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Don't forget Microsoft's past

July 03, 2016 — BarryK
The comments here are an interesting read:

The post from A. J. Venter about 3/4 down the page, is particularly sad. Their enterprise in Africa was destroyed.

I am one of those oldies who remember much of MS's tactics. Let's see, how far back do I have to go... I am forgetting the early Windows version numbers... there was a time, in the 80's, when you had to install MSDOS, then Windows on top of it. Or, you could install Digital Research DRDOS, then Windows -- except that MS upgraded Windows and it refused to install on top of DRDOS, claiming that it was incompatible.

Which it wasn't. I did manage to trick Windows to install on top of DRDOS, and Windows worked fine.
It was just MS killing off a competitor.

Ha ha, that was just the start!

About the same time, there was IBM's OS/2, that MS initially pretended to support, but in fact they killed that too. See page 3:


Ah, no, it was 1991 when I ran into the problem with Windows not installing on DRDOS, when I upgraded from Windows 3.0 to 3.1.

See this article, "How MS played the incompatibility card against DR-DOS":

They were caught out in an email exchange:

"It's pretty clear we need to make sure Windows 3.1 only runs on top of MS DOS or an OEM version of it," and "The approach we will take is to detect dr 6 and refuse to load. The error message should be something like 'Invalid device driver interface.'"

I don't know if MS would be able to get away with such blatant anti-competitive behaviour these days. But who knows, considering the state of the US justice system.

Tags: ethos