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Microsoft

10 years ago -- "Competition undermining Microsoft" 74

Ten years ago, Bill Gates bemoaned competition undermining Microsoft: "Our DOS gold mine is shrinking and our costs are soaring--primarily due to low prices, IBM share, and DR-DOS." This evidence came out in Caldera's lawsuit against Microsoft for predatory practices against DR-DOS. Bill Gates goes on to say "I believe people underestimate the impact DR-DOS has had on us in terms of pricing" Update: 03/31 11:36 by S : More info at Caldera's website is quite interesting, for instance detailing Vobis' attempts at using DR-DOS instead.
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10 years ago -- "Competition undermining Microsoft"

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  • *cough*
    Microsoft is based in REDMOND not SEATTLE.
  • yah but see edit.com is more advanced than basic.exe *was* and its free right? see so we are getting a good deal *laugh*
  • Even the lies are confidential at Microsoft. Or at least proprietary.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I liked the Caldera full-story information on how Microsoft widely uses the "confidential" and "highly confidential" marks to misuse protective orders on documents so marked. After reading that the picture brought to my mind was B. Gates desk with a post-it containing:

    "Milk
    Eggs
    Bread
    Pickles"

    ... and a "Highly Confidential" rubber stamped across it.

    The fact that the courts allow MicroSoft to misuse the protective order and sit back while MS refuses to properily classify documents makes you wonder if there was any point in Caldera putting trust in the US justice system to begin with.
  • In that book that came out a few months ago - "The Microsoft File". A very good read, however it is totally undocumented; I wish she had used some footnotes or something.
    At any rate, the section on DR DOS was great reading, the means with which micros~1 managed to crush that product were astonishing.
  • Throw one of those in your machine, and you're really cooking with gas! I had a whopping 4MB of RAM back in the day. Heh. Nothing used it, but it was cool! :)
  • > ...led to M$ releasing MS-DOS 5 ...

    Yes, that was competition and competition is a good thing. But what about, according the article, the M$ strategy of forcing Hyndai to pay a licensing fee whether or not the computer used M$-DOS.

    No one thinks M$ shouldn't try and compete with better products & service. The complaints center around M$ using its current market power to compete *unfairly*.
  • Running here: Ancient AMD 486-40, 8 MB. (The motherboard is VESA, and the BIOS date is 1992!)

    Opera 3.51, Win 3.1, a nifty (and slightly buggy) little utility called Calmira that gives about 80% of the handy part of W95, all over DR-DOS 7 from Calmira (single user license free, commercial use $30 per machine.)

    Runs rings around the PII 133, 32MB, W95/IE4 at work, except when the 486 is trying to render pages--then it (almost) keeps up. Stays up longer per session, too, especially on the Net.

    Love to try Linux, but this will have to do until I can save up for a decent size disk.
  • What I heard was that MS *claimed* to have lost the source. i.e. to evade the fact that there was some 'anti Dr. DOS' code in Windows.

    Not sure if there is any validity in this though... (i.e. it could all be a bunch of arse). Be interested in finding out though...
  • Is that anything like "embrace and extend"?

  • by hany ( 3601 )
    i used DR-DOS 5.0 back in early 90's (i was highschool student). my friend get it bundled with notebook (sorry, can't remember vendor name).

    what i liked about DR-DOS was some cool features like password protection of files and directories and rich set of configuration switches (and task swapping, but i never tried it). and it was placed on TWO install disks.

    i realy liked it (maybe i can even find those install disks).

    what i pitty that by that time i was not aware of what causes DR-DOS to be a very rare used OS

  • I groan every time someone says command-line is "primitive".

    Cygwin is awesome... if I have to use micros~1 windows I load this baby on.

    I wish there was a version for the Mac.. :/
    AppleScript *really* kicks butt -- at least for some things -- but it would be nice to run some standard shell scripts.

    With Windows95 Microsoft even took away the Macro recorder. Remember that utility?? Crude, but given how neglected DOS was you could automate some things. But hey, if you need automation just BUY Visual BASIC, right??

