back to article As Gates strides into the future, we wallow in the past

Some of you may have noticed that Bill Gates is hanging up his Microsoft Professional Developer’s Conference 1998 briefcase for good today. The imminent departure of the Microsoft co-founder has prompted acres of coverage about the future direction of Microsoft now that the no-longer-the richest man in the world is no longer …

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  1. AJ
    Linux

    Sure

    So thats what Kermit the Frog would have sounded like if he chose a different career path.....

  2. Lou

    My take on Mr. Gates

    http://searchwindevelopment.techtarget.com/news/article/0,289142,sid8_gci1318714,00.html

  3. Eduard Coli
    Gates Horns

    Making time for baby

    billwg is making time for his new favorite monopoly, Corbis.

    Corbis is looking to stitch up the image reproduction rights of many a art collection so it will cost and he will make money when you want to put a picture of Munch's "Der Schrei der Natur" or The Scream in the kids homework.

  4. Hairy
    Gates Horns

    One down...

    Many thousands to go...

  5. Tom
    Happy

    Way to go!

    I think its great that he's not just being self important hog and hoarding all his money till the bitter end like so many seem to do. When it comes down to it at the end his software wins and blunders will be a smaller footnote to him being a modern day Carnegie style philanthropist.

    With all that cash he could do a lot of good if spent in the right direction. Who knows maybe he could fund his own renewable energy research park ... somewhere in the midwest... what do you think Bill?

    I know you read these forums!

  6. sektah

    Ulti?

    A video encoded in UltiMotion?

    You certainly are wallowing in the past!

  7. Tom Turck
    Linux

    retiring yeah right

    After taking a couple camping trips with the family he'll be right back in the business of inter-galactic domination 1st qtr 2009.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    He could...

    He could put his money into developing Open Source applications for those who cannot afford/don't have access to commercial applications! ....Yeah right! :P

  9. Trygve Henriksen

    Oops...

    IE7 gives me some crap about not being able to display the page, and sugests that my network isn't working, when I try to view the video...

    I guess I could fire up the OS/2 machine and use Netscape, but...

    Its friday and I'm on vacation...

  10. Doug
    Thumb Down

    he's now pushing Windows on libraries

    His foundation has been backing the push of Microsoft software on libraries around the world and now, as open source seems to really open the doors to these organizations, bill will throw much more of his attention to hooking the worlds libraries on his company's technical disasters. Not really something anybody should really be looking forward to.

    remember, bill cares about computers, his wife is the one who cares about the kids.

  11. Spikey
    Gates Horns

    Bill's Contributions

    "Microsoft's biggest and most dangerous contribution to the software industry may be the degree to which it has lowered user expectations."

    - Esther Schindler, OS/2 Magazine

    Perhaps user expectations are rising, now that they see how much better computing can be using alternative software? Microsoft has been a decidedly BAD steward of this industry. To give them credit for building it is misleading. They've distorted it and have prevented it from flourishing. User's low expectations are a testimony to that.

    The man in the street does not think that Windows is faulty at all. They think computers in general are faulty. The surprise when people see Linux just work is quite interesting.

  12. Spikey
    Gates Horns

    TRIPS

    Don't be fooled for one second that the AIDS and Malaria programs are altruistic.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4103.htm

    "Gate's demi-trillionaire status is based on a nasty little monopoly-protecting trade treaty called "TRIPS" - the Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights rules of the World Trade Organization. TRIPS gives Gates a hammerlock on computer operating systems worldwide, legally granting him a monopoly that the Robber Barons of yore could only dream of. But TRIPS, the rule which helps Gates rule, also bars African governments from buying AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis medicine at cheap market prices."

    "Gates knows darn well that the "intellectual property rights" laws such as TRIPS - which keep him and Melinda richer than Saddam and the Mafia combined -- are under attack by Nelson Mandela and front-line doctors trying to get cheap drugs to the 23 million Africans sick with the AIDS virus. Gate's brilliant and self-serving solution: he's spending an itsy-bitsy part of his monopoly profits (the $6 billion spent by Gates' foundation is less than 2% of his net worth) to buy some drugs for a fraction of the dying. The bully billionaire's "philanthropic" organization is currently working paw-in-claw with the big pharmaceutical companies in support of the blockade on cheap drug shipments.

