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Old 03-19-2003, 01:43 PM   #1
cparker15
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Why didn't [UNIX] monopolize the [computer] market while it had the chance?


Some interesting history I did not know. I thought I'd share with everyone.

...found at http://www.linuxsucks.org/read.html?postid=3792

=====

Quote:
"Unix is older than Windows. If Unix is so great, then why didn't it monopolize the market while it had the chance?"
The true reason for this lies in Unix troubled history. Unix was developped in the laboratories of AT&T. Although the software was very usable, AT&T couldn't market it, because they signed a consent decree that they would not enter the hard- & softwaremarket (the draw back of being a telecom monopoly). So Unix was licenced non-commercially to educational institutions, where it thrived and flourished.

After AT&T wasn't bound by the consent decree anymore, they licensed it to third party software vendors, including Microsoft. Microsoft marketed it under the name of Xenix. When IBM contacted Microsoft with the question for a suitable OS for the new PC platform, MS readily pitched Xenix as the OS of choice. IBM turned down that offer, because Unix was to high-end and IBM was determined to sell the PC platform as lowend. Unix would have been a threat to IBM's highend products at the time.

Bill Gates, determined to get the contract, offered DOS instead (the operating system he still had to buy from Quick & Dirty Operating Systems for $ 10.000,-). IBM agreed, because DOS was really lowend and didn't have any significant features. MS however struck a brilliant deal with the provision that MS could sell DOS under their own branding. When the PC-clones came, MS was more than compatible with IBM PC's.

So Unix was banned from consumer computers through the demands of IBM. Mid 80's the Unix wars broke out for the dominancy on highend systems, thus splintering the uniformity of Unix (the US goverment issued a standard called POSIX to curb the problems of the Unix fragmentation). Unix suffered from the vicious battle between competitors.

In the meantime MS refined DOS and was succesful with it. Allready MS engaged in anticompetitive practises by pretending their Windows Shell was incompatible with competitive DOS systems through bogus error messages. In the early nineties IBM and MS went on a joint effort to develop the succesor to DOS, called OS/2. When OS/2 neared completion MS ditched IBM and went on to develop their OS/2 code into Windows. (Under the agreement totally legal).

Windows 95 was presented with much fanfare to the public and they bought it, because of IBM's horrific marketing campaign of OS/2. Who cares about the speed of an operating system, we want to know what it can do, so IBM's marketing pitch of speed only was a failure. (Nobody really knew what OS/2 was).

With Windows 95 and Windows NT 3.51 MS intorduced OEM licensing with discounts when a shop went MS only on PC's, so no dual install schemes. It really held back other alternatives, because computers came with Windows. Windows came to be the face of PC's, through good marketing and illegal practises. Even if it is not pretty, it is still quite a feat to force the world to standardise on the inferior Windows 95/98 and NT 4.x OSes.

With all of this taking place, it did not stop Linus Torvald developping Linux in the early nineties. The recreation of Unix for all of us. The stability by design and reliability by years of experience all found it's way into the Linux kernel. So after a delay of years through governmental and business hassle, Unix is making a comeback through Linux.

Think about this, if Unix was inferior to other systems, why is it still around? It survived the massive adoption of MS software and with the looks of it, Linux/Unix is slowly starting to eat away at MS's market share. There is realy no indication that Unix is technically inferior (on the contrary). Unix just didn't have the luck to be nurtured as carefully as it's competitor Windows with markteting and good distribution channels.

On the brightside for us *nix enhusiasts this seems to be turning arround.
 
Old 03-19-2003, 08:14 PM   #2
cuckoopint
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Quote:
When OS/2 neared completion MS ditched IBM and went on to develop their OS/2 code into Windows.
Actualy OS/2 was developed, IIRC. OS/3, the next planned release, was ditched in the last second, Windows taking the code of the would-be OS/3 and releasing it as NT (they payed a hefty fine for ditching the contract, but still came out on top). That's why NT was considered more stable than the other MS products at the time.
 
Old 03-19-2003, 09:18 PM   #3
michaelk
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There is also a another story that IBM wanted to use CP/M (better OS then the orgional DOS). But Gary Kildall the inventor, wanted to remain in control of his OS.

Another side note is that none of the real pioneers of the computer ever made money (Like Bill Gates) or are still in the computer business.
 
Old 03-19-2003, 09:30 PM   #4
wapcaplet
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Rather interesting stuff. (Though, QDOS was purchased from Seattle Computer Systems, if I remember correctly, for $50k rather than $10k, but clearly a great deal for MS )

Most of the unix-like nature of Linux seems to come from the efforts of RMS and the GNU project, though. Linus just made the kernel.
 
Old 03-20-2003, 09:46 AM   #5
cparker15
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Quote:
Originally posted by wapcaplet
Rather interesting stuff. (Though, QDOS was purchased from Seattle Computer Systems, if I remember correctly, for $50k rather than $10k, but clearly a great deal for MS )

Most of the unix-like nature of Linux seems to come from the efforts of RMS and the GNU project, though. Linus just made the kernel.
I'm glad you pointed this out. Most people don't even know who Richard Stallman is, nor do they know what GNU is. The calling of the operating system as "Linux" is a misnomer. The interface, system tools, etc., make up the operating system known as "GNU". Because the native GNU kernel--the "HURD" kernel--still is not stable, a replacement kernel--the "Linux" kernel--written by Linus Torvalds in 1991, is being used with the GNU operating system running on top of it. Richard Stallman is the pioneer who decided to write a completely free, open-source distribution of