    I remember when EVERY computer shipped with a free BASIC. Sigh...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    This is the kind of liability that could lead eventually to a "qualified" Auditor's Report. This has happened in the past when corporations have been faced with large lawsuits. The auditor, in estimating the net worth of a company is faced with an unknown number of pending lawsuits with an unknown probability of losing and and unknown value to place on the resulting liability. A classic example was the asbestos industry a few years back, with health related lawsuits.

    I am amazed at how Microsoft's stock price keeps levitating upwards in spite of the DOJ and now this trial. However, in the past a qualified auditor's report has caused an immediate plunge in the company's stock price. Conservative investors are almost obliged to bail out. A falling stock price would have a profound effect on the corporate behaviour of Microsoft, because of the huge value of employee held stock options and because of Microsoft's aggressive aquisition policy, paying for companies with their inflated stock.
  • I never said I had buggy experiences with DR-DOS. I used it because it was better. The fact that it wasn't a Microcrap product is anecdotal.
  • by DH1 ( 10825 ) on Wednesday March 31, 1999 @03:36PM (#1954460)

    Since I was working for a peer to peer LAN vendor at the time this whole thing was referring to (and since my company at time was buddying up to Mickeysludge), I've got a pretty decent handle on what was going on at the time. Both 'Der Fuhrer' Gates and some posters here have said some things that need a little correcting...

    - 'DR DOS was competition eating into their business'?? MY A$$!! DR DOS' high water mark in market share was somewhere in the high SINGLE digits. They NEVER put a real hurtin' on Billy && Co. Hells bells, the original wrangle about per processor licensing was over DOS. When you bought a machine, you paid for MS DOS, PERIOD. I can't recall a single major US vendor who bundled DR DOS with their boxes.

    - The only hay DR DOS ever made was in the market for embedded DOS (quite tiny back then). DR DOS was ROMable, MS DOS NEVER was and NEVER became so; a CLEAR SIGN that DR DOS was better written and engineered. I've seen parts of the source for MS DOS and DR DOS, and a LOT of the machine code for both. TRUST ME... MS DOS is a total kludge, whereas DR DOS was written by assembly aces who knew what they were doing.

    - Any 'incompatibilities' with apps running on MS and not DR came in only 2 flavors that I saw: dumb a$$ practices on the part of the app programmers, or manufactured by MS (see the infamous AARD 'bug'). Yeah, if you wanted performance and the ability to do certain things, you had to go to the bare metal on DOS. HOWEVER, if you were smart, you tried NOT to look for flags, data structures, etc., in specific memory offsets in the DOS kernel, etc. Heck, we had no real trouble in running our LAN O/S kernel on DR DOS. The only real 'bug' I ever saw was the Win 3.0 AARD check, which was used to deliberately scare DR DOS users back into the MS fold.

    - Some of MS's other business practices at this time were fascinating... besides DR DOS, MS decided to deliberately try to compete with FREE memory management add on's to DOS 5.0 with products like 386^MAX and QEMM. It was a market space MS never competed in and essentially just killed these utilities. The real explaination is that Bill wanted NO OTHER VENDOR alive out there that knew how to write O/S level software. Trust me guys, I've seen Billy screw over companies and people LONG before he was in a position for world domination.

    Anyway, that's my .02 from an old timer willing to admit he once worked on that stuff...

  • I was always impressed when I saw the source or machine level code for CP/M. It was a tight O/S with some coherent structure to it. Heck, I even some some pretty good multi user machines serving up multiple CP/M sessions that were solid. The O/S they used was done as proprietary extensions on top of base CP/M code (NOT running MP/M).

    DOS (especially in its early days) looked like a not so hot copy of CP/M for the 8086, done by someone who was barely competent.
  • hehehhe... I once edited Windows 3.1's PROGMAN.EXE to read Program Mangler everywhere!