    Gates' game is given away by the fact that his Foundation has invested $200 million in the very drug companies stopping the shipment of low-cost AIDS drugs to Africa."

  13. Michael Friesen
    Dead Vulture

    re. Tom - Way to go!

    "When it comes down to it at the end his software wins..."

    "Wins"? There is no "winner", merely a runner who holds a baton for a short while and then passes it on.

    Get a sense of historical perspective, and for heaven's sake stop fawning. I promise that he's not going to track you down and give you a thousand dollars for being such a swell guy.

    The sign on the door is a vulture, not a pair of Mickey Mouse ears!

  14. Lukin Brewer

    Carnegie-style philanthropist?

    I'll give Gates this much: unlike Andrew "use the army solely against strikers" Carnegie (and also John "monopoly or bust" Rockefeller - an inspiration for M$'s sales strategy if ever there was), he didn't need worries about his appointment with St. Peter to motivate him to be philanthropic.

    No, I do believe that true philanthropists do exist, but that those who fund their philanthropy with the proceeds of utter ruthlessness earlier in life must be attempting to buy off God and/or posterity to a certain extent.

  15. Chas
    Jobs Halo

    Is this the Stone Age?

    What's with the UltiMotion codec? Are us Mac users second-class citizens?

    Jesus, even FLV would have been better! Come on, El Reg, you can do better than this...

    =:~)

  16. hey_may
    Paris Hilton

    Shuttleworth

    My vote is for Shuttleworth to take the job, or even buy M$ and sack them all?

  17. Web Laureate
    Gates Halo

    Remembering Bill

    I am starting to see Bill in a better light. Especially, now that it has been recently shown that he was just as frustrated with the products coming out of Microsoft as the rest of us... http://webpoet.wordpress.com/2008/06/27/bye-bye-bill

  18. yeah, right.
    Gates Horns

    politicians

    Gates reminds me of a politician. Rip people off for 30 years, arrest the development of a promising industry by hook or by crook for decades, then try to buy their votes just before an election. Unfortunately, the people in question have a very short memory.

    Not to mention that his "philanthropic" ventures seem to invariably benefit Microsoft through is continued grab of market share in developing markets through what would otherwise be illegal dumping. It seems to be more of just another Microsoft marketing division than a truly independent organization.

  19. Ian Ferguson
    Dead Vulture

    Trulying wallowing in the past...

    ...I haven't tried to play an AVI for years. MacOS X didn't know what to make of it. A fitting Windows-only tribute?

  20. Kwac
    Gates Horns

    A man of foresight and wisdom

    I'm talking about Douglas Adams of course, and his famous comments on the introduction of Windows 95 (just change the 95s to 'Vista' and it still stands up).

    http://www.gksoft.com/a/fun/dna-on-microsoft.html

    Final paragraph: "The idea that Bill Gates has appeared like a knight in shining armour to lead all his customers out of a mire of technological chaos neatly ignores the fact that it was he who by peddling second-hand, second-rate technology, led them all into it in the first place."

  21. Steven Hunter
    Thumb Up

    BTW, codec

    BTW for the rest of us who aren't running OS/2 any longer (*sigh*), you can download the "Ultimotion" codec for Win32 from the venerable Hobbes OS/2 software repository here:

    http://hobbes.nmsu.edu/cgi-bin/h-viewer?sh=1&fname=/pub/windows/ultimo.zip

  22. Thomas Silver badge

    Don't be so mean to him

    Four words: I. Love. His. Company. YEAAHHH

  23. Mark

    Gates foundation

    Now please tell me, how can Bill have been spending so much money and still end up with more money than he started (he's lost place mostly because the dollar is in the crapper, which is probably a relief to the canadians sick of the "what's that in real money" jibes).

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Warp?

