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[jejones@microware.com: Re: In the Briefcases of Gates' Lawyers (AM-INFO digest 32)]

  Scott K. McGrath wrote:
  >Microcomputer Basic wasn't "invented" by Microsoft.  Charitably, one can say
  >they "ported" Basic to the Microcomputer.
  >"Intel based Operating Systems" weren't invented by Microsoft either... DOS was
  >-purchased- by Gates, Paul Allen and some other guy they forced out of the deal
  >after IBM asked Gates to provide an OS for their new PC.  I seem to recall the
  >story being that Bill's Mother was on the United Way board with the head of IBM
  >at the time 
  Nobody can verify any connection between Mrs Gates and IBM.  That is a
  nasty rumor to try to account for why IBM made the crazy business
  decision it did.
  James Jones wrote:
  >Very charitably indeed; recall Kemeny and Kurtz's references to Microsoft
  >BASIC of the time as "gutter BASIC."
  No, MS Basic was known as a very good basic for the hobby machines of
  the time. Everyone knew that home computers were coming in the
  seventies.  We were all engaged in shoehorning programming languages
  for 8080/z80 based systems, like LISP and APL which wouldn't run very
  well on 16k memory systems! (Only Forth ran well, and could even
  destroy Java today with an infix precompiler and modern safety model:)
  The Qdos/patterson/seattle computer products/digital research CP/m,
  airplane-flying-kildall story has been told and retold from many
  different angles, and is irrelevant to the current issues. But here
  are some links anyhow for the curious few who are into apocryphal history:
  Professor Jordan B. Pollack   DEMO Laboratory, Volen Center for Complex Systems
  Computer Science Dept, MS018  Phone (617) 736-2713/Lab x3366/Fax x2741
  Brandeis University           website: http://www.demo.cs.brandeis.edu
  Waltham, MA 02254             email: pollack@cs.brandeis.edu