    It was pretty damn funny, actually.... long live Norton DiskEdit!
  • ...was what we called it in the service department! Hehehe. I bet that was the source of your troubles - combining a "non-standard" drive with Ontrak and the disk compression. I never used the latter, so I didn't have any problems with it, really.
  • When you bought a machine, you paid for MS DOS, PERIOD. I can't recall a single major US vendor who bundled DR DOS with their boxes.
    GoldStar sold PC 386 clones with DR-DOS; I had one.
    I've seen parts of the source for MS DOS and DR DOS, and a LOT of the machine code for both. TRUST ME... MS DOS is a total kludge, whereas DR DOS was written by assembly aces who knew what they were doing.
    I'm not sure I trust a man who shouts so much when he types. DR-DOS was a far superior product compared to Microsoft's operating systems, that's clear. And you could even buy clear, concise documentation for it.
    besides DR DOS, MS decided to deliberately try to compete with FREE memory management add on's to DOS 5.0 with products like 386^MAX and QEMM. It was a market space MS never competed in and essentially just killed these utilities.
    And DR-DOS, as of version 5, included both extended memory management utilities and a cooperative, protected-mode task switcher (ala DesqView) for applications. One could run Windows 3.1, protected mode, as a task, and then switch back out to DOS and run other things (as many as you could fit in RAM--it would even page these out if you needed it). Novell DOS 7, the result of Novell's extensions of the DR-DOS code base after company acquisition, added pre-emptive multi-tasking if I remember correctly.
  • Funny, at my old job we used to call the OS/2 Boot Manager "Boot Mangler." The ironic thing was that it was our OS/2 zealots who coined that name. Not only that, Boot Mangler seemed to work pretty darn well...

    Ryan
  • My $.02 on the issue... I honestly had no choice when in came to DOS. I opted for MS-DOS as the OS due to it's memory managing capabilities; primarily this was for playing Falcon 3.0 at the time. DR-DOS just couldn't get 620k free low memory, otherwise I would've opted for it.
  • How does Caldera and all the other companies that have been eliminated into obscurity get relief from the current worth of the computer industry? They appear to have lost an evil game they did not start. We all lose due to anticompetitive practices and denials by a ruthless company. The PR and legal claims that come from Microsoft makes me sick. How they control the media too ought to be illegal.
  • Using an OS simply because it is "not Micro$oft" is a weak excuse. One of the arguments many people have is that Microsoft software is inferior because of the bugs... how can you defend that position if you're willing to accept buggier software from someone else?
  • by SIGBUS ( 8236 )
    PIP was older than CP/M - it originated with DEC's RT-11 operating system for the PDP-11 (and might be even older). It was also found on RSTS/E, which had RT-11 and RSX run-time systems in addition to its native BASIC-PLUS. Indeed, much of CP/M's overall look and feel were lifted from the early DEC systems...

    /me shows his age. :)

    --


  • This one always gets me -- You want your operating system to recognize more than 640K - go spend $50 for QEMM. It hardly seems outragous for a memory manager to be "integrated" in the OS (unlike, say, a web browser).

    This kind of news offers hope to the folks who think Microsoft might be indestructable. 10 years ago, they had no application market to speak of except on the Mac; they had to give Windows away for free for anyone to use it; and DR had reverse-engineered their goldmine (which was only a reverse-engineered version of their goldmine, to be fair).

    (Before DR-DOS, there never was a notion of "upgrading" your PC's OS. You pretty much just ran the customized version of MS-DOS 3.2, or whatever, that came with it.)

    Now Microsoft pretty much owns the application and OS markets, has 50% of the e-mail market, and is trying to nip at Oracle and IBM's heels in the big league database market. A lot can happen in 10 years in this industry, it'll be interesting to see what happens.


    --
  • Have you ever tried to run Word 6.0 on DR-DOS 6? Do you smell some unfair practices here?

    As I hated the compression algorithm included in DR-DOS (for its slownes and failures), I've founded that DR-DOS was superior in many aspects to MS-DOG.

    Funny to see that Gates said DOS was its "gold mine".
  • by DHartung ( 13689 ) on Wednesday March 31, 1999 @01:12PM (#1954476) Homepage
    Yep, the lamented (but not late!) DR DOS coming on the market and actually being sold to end-users as an installable DOS finally led to M$ releasing MS-DOS 5 ... in a box! ... for end-users! ... with a real install program! ... with useful enhancements like DEFRAG and COMPRESS! ... with modest plug and play capability! ... with a [GASP] manual! ...