    Can someone please explain why anyone would name an operating system "OS/2 Warp"? Warp? As in, deformed, twisted, distored? What the hell?

  25. Dale Harrison
    Joke

    @AC - Warp

    Aww come on, you don't watch Star Trek? Warp factor and all that

    Means it would go fast (probably)... [not?]

    It was light years ahead of Linux at the time (ooh treading on thin ground there!)

    I'm sure many more puns could be made up as well as my crap ones. I was just going on impulse. [See what I did there, tee-hee]

  26. Nanki Poo
    Linux

    @ Spikey

    Cheers mate!! I was reading through and wondering when someone would raise it.

    The Foundation's delivery of funds is aimed directly at the corps, not at the people. Maybe actually good nutrition and generic drugs would be a far better way to tackle aids? (I have friends with aids and although it does overcome the immune system, it is vital to keep the immune system fighting (or at least as I understand it), and good nutrition is key, like any illness)

    By perpetuating the corporate model in licensing his charity through aggressive corporations, he is guilty of upholding principals that benefit unfair market domination at the expense of the most vulnerable... er... oh yeah...

    Obviously preserving the pitch for the next generation of Bill Gates.

    Remember, sometimes a philanthropist is someone who pays back a fraction of the negative they produced. Most certainly not always, but often.

    Cheers for the link. Private Eye have touched on this already (so the mainstream press can only be a few years behind), but that padded it out information wise.

    Nk

    PS - icon, need I explain...?

  27. Philip Nicholls Silver badge
    Pirate

    OS/2 is dead. Long live OS/2

    Well I still happily run OS/2 in my office 24/7, waiting for something better to come along.

    PCBSD anyone?

    PhilipN

  28. John Angelico

    @Way to go!

    "With all that cash he could do a lot of good if spent in the right direction. "

    However, MS insists on advertising the fact that they make donations to "worthy causes".

    And Down Under here in Oz, the adverts finish with "Apply now to see if your organisation qualifies". Pardon me while I puke - Apply? Qualify?

    Both MS Corporate and the Foundation need to just do the donating without advertising the fact.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    @politicians

    Spot on.

    Gates, owing to the fact his dear papa is a low-life, scum-sucking lawyer and Gates was a law student drop out should be more of a hero to the despicable,ambulance chasing, RIAA lawyering types rather than any tech industry, in which he should be justly despised.

    Ohh and the cyber organized crime gangs think Bill is just ace for the way his shoddy, ubiquitous. operating system and software helps build their criminally acquired wealth.

  30. John Angelico

    @Warp?

    Try Warp Speed - faster than the speed of light.

    It's speed Jim, but not speed as we know it!

    :-)

  31. Kevin Kitts
    Happy

    Missing the point...

    anyone who's played the railroad games 1830, 1835, etc., knows that in order to dominate economically, you have to run companies into the ground just before they start to saturate the market. That way you maximize profit just before you sink that profit into some other market. Kind of like switching from computer software to biologicals and pharmaceuticals - having screwed up with Vista, he's off for greener pastures (Pasteurs?). And biologicals is a Wild West sort of area right now...not too many big companies, and little regulation. Gates has proven that he thrives in a lawless environment - Stacker, anyone?

    To the tune of "Star Trekkin":

    "Crap-coding across the universe, on the starship Microsoft, under Steve Ballmer,

    Crap-coding across the universe, only coding 7 cause Vista doesn't work."

    "There's Vista on my brand new box, brand new box, brand new box, there's Vista on my brand new box, format C, quick!"

    "It's code, Steve, but not as we know it, not as we know it, not as we know it, it's code, Steve, but not as we know it, not as we know it (asshole)."

    "It's worse than that, it's M.E., Steve, M.E., Steve, M.E., Steve, it's worse than that, it's M.E., Steve, M.E., Steve, ACK!"

    "We write good code, there's a bug, there's a bug, there's a bug, we write good code, there's a bug, there's a bug, patchit!"

    "You canna make it open-source, open-source, open-source, you canna make it open-source, open-source, Steve!"

