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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.  
  Claire Macdonald