    Yep, competition was clearly bad for the market.
  • I retrospect, it now occurs to me that the way Windows 95 was welded onto DOS -- reputedly no longer relying on DOS, but demonstably still doing so -- was just an early example of the way their browser was welded onto Windows 98: crush the competition, cut off their air supply, and all that. It makes life tough for DR-DOS when MS-DOS has been "integrated" into Windows.
  • I used DR-DOS 6 with drive compression, and it ate my drive for lunch when doing the defrag. My guess is that it didn't like that I had to use Ontrak Disk Manager since my BIOS didn't support my 60M RLL drive.

    I wish I had known to install Linux on that 386.
  • I believe there was a beta or some other kind of pre-release version of Windows 3.x that, when run on a non-MS DOS, gave a message to the effect that MS could not guarantee the stability of Windows on this OS and there could be big bad bugs FUD FUD FUD.

    MS claimed (very reasonably) that it simply wanted to be sure users knew that there were potential incompatibilities.

    What was truly insidious (and inspired, if you're a conspiracy theorist) was that it was THIS version of the software that was reviewed by the trade press. Since there was something like a four months between article's submission and its publication, they had to review a pre-release version or else miss out on all the hype surrounding the release of a new version of Windows.
  • Uh, 109575000 (109,575,000) is only about 110 million dollars, not billion.

    However, you're probably low on the 1000 copies/day guess -- that's only 365,000 copies a year, and the figure is probably a few million a year. The liability may not be 110 billion, but it may well be in the billions.

    Look at it another way. Assume Microsoft revenues are 50% OS sales (approximately correct). Ten percent market share (DR-DOS) over ten years would be a year's worth of Microsoft revenues, times 50%, times 3 for tripled damages. Or a year and a half of Microsoft revenues (average revenue over the last 10 years).
    Which is probably in the $10 billion ballpark. (Don't have MS's current annual revenue figures handy.)

    Even if Caldera's chances of winning the suit are only 10% (and they may well be higher, given some of the evidence), that's (10% x $10 billion)
    a billion dollars of liability.
  • Posted by Mike@ABC:

    You don't want to do that in a court case. In all that documentation, there's sure to be a lot of stuff that could actually HELP the defendant. So you pick and choose your evidence, present it in course (with discovery available to the defense, of course), and toss whatever doesn't help your theory of the case.

    It's a nice idea, though. It's just hard doing it without Microsoft getting wind of it. Don't worry -- the DOJ has some pretty good techie folks on board, from what I hear. It's not like they're doing a bad job as is.
  • ...programmed by Al Gore =P
  • Yep. I bought this book the day it came out. I had already heard about a lot of the bad things Microsoft has done in the name of market share, but some of the things she revealed just floored me. I would like to see sources for some of the info, but I think they were mostly confidential. If I was running a business, I wouldn't want Microsoft to know that I was revealing that kind of stuff either. Could be VERY bad for business :)

  • by gdav ( 2540 ) on Wednesday March 31, 1999 @04:50PM (#1954486)
    I remember these days too.

    Here in the UK the most significant low-price computer vendor was Amstrad, famous for their monochrome CPM v3 machine the PCW8256 (launched in the mid-80s, with GSX and all). It was on this seminal machine that I learned the syntax for PIP, the silliest COPY command ever written.

    When they moved into the 16-bit world it was with the twin 5.25" drive Amstrad 1512. In a moment of madness they launched it with both MS-DOS and DR-DOS, GEM, and the worst ever version of Wordstar. Ever.

    At the time I had both affection and respect for Intergalactic Digital Research (they dropped the "Intergalactic"). But on this Amstrad camel, the DR stuff seemed like a struggle, whereas the MS stuff just worked.

    For me the battle was fought and won by beastly Microsoft when I found that Ventura 1 needed a special cooked version of DR Gem, when Pagemaker 1 worked fine on regular Windows 1.

    I was inordinately impressed when I ran the same binary (fish.exe) under Windows on an IBM-compatible, a Sanyo, an Apricot Xen, and an RM Nimbus (186!). The last three were non-IBM compatibles that ran MSDOS back then.