    "Crap-coding across the universe, on the starship Microsoft, under Steve Ballmer,

    Crap-coding across the universe, only coding 7 because our wallets hurt."

    The rest of you can pick it up from here...enjoy.

  32. amanfromMars Silver badge
    Gates Horns

    Sticky News

    "Ohh and the cyber organized crime gangs think Bill is just ace for the way his shoddy, ubiquitous. operating system and software helps build their criminally acquired wealth." ... By Anonymous Coward Posted Saturday 28th June 2008 04:00 GMT.

    Is that Windows taking down the $ dollar? Is that the Microsoft Legacy?

    Bummer, man, that's a Real Bad Trip.

  33. pctechxp
    Gates Halo

    A thought

    At least he is giving his pile of cash away to worthy causes which is probably more than Jobs will do.

    I have to say this to people who bang on about how bad Bill is and claiming the moral high ground, if you were in the same situation as he was when he started, obviously being very intelligent both technically and having business savvy (remember he wound Big Blue round his finger), would you not have used these skills to the full to build a business and make yourself a living?

  34. Stephen
    Happy

    sheeple

    i think you are all missing the point.

    be jealous of his success or money all you want, but you cannot deny that his drive (call him ruthless if you will) for success is a big part of the reason computers are as common as they are today.

    if apple products were so much better why did they fail so miserably? if linux is so good why does it still sit in obscurity to the avg person? the answer is simple, they didn't (and in linux's case still doesn't) have it right, microsoft did.

    no none of them are perfect or feature complete, otherwise innovation would be non-existent. people vote with their wallets, and no matter what anyone says microsoft obviously won the majority.

    i would hate to think what the internet and the tech industry as a whole would be like without bill gates. who knows, maybe you all would still be ranting on a BBS...

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Steve demos OS/2 ..

    "The demos of OS/2 were excellent, crashing the system had the intended effect -- to FUD OS/2 2.0. .. Steve positioned it as --OS/2 not "bad" but that from a performance and "robustness" standpoint, it is NOT better than Windows .. MS was able to demonstrate several instances of OS/2 crashing!"

    http://edge-op.org/iowa/www.iowaconsumercase.org/011107/PX_0860.pdf

  36. John Griffiths
    Stop

    *cough* charity!

    While not wishing to decry anyone's charitable giving; it's important to remember that by endowing his foundation Mr. Gates has avoided paying hundreds of millions in tax dollars that could otherwise be building hospitals (or tanks, or tax cuts, or whatever his elected goverment might choose to spend it on).

    He only has to disburse (IIRC) 5% of it each year so if it's invested half-way decently it will still grow, still gives him the power that comes with controlling that kind of money, and also makes him look like a *great man*.

    His motives may well be good, but lets not pretend he's given up much.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    A virus??

    McAfee virus scan detects the avi as: BO:Writable BO:Heap

    Oh well :P

    anyone got the youtube version of this?

  38. Kevin Kitts
    IT Angle

    @Stephen

    <quote>

    "i would hate to think what the internet and the tech industry as a whole would be like without bill gates. who knows, maybe you all would still be ranting on a BBS..."

    </quote>

    Actually, thanks for reminding me that there was a time before Gates' name mattered at all - I remember that time well, a whole lot more time spent in the computer labs instead of working of the computer at home.

    As for the quote, it's not about Bill Gates not having existed, it's what he's done with his business in order to get horrifically rich.

    <rant - pointed at MS, not at Stephen>

    He could have charged people less for software - he didn't have to be so damn greedy.

    He could have made his engineers make a security-oriented OS without making it irritating and in some cases impossible to use.

    He could have made a 100% compatible DOS emulator within Windows 95/98.

    He could have made an OS that would have buried Linux forever - he had the funds and the programmers to do it, if he could have been bothered to have them start over from scratch and do it right the first time. Mac and Linux could have been buried in 5 - 10 years flat. But then, he'd have to sort out the monopoly with the government, and he's just too damn lazy (and greedy) to do it.

