Avoiding the Chasm

January 15, 2006

A COMDEX Footnote

Filed under: Media — vextasy @ 9:43 am

Tidying out some papers this weekend I came across a copy of an editorial from BYTE magazine for February 1982 covering the November 1981 COMDEX exhibition in Las Vegas. Right at the foot of the article, in a section headed “Other Software Developments”, the editor notes:

Intel has signed agreements with both Microsoft and Digital
Research to distribute both companies’ operating systems for a wide
variety of Intel microcomputer systems and boards. This is a
continuation of an interesting phenomenon that began when IBM announced
it was going to make available both Microsoft’s DOS operating system
and CP/M-86 for the IBM Personal Computer. With corporate giants like
Intel giving Microsoft and Digital Research a boost, it appears that
both families of operating systems will coexist for quite some time.

Within three years the game was pretty much up for Digital Research’s CP/M with Microsoft’s MS-DOS gaining popularity. Digital Research almost came back again with DR-DOS but by then the goal posts had moved towards the GUI arena.

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