    People today are rightly scathing of MS, but in 1990 they delivered Windows 3.0 which provided both huge leaps in functionality and liberation from the arrogance of IBM, who were then in the business of fraudulently tying OS/2 to their proprietary PS/2 bus.

    What a difference nine years makes! Today I find Microsoft's lies and evasions almost as fatuous as those of my own elected leaders...

    george
  • Gates' PR machine would still fake the video and spin it as a victory.

    Sharp as Boies eyes are, I suspect even less would escape the attention of multiple millions of OSS user's eyes.
  • We can't afford another 1994 settlement. Justice must be served. It is amazing that Micros~1 defense
    is based on showing that the game is different
    today. It is like killing someone then saying to
    the judge, "but judge, I can't kill again because
    'so and so' isn't around to kill. And look, his/
    her relatives are ganging up on me so you should
    not disarm me."

    Hang'm high!

    Locutus
  • Does anyone else think that the prosecution should be released to the general public? Allowing us to sift throught the 10 years of documentation and show them what is truly the most damning evidence would simplify their jobs and I am sure that this community would be willing to volunteer some serious man-hours to the project.
  • The real shocking news here is Bill Gates was
    using email in 1989. What a visionary! He
    should write book teaching all corporate titans
    of industry about this newfangled thing called
    email, and "networking" ...oh wait, he already
    did! WOW! What a visionary!
  • While I defiatly found this article interesting, in the fact that they received more evidence. I am personally offended to the fact that more quotes, or even a copy of the email was not included. The article stated that the email was released to the public today. Maby its just me but I assume public to mean more than just the media. I'm hoping its just a matter of time that Caldera will post the full contents on its website. But for now I'm angry
  • There's web pages out there on this, but I don't remember what they are off the cuff.

    Microsoft claims that the code existed only in test versions of windows, and that it gave the error/stopped if an "unknown & untested" dos was detected, and that this never made it into the shipping version.


    I've never seen verification that this made it into shipping versions (doesn't mean it doesn't exist), but someone tried to debug the section of code that does it. He had to use a *hardware* debugger to freeze the machine. The code that does the check is encrypted & decoded on the fly, and is the *only* piece of windows 3.x that was encrypted this way.

    This isn't legal advise, etc.

    hawk, esq.
  • DR-DOS was, and IS, kick-butt! Caldera has brought this great product back to life...
    I use it here at our Little League to run a 2-node Personal NetWare LAN on some old 486's. It runs _GREAT_!! I have a DOS-based FoxPro database package we use to manage our league, and it works like a charm on Caldera DR-DOS.

    And the security is great, too!
  • On a side note, wasn't there some stuff a while back about Win 3.x or 95 having been written such that it would perform badly[sic] if run over the top of anything other (eg. DR DOS) than MS-DOS. I seem to remember MS being sequested to supply evidence of this but having claimed to have 'lost' the source code.
    Was this true?
  • by hawk ( 1151 ) <hawk@eyry.org> on Wednesday March 31, 1999 @02:40PM (#1954495) Journal
    Speaking as an antitrust attorney, but this isn't legal advice . . .

    *If* the memo says what sparks says, and it's not just his comment on the effects, this is probably bigger news than anything in the DOJ antitrust trial:

    >In one 1990 internal report, for
    >instance, Microsoft discussed
    >plans to "block out" DR-DOS
    >by pushing one computer
    >equipment manufacturer,
    >Hyundai Electronics, to sign a
    >license that required it to pay a
    >license fee for every machine it
    >shipped, regardless of whether
    >the computers ran on Microsoft
    >products.
    > The practice "acted as a tax for
    >any other viable alternative" to
    >DOS, Sparks said.

    *If* the memos show that the tax or lockout was the intent, the fat lady's sung. This would be *use* of monopoly power, whether the underlying monopoly was legal or not. (This is not to say that the same thing might not be proved without explicit intent in the memos).

    The only way that I can see for MS to win in the face of such memos is to successfully disassociate themselves from the memo (which is no small task).