    If he wanted to be a true philanthropist, he'd start over from scratch and make MS create an OS that is fully backwards-compatible, easy to use, secure, and stable. From then on, only modest changes would need to be made at each cycle, a whole lot more programmer eyes would be available to catch their mistakes, and it'd be a hell of a lot cheaper. But he's done with us now. He's ripped holes in all of our wallets, and pretends that he's a great guy by spreading a small portion of the money around that he overcharged us. It's like taxing us for bridges that go nowhere - we'll never get our money back, and we won't see the benefit from its spending, either. And the contractor always gets away with the money. Bill Gates could care less whether MS' stock tanks, because his money's invested elsewhere in more profitable pursuits.

    Could'ves, would'ves, should'ves, all equally useless. He chose to take the money and run, and so people like me say that he's a robber baron. The truth has to be said to be of any use to the people he left behind, both on the net and at MS. Gates closed his mind decades ago, and now our computers are vulnerable because he couldn't be bothered to run his company with a shred of decency.

    I hope Gates' remote-controlled house(s) has stop errors, fails to run simple apps, eventually gets a Red Ring of Death, and fails to be heated in the middle of the winter as a result. He deserves all that and more, for all the times DOS, Windows and XBox users have been screwed by his so-called leadership. Maybe Ballmer can do better, but I'm not holding my breath. In the meantime, I'm not buying any more MS stuff until Windows 7 SP1 comes out, is stable, runs all my old 95/98/XP apps perfectly, and is widely accepted by the public. Anything less would be to throw my money away (again).

    And if you still haven't got my point, think of the toy you always wanted, then when you got it, it didn't come anywhere close to living up to the commercial hype. You've spent the money, but you've got a piece of junk without any fun in it. That's Vista, that's how MS is barely staying afloat these days, and that's why Gates left (so his name isn't associated with MS when it all comes crashing down, even though he caused it).

    </rant>

  39. Andy france Silver badge

    He won. Accept it and move on.

    Quote :

    "Apr. 24, 2008 — Microsoft Corp. today announced third-quarter revenue, operating income and diluted earnings per share of $14.45 billion, $4.41 billion and $0.47, respectively. "

    To get really impressed look at:

    http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/insidefacts_ms.mspx#EENAC

    If you played a computer game and won by that margin, and by only using one life, you would congratulate yourself. Congratulate him for winning. He won.

  40. Michael Kortsen
    Alert

    Oi! Stephen!

    What would the internet and the tech industry as a whole would be like without billg? Let's imagine a world without Gatesy...

    I don't think IBM would've folded their tents and given up on the PC just because Billy couldn't sell them a rebranded QDOS. Despite the awkwardness, they probably would've gone back to Digital Research (and incidentally bought a DOS without a 640k limit). Instead of Windows, probably GEM. You may remember GEM as ugly, but the version of Windows out at that time was just as ugly and garish to boot. (Or possibly GEOS, which was better, faster, more efficient, and prettier than the Windows of its day, and introduced scalable fonts on PCs). Without the oil-baron-of-software stifling competition, there'd still be healthy competition in applications (1-2-3 vs. Quattro, WordPerfect vs. AmiPro, dBase vs. FoxPro vs. Paradox, etc.) keeping quality up, prices down, and a healthy interest in being able to read & write other people's file formats. Browsers? Don't even go there, you ahistorical ninny. Did MicroSoft promote the massive popular uptake of PCs? They take credit for it, but there was a large and growing interest in home computers long before anyone knew what MS-DOS (or MS-BASIC...shudder) was.

    A world without Bill Gates? Better software, healthy competition, fewer crashes, otherwise the same.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Stephen

    "i would hate to think what the internet and the tech industry as a whole would be like without bill gates. who knows, maybe you all would still be ranting on a BBS..."

    Interesting choice of illustration there. I didn't read it myself but I am told the first edition of Bill Gates' epic "The Road Ahead" mentioned the internet 7 times in 300 pages. Overtaken by events it was re-written and "The Road Ahead (catchup editions)" thoroughly embraced the internet.

    http://archive.salon.com/21st/books/1999/03/cov_30books.html

    So let me fix your closing comments.

    "i would hate to think what the Internet and the tech industry as a whole would be like without bill gates. who knows, if you had all believed him, you would probably be ranting on a BBS..."

  42. Riccardo Spagni
    Paris Hilton

    Pronunciation...?

    In the clip Gates says "ozs two"...I've always pronounced it owe-ess two. Surely it's an initialism and NOT an acronym?

    Paris, because she says owe-ess. True story.

  43. Charles Manning

    @Thomas

    Don't worry mate. Your disease can be cured.

  44. CTG
    Gates Horns

    Carnegie?

    When Andrew Carnegie retired into philanthropy, his net worth was around $400m. By the time he died, he had given away $350m of it.

    billg has a *long* way to go before he gets anywhere near Carnegie.

  45. Stomfi

    Re: sheeple

    If you step back in time for a moment and switch on your unbiased point of view you could look at what was happening to desktop computer development before the IBM PC arrived on the scene as an intelligent office terminal.

    The machines we had can be compared with todays offerings as they were just as powerful, had just as good GUI WIMP interfaces, had 19" colour screens, had optical 3 button mice, did sound and video just as well, had Ethernet LANs and were connected to the old Internet. The SGI Indy is a good example.

    Invented in 1974, by 1984 these GUI systems were considered a step along the way to a more user friendly system, and the plan was to build inexpensive human interfaces that had interactive voice, 3D and writing recognition, and peer to peer Nationally and Internationally interconnected grids of 256bit machines for computing by 1995.

    Unfortunately for the industry Microsoft brought out Flight Simulator for the IBM PC and the wants of all the millions of uninformed users channeled the available development money back into systems that were already out of date at the time.

    Just think, if Bill Gates hadn't dominated computing, we would have the industry plan by 1995, and what marvels would we have had today.

    You can turn off your unbiased view point now. Hope you still think Bill is a great guy.

  46. TeeCee Gold badge

    @Steve

    McAfee threw a false positive? Did the sun come up this morning as well?

  47. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    @sheeple

    Falacious argument: many technologically better solutions fail because of poor marketing/late arrival. Read up in any marketing course.

    Best example: Betamax vs VHS. Betamax is technologically better (that is why most studios use professional versions of Betamax rather than U-matic, which is VHS's big brother (it is used but most prefer the Betamax version)).

    People often choose whatever the neighbour has got, because then I can borrow/copy his videos/games/other programs. Get there first and you have a HUGE lead.

    Professionals tend to choose on quality, rather than marketing blurbs (they are not totally immune to marketing of course). In the latter category you will see more of a mix of systems (we run Mac/Linux/Windows as needed).

  48. James Pickett
    Gates Horns

    Parallel world

    "i would hate to think what the internet and the tech industry as a whole would be like without bill gates"

    IIRC, Bill G nearly missed the internet altogether! I prefer to think how much better the world would be if Gary Kildall had got the job...

  49. Stuart Bevan

    @John Griffiths

    "His motives may well be good, but lets not pretend he's given up much."

    If the recent Money BBC Programme is to be believed, he's giving away $30bn. I realise the dollar is a little weak these days, but does thirty billion dollars constitute a token gesture, these days?

  50. ShaggyDoggy

    MBASIC

    I always understood (and please correct me if I'm wrong) that the first ever MS product MBASIC was written for MITS Altair and then didn't it appear a few weeks later as a shrink-wrapped MS product, therefore being theft of intellectual property ?

  51. Zap
    Gates Halo

    The truth about NT & OS/2

    People may complain about "Uncle Bill" but some of us were around before Dos, Windows and Office.

    We had a single Word Processor that cost double the cost of Office 2007; we had to have Keyboard Templates shipped with each package because none of the keys were the same in any two applications. To get data between apps you had to save it to a text file, lose all the formatting and import it to the destination app. Oh and you had to exit one application to run another until Deskview came along but that used to crash all the time as the core OS and PC architechure simply did not have the memory.

    The industry was stagnated because nobody could produce a standard device for the PC except IBM.

    In those days nobody ever got fired for buying IBM who commissioned OS/2 to take control of the desktop OS from little upstart Microsoft and it was this arrogance that enabled Bill to shaft then well and good.

    All that changed was Bill said that IBM OS/2 was the Platform for the 90's if you had an IBM environment. He also said if you had a heterogeneous group of systems/networks you may want to consider the Microsoft sister product developed from the same code, Windows NT.

    Couple that with the fact that Microsoft had free interoperability labs for vendors to make their products compatible with Windows, while the best IBM could do in OS/2 was support the HP Laserjet.

    WinNT's first version was 3.1 (carrying on from Windows) and the first proper version was 3.5. Of course after the break up with IBM both parties went their separate ways with their jointly developed code and Microsoft employed hundreds of former DEC developers who were being fired in their droves.

    Windows consumer (98/Millenium) and NT editions were code merged in the Windows XP system we know and love today, shame they screwed up Vista.

    I forecast that Uncle Bill will be back to rescue Microsoft who have become as arrogant as IBM once were.

  52. ShaggyDoggy

    @Michael H.F. Wilkinson

    Betamax lost because Sony was trying to use it for world domination.

    VHS won because JVC released it licence-free.

    There's almost a parallel here, but Windows had already got its foot in the door, and so all subsequent OS's have something of an uphill struggle to usurp it.

    However, if a 'killer app' OS comes along, that allows you to retain your investment in Windows software and hardware, and is free or very cheap, and works exceptionally well .... I think the word would start in the online community first, spreading to the manufacturers etc.

    It's all a bit like the rise and fall of an Empire

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Stephen

    Vote with their wallets?

    For an OS that is so forcively pushed with PCs.

    If all computers came with some kind of Linux on it, everyone would get used to it, everyone would "demand" it later on.

    All Microsoft did was bundle it with a PC, and thats it, thats all.

    Innovation never came from Microsoft.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    But...he's.... OZYMANDIAS!

    (Would that he'd be Frank Oz instead; far more useful to humanity as a whole.)

    Has anyone noticed that the corporate media and other paid distracters making the biggest noise about Mr Bill's "passing into history" and "charitable largesse" are the self-same corporate sleazoids that made their money propagandizing on behalf of the Great Monopolist? Corporate self-serving, at its finest - once again on full display!

    For you kids too young to remember Mr Bill in his heyday, check this YouTube... http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8078407797255965707 :-)

    And yes, he 'won' the game when a good chunk of everybody else was just trying to survive. For winning 'by that margin', as Andy France so aptly put it with that link he wins...history's grandest raspberry. (I *will* take that back when he gets within shouting distance of Carnegie, proportionally.)

  55. Edgar Scrutton
    Heart

    The Right tool for the Job.

    OS/2 is still alive. Warp 4 is now called eComStation. It will soon release a new level 2.0. You may read about it at : http://ecomstation.com/ or download a 'live demo cd' (free) at : http://ecomstation.com/democd/

    It's just too good to die. Love my OS/2

  56. A J Stiles
    Stop

    @ Michael H.F. Wilkinson

    Actually, Betamax is a scaled-down version of U-Matic.

    And Beta definitely has the edge over VHS on picture quality. I know from experience -- having turned on subtitles while playing back a cassette at the home of a friend, who had a Teletext TV and Betamax VCR and got them coming through just fine -- that Betamax recorders actually record the Teletext signal along with the picture.

    The textbooks say that VHS won out in the end because it was preferred by the rental industry as it had fewer moving parts and so made repairs simpler, but that's only half the story. Betamax required licencing, even just to stock spare parts -- and that, and the thought of long paper trails and the possibility that spares might dry up on the whim of the manufacturers, made it unattractive to the porn industry.

  57. David

    Warp Speed

    >>Can someone please explain why anyone would name an operating system "OS/2 Warp"? Warp? As in, deformed, twisted, distored? What the hell?

    Warp Speed

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