Yellow Road to Cairo
    Along with Ashton-Tate and Lotus Development, Microsoft was considered one of the Big Three software developers of the 80s. Apple courted all three to develop software for its new Macintosh.

    Ashton-Tate managed to run itself out of business, and Lotus was eventually bought up by IBM in 1995, leaving Microsoft as one of the largest and most influential developers of desktop applications.

    Microsoft's position as a vendor for both DOS and office applications gave it certain advantages over its rivals, particularly when Windows 95 appeared and obsolesced not just previous versions of DOS and Windows, but also competing developers' existing applications, including DOS standards WordPerfect and Lotus 1-2-3.

    Rapid advancements in technology created a wildly chaotic market, where simple announcements of future plans could trump real products. Given the prevalence of misinformation wars in the tech industry, it's no surprise that Microsoft applied its vast market power to become one of the most notorious sources of FUD and vaporware.

    Innovations in Vaporware
    Previous articles have considered Microsoft's vaporware attacks on QuickTime and the Newton and PenPoint OS.

    While many companies in the competitive tech field announced products they were ultimately unable to deliver, Microsoft applied an innovative, two handed approach to playing the vaporware game.

    Rather than just bluffing its hand like other companies, Microsoft played the game with a set of cards in one hand, while waving the illusion of another set of cards in the other hand. The fake set of cards were highly distracting because they looked like a much better hand than anyone else could possibly have.

    Standing around the card table were a number of analysts who all expressed how impressed they were by the cards Microsoft waved in the air, and made regular remarks about how foolish it would be for anyone else to stay in the game. The worst part was that many of those analysts could see Microsoft's real hand, and knew the company was bluffing.

    Microsoft's NT Plans Prior to Cairo
    In 1991, Apple was releasing the Mac System 7 and Tim Berners-Lee was using his NeXT to build the world's first web server and browser.

    PCs were still using the character based DOS in a slightly faster version than was released a decade earlier in 1981, although Windows 3.0 was beginning to provide DOS PC users with a rough approximation of Apple's graphical desktop.

    After witnessing sales of Windows 3.0 take off, Microsoft began its schism with IBM over OS/2 3.0 development. Microsoft's new plan involved an entirely new operating system based on its contributions to OS/2; the new OS was referred to as Windows NT.

    Unlike the existing DOS based Windows 3.0, NT aimed at being entirely new and modern in every respect, untied to DOS or to the existing x86 PC architecture.

    Microsoft initially targeted NT to run on the i860, Intel's new 64-bit RISC processor that was supposed to usher in the future. The i860 was a modern design and carried none of the legacy baggage of the standard x86 based PC.

    It included graphics acceleration features similar in principle to the forthcoming PowerPC Altivec and Pentium MMX; those features resulted in the i860 being used by NeXT to power its high end NeXTDimension video card.

    Unfortunately, the i860 didn't work out for Microsoft. All that remained from its efforts to build a new operating system based on the processor was the i860's code name: N10, which is widely repeated to be the meaning of NT. Of course, Microsoft and IBM had also long referred to OS/2 3.0 as "NT," for new technology, so the idea behind the i860 as the source of NT's name might be historical revisionism.

    No Operating System Experience
    Microsoft struggled with the complex reality of building its own operating system without IBM. Up to that point, Microsoft had only been delivering tepid updates to MS-DOS, which it had licensed from a small
  • by bigdavesmith (928732) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @12:46PM (#17277746)
    The Borg Cube bearing the Microsoft logo, destroying Earth, with flames reaching up from off-frame image [roughlydrafted.com] just screams professionalism. I will take anything this site says very seriously.
    • by westlake (615356)
      The Borg Cube bearing the Microsoft logo, destroying Earth, with flames reaching up from off-frame image just screams professionalism. I will take anything this site says very seriously.

      The Billy-Borg and stained glass Windows icons of Slashdot invite the same response. The same is to be expected from BadVista.org, of course.

  • So? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Robber Baron (112304) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @12:47PM (#17277762) Homepage

    What Microsoft faces in 2007 is not going to be the lack of OEMs selling Vista for them, but the unraveling of its monopoly position and its ability to mislead the world again with promises of new, next generation technology just around the corner. We know better than that now.
    So? Tell us something we don't know.
    Microsoft makes operating systems and office/productivity apps, and that's about it; nothing magical or "next generation" about that.
    Don't expect "next generation" and you won't be disappointed.
    BTW Linux is still staring at its own navel...
    • by Salsaman (141471)
      Linux is still staring at its own navel...

      What do you mean by that, exactly ?

    • by Teun (17872)

      BTW Linux is still staring at its own navel...

      Well, it is prettier than most!
      :)

  • Damn, that was crap (Score:4, Informative)

    by perrin (891) on Sunday December 17, 2006 @12:47PM (#17277764)
    Please give me back the 10 minutes reading that article took me. I am by no means a historian of the computing era, but I lived through those years reading computer magazines and programming the things, so I have no problem seeing bullshit presented as history when I encounter it. That guy is such a flaming Apple apologist, he can't even get his head around the fact that despite all its short-comings, win32 had pre-emptive multithreading and protected memory for all of eight years (1993 vs 2001) before Apple got out a consumer OS with the same. Apple nearly died waiting for its vapourware before it bought NeXT. And Microsoft got into that game late, too, and I mean really late. It was implemented in Unix and other systems in the 1970s. He forgot to mention Windows 3.1, which was one of the most important Windows releases ever, because it proved to the world that Windows could succeed. WordPerfect thought it couldn't, and died. Most sat on the fence for Windows 3.0, because while it was pretty, it was horribly unstable and lacking in essential OS features.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by hedrick (701605)
      >despite all its short-comings, win32 had pre-emptive multithreading and protected memory for all of eight years (1993 vs 2001)
      >before Apple got out a consumer OS with the same.