    And with such intent shown, the damages become staggerring. Drdos had about 10% of the market, and climbing. 10% of windows/dos revenue for the last 10 years, which is then tripled for antitrust violations, is a staggering figure . . .
  • Drdos had about 10% of the market, and climbing. 10% of windows/dos revenue for the last 10 years, which is then tripled for antitrust violations, is a staggering figure ...
    assuming 1000 copies a day at $100 a copy, thats 1000*365.25*10*100*0.1*3 = 109575000. ie 110 billion dollars. Ouch
  • I always preferred to change the title bar of "Program Manager" to "Bill Gates' Personal Fortune Machine". That wasn't hard...just make a program item with whatever name you wanted. After the File Manager crashed and wiped out \windows et al, I changed it's name to File Mangler. I also enjoyed changing the caption bitmaps.

    Mike
    --

  • And it was probably a unix shell running the mail command :-)
    Stan "Myconid" Brinkerhoff
  • GoldStar sold PC 386 clones with DR-DOS; I had one.'

    I said major US vendor. GoldStar is offshore (either Korean or Taiwanese), and was not a major vendor at the time.

    'I'm not sure I trust a man who shouts so much when he types. DR-DOS was a far superior product compared to Microsoft's operating systems, that's clear. And you could even buy clear, concise documentation for it.'

    On the 'trust' issue, I can't help you there... you'll have to deal with that on your own. Although, I might point out that 3 words in an entire paragraph doesn't seem excessive to me (assuming you realize that things like DR DOS are properly capitalized and hence NOT shouting (and yes, 'not' was shouted)). I agree with the rest of your points in that statement...

    'And DR-DOS, as of version 5, included both extended memory management utilities and a cooperative, protected-mode task switcher (ala DesqView) for applications. One could run Windows 3.1, protected mode, as a task, and then switch back out to DOS and run other things (as many as you could fit in RAM--it would even page these out if you needed it). Novell DOS 7, the result of Novell's extensions of the DR-DOS code base after company acquisition, added pre-emptive multi-tasking if I remember correctly.'

    DR DOS 5's memory mangement stuff was simply on a par with what you could get with MS DOS 5. The DesqView thing you got originally with DR DOS was pretty scaled down. When you mention Windows 3.1 with DR DOS, you need to think back to the time period. By the Win 3.1 introduction, DOS level task switchers were very dead. Swapping out Win 3.x as you describe required running Windoze in real mode... not real practical too deep into the Win 3.1 adoption cycle as that eventually disabled many protected mode drivers and DLL's. Heck, a couple of revs in, MS made real mode go away. By the time Novell DOS 7 hit the market, NT and Win95 were on the horizon (if not nearly shipping).

    Thanks for the stroll down memory lane... :-)


  • Har Har. My guess is that in 1989, the average workplace desktop was not on a LAN, or if it was, it was a disconnected departmental network. Of course the CEO of Microsoft was hardly using a average computer.

    The guy who mentioned MS's VAX system probably got it right - Gates might have typed this message into a terminal emulator. Or MS Mail with a VAXmail gateway or something.
    --
  • Why don't they ask IBM for the code? IBM used the
    Windows source in OS/2 versions 2.0 on up to
    todays Warp v4.0. I think they even have applied
    Y2K patches. Surely Micros~1 didn't do a cleanup
    back in 1990/1 when they split from IBM.....

    Locutus
  • LOL! Yep, that was the other one. Hehehe. Nice.
  • Maybe it was buggy, but atleast it was not Micro$oft and it offered an alternative.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    > TRUST ME... MS DOS is a total kludge, whereas
    > DR DOS was written by assembly aces who knew
    > what they were doing.

    No surprise there. Few are aware of it (except
    maybe most /. types :-)), but the "DR" stood for
    Digital Research. As in: the folks who brought
    us CP/M. As in: the predecessor to Messy-DOS.
    CP/M was tight code. I know: I worked with it
    extensively. And wrote much BIOS code for it.

    Microsoft product has ever been a hack. The early
    IBM-PC machines, in spite of having more advanced
    hardware running them, were *way* slower and much
    more unstable than the average CP/M machine of the
    time.

    It was a glimpse of the future-to-be.
  • Well, I can see Microsoft's point. Competition is bad for innovation, sure!

