Ron Miller wrote: > In my view, the only reason Windows has dominated personal > computing is because Microsoft bullied hardware company into > selling its products.
I don't think this popular myth stands up to scrutiny. Microsoft's "bullying" wasn't primarily to get people to *use* Windows, it was to get them to *pay* for it. In the absence of bundling the OS with a new PC, vast numbers of people would have told the salesman, "I don't need an OS," and borrowed a friend's Windows disks/CD. The pressure to unbundle led MS to develop the current "activation" mechanism as a substitute defense against widespread piracy. Windows became dominant for two reasons, IMHO: (1) Microsoft didn't try to force people into overpriced proprietary hardware, like Apple did. (2) From Win 3.1 on, the average non-geek joe could install the OS (if necessary), install a new application, add a peripheral, etc., and be successful 90+% of the time by just following some simple instructions or a wizard. No having to make tedious edits to arcane commands in a bunch of barely documented scripts and config files. No struggling to resolve dependency problems and version conflicts. No scouring geek hangouts for the right hacked source code to make your CD drive work. Stuff just worked -- not always or perfectly, but often enough and well enough to satisfy the vast majority. A friend of mine who's an Oracle application programmer, and who's been running Linux at home exclusively for many years, recently got a new PC (sans OS). He spent a long weekend and then some installing Linux and getting everything configured and working -- and that was Ubuntu, which is supposed to be a very "friendly" Linux distro. Bash Microsoft all you like (and there surely is plenty to criticize, especially regarding security), but the Windows PC user experience is miles ahead of everything except the Mac -- which it beats on price and availability of software and peripherals. Richard ------ Richard G. Combs Senior Technical Writer Polycom, Inc. richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom 303-223-5111 ------ rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom 303-777-0436 ------