      Win32 is an API, not an OS. Protected memory is an attribute of the OS, not the API. If we're talking about significant consumer implementations, the first serious implementation of win32 would be Windows 95. (Earlier ones were NT 3.51 and Win32s in Windows 3.1.) That's 1995.

      The Mac equivalent to the win32 API would be C

      • by julesh (229690)
        Win32 is an API, not an OS.

        Win32 is also an informal name used for the set of operating system that support the Win32 API, i.e. the entire NT family of Windows operating systems, plus Windows 95, 98 and ME.
    • I am by no means a historian of the computing era, but I lived through those years reading computer magazines and programming the things, so I have no problem seeing bullshit presented as history when I encounter it.

      I lived through it too but I agree with the author's assertion that the trade mags of the time were full of shit and that M$ still is. In the end, it's hard to disagree with the author's well documented thesis: that M$ conned the wintel press into comparing existing software to M$'s futur

    • Honestly I don't know what Windows does to "preempt," but before NT the scheduler was crap, after NT the scheduler was crap, process control has always been broken, the UI locks up and can't be restarted, anything other than a bare bones install can take minutes to shut down and/or require two or three "shut down" requests and/or manual process kills (which themselves can take minutes and/or cause lockups), and then there are things like the goofy user interfaces for networking and services. Protected memor
      • by x2A (858210)
        Ever tried killing a zombied process in linux? Or a process that died trying while trying to read from a file over died network mounted FS? 2.6.17 seems to have improved on the latter, but that's pretty recent. And, if the UI hung on a Mac you were in just as much trouble, their processes didn't even have private address spaces, but just one flat unprotected address space.

        Point is, all OSs have had their flaws... you spend more time looking for the flaws on one particular OS, and you're gonna find more than
        • by ratboy666 (104074)
          Interesting examples...

          A "zombie" process is already dead. Of course you can't kill it. The PARENT must be killed.

          As to network i/o waits... This is by design. The NFS server is stateless, and can be rebooted. It is possible to mount these in an interruptable way, but this is not (generally) recommended.

          A process may be in the kernel -- if a device driver fails, it will not be killable. This may be due to software failure, or hardware failure. But this is not one of your mentioned cases. Both of your cases
  • IBM was exactly the same way. And big corporations and the trade press hung on IBM's vaporware announcements the same way.

    Once a sole company dominates the marketplace as thoroughly as Microsoft today or IBM a few decades ago, the sensible corporate types and the trade press hardly bother with the competitors.

    Who cares whether Control Data or Burroughs or Amdahl makes better computers than IBM? They can't win. Who cares whether the Mac OS or Linux is better the Windows? They can't win.

    If you believe the fut
    • Once a sole company dominates the marketplace as thoroughly as Microsoft today or IBM a few decades ago, the sensible corporate types and the trade press hardly bother with the competitors.

      Who cares whether Control Data or Burroughs or Amdahl makes better computers than IBM? They can't win. Who cares whether the Mac OS or Linux is better the Windows? They can't win.

      This shows two things:
      1) Control Data no longer exists, Amdahl isn't doing so well after being absorbed by Fujitsu, and Burroughs merged with Sp

  • Daniel Eran's site is a terrible mishmosh that doesn't look good in Firefox or IE. In Firefox there were giant-sized gray letters superimposed over the text. On IE at the highest level of text magnification the type was still on the smallish size. His narrative seems to be a disjointed, stream-of-consciousness diatribe that meanders and folds back upon itself.

    For example, on this page:

    http://roughlydrafted.com/RD/Q4.06/4E2A8848-5738-4 5B1-A659-AD7473899D7D.html [roughlydrafted.com]

    There's a weird picture of a Windows logo with
  • This isn't the first time I've read one of this guy's articles. He makes his biases clear right up front, and they aren't subtle...so you might want to be cautious of that. He's a very heavy advocate of Apple, which always leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but for all that he writes well and occasionally makes valid points, when he isn't busy telling us about how Steve Jobs is supposedly the Messiah. There are also some surrealist charicatures of Steve Ballmer which I'm sure Ballmer wouldn't find flattering
  • by Tom (822)

    trying their best to discourage competition in the marketplace.
    Microsoft? Seriously? Now that would be a first, wouldn't it?
  • by PixieDust (971386) on Monday December 18, 2006 @06:16AM (#17284180)
    From just these two statements:

    Windows 3.0 gets polished and becomes Windows 95? hardly, as these two Operating Systems are vastly different, with their only real similarity being they both run on top of DOS.

    Windows XP gets polished and becomes Windows Vista? Again, hardly, as again they are VERY different. XP And Vista are much closer than 3.1/95, but they're still worlds apart. Feature sets are very different, capabilities are very different, overall user experience is VASTLY different, and checking things out under the hood a lot has changed, and it's kind of interesting to see just how much. Yes a lot of features were unfortunately dropped, but there is still a lot here to chew on.

    I saw earlier a comment saying the blogger is a spammer. Somehow, that wouldn't surprise me. It's an MS flame article though. Can we mod front page articles -1 flamebait? ;-)

"Confound these ancestors.... They've stolen our best ideas!" - Ben Jonson

Working...