    I mean really, look at the space race.. er, the early automobile... well, how about the PC itself...

    Hmm... I think I see a pattern here.

    Another analogy that would perhaps be appropriate would be the late Roman Empire. (I know it's overused, but it's my analogy)

    Overextended, bloated, and corrupt it was the king of the known world. But it didn't look out for those small bands of barbarians creeping around the walls. Microsoft ^h^h^h^h^h The Romans can kill off most of them, but some will inevitably come around and place a nasty pointy stick in the emperor's chest.

    (and a snide aside... Gates' testimony and email contradictory?? Say it isn't so!)
    "Responsibility for my career? I'm just a freakin' phone monkey!"
  • Posted by stodge:

    How can they lose the source code to Win3.x? Isnt 95 based on that? :p (its a joke!)

  • There was also the Z system or ZCPR which ran all the msdos apps just fine, added a unix like file system, search paths, alias' support etc. and came with the source code so you could adapt it to new chips, make improvements etc.

    Kinda like a linux in it's own way.

    As long as I'm showing my "age" before the Z system, I ran an S-100 box by Morrow Designs which had Z-80 processor and Micronix which was Morrow designs' "unix" it was mostly version 7 with some Berkley enhancements. It also had a MSDOS shell that trapped the MSDOS BIOS calls and mapped them to Micronix calls. Worked real well too. Could run any well designed MSDOS application and multi-task them too. It was lots of fun but George Morrow couldn't get it to go mainstream and as so many early hobbiest companies did back then, simply faded away.

    I'd like to blame it's demise on Micro$oft but ....

    Those were fun times, and so are these just in a different way.

    John
  • C:\>qbx
    WARNING: THIS MICROSOFT PRODUCT HAS BEEN TESTED AND CERTIFIED
    FOR USE ONLY WITH THE MS-DOS AND PC-DOS OPERATING SYSTEMS.
    YOUR USE OF THIS PRODUCT WITH ANOTHER OPERATING SYSTEM MAY
    VOID VALUABLE WARRANTY PROTECTION PROVIDED BY MICROSOFT ON
    THIS PRODUCT.


    Press any key to continue
    That's from Microsoft BC7. The ironic thing is that I get that on my face every time I start qbx on NT4 :-)
  • by Sleepy ( 4551 ) on Wednesday March 31, 1999 @02:22PM (#1954510) Homepage
    yes and no. There was documentation that some Engineers VOLUNTEERED to write in code to harm the operation of Windows and apps IF it was run on top of DR-DOS.

    I don't know if they actually DID this, but the email of the suggested "fix" survives as evidence.

    I do know that a product I once supported would crash more often under DR-DOS/Win3.1, and middle management decreed on the spot we should not support it (the same "power-hungry ex-DEC'er" would refuse to tell Sales about it, naturally).

    But hey, like clueless managers will say "it's Microsoft's OS.. of course you should only use their DOS". Microsoft has sharpened FUD as sharp as a razor (a term I wouldn't use to describe the people who BELIEVE them...)
  • because the pre-shipping version was evaluated by major press sources and when it balked, DR-DOS was the fallguy.

    That is how it was reported and that is how the public percieved it; Windows doesn't like DR-DOS.

    As far as I'm concerned, this exclusivity is concrete proof of anticompetitive behaviour: programmed instability.



  • >I believe there was a beta or some other kind of pre-release version of Windows 3.x that, when run on a
    >non-MS DOS, gave a message to the effect that MS could not guarantee the stability of Windows on this OS
    >and there could be big bad bugs FUD FUD FUD.
    >
    >MS claimed (very reasonably) that it simply wanted to be sure users knew that there were potential
    >incompatibilities.

    You have the general story right. Andrew Schulman tells all in his book, _Undocumented DOS_.

    Jeez, trying to understand DOS with that book was a bitch. (And I don't think it was Schulman's fault.) Far harder than understanding UNIX with the Lions book.

    Geoff
  • Boca Research had the best memory manager of the time. I used it with my isa memory card on 286 epson desktop.

UNIX was not designed to stop you from doing stupid things, because that would also stop you from doing clever things. -- Doug Gwyn

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