Monday, April 16, 2012


Quick note on Microsoft Anti-Trust Archive

A few years back The Register wrote an article about archives disappearing, which included the deposition of Bill Gates:

Microsoft Missing Archive

I've done a bit of looking around and it seems there were mirrors created:

There's a lot of material to wade through but the end result is apparent to all, i.e. Microsoft's complete domination of all the OEMs. Just look at the "great deal" Microsoft gave Compaq:

Compaq Amended OEM Contract

So when exactly did this all start? The first reference I can find for Microsoft Windows is from 1993 when Radio Shack introduced windows to it's customer catalog. Of course before that there was the rise of Microsoft DOS, used by almost every "PC" starting from the original IBM PC released in 1981, the infamous model 5150.

Naturally there is a far older history that doesn't get talked about much from when computers used kilowatts and sometimes even megawatts of power and filled cavernous rooms with their bulk. The oldest preserved computers date back only to 1959 and the Ferranti Pegasus. Since then there has been a trend towards computers becoming more affordable and more homogeneous.

I'll peg the start of the microcomputer era with the arrival of MITS Altair 8800 from 1975, an Intel 8080 based machine. Of course their were a few micros before that (the SCELBI-8H Intel 8008 machine from 1974 comes to mind) but the Altair was the first commercially successful microcomputer. So we can safely declare 1975 to 1981 as a pre-Microsoft microcomputer era, at least as far as operating systems go.

Parallel to this was the development of Unix in the late 1960s and later on Linux 1.0 appeared in 1991. I'll not get into the history of Unix in detail now, but the important thing to remember is we may currently be in a renaissance era for computer operating systems with lots of choices available.
I talk about this in more detail below.

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