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RE: Why IBM got Ms started?
Before IBM chose to go with MS, there was also CP/M. There were many more
choices way back then. Commodore, Tandy-Radio Shack, Osborne,
Timex. I still use a Timex-Sinclair offspring...Amstrad with CP/M Plus OS.
A great machine, does unbelievable word processing and desk top publishing
and doesn't even have a hard drive and uses funky 3" disk holding only 173K.
Unfortunately there's no web access and BBS's have mostly disappeared, so
I've never gotten a modem for it.
I think the introduction of relatively cheap IBM clones and the "deals" MS
made with these mfg's, probably did in CP/M though the machines did some
things much better than either PC-DOS or MS-DOS. There was some sort of
agreement about DOS version sharing, IBM owned the odd numbered versions,
and MS owned the even number versions. My history knowledge is murky
though, and it's always been a tangled mess. And PC-DOS required an IBM
machine to use it's BASIC language. Clones had to have MS-DOS and its
GWBASIC to be able to program for the machines. The good old days were
fun. Have never heard more than rumors that the day IBM decided to talk to
OS vendors, the CP/M person went skiing, etc. etc.
How different today's computing world would be if the mfg's had refused
Gates intimidation. Maybe better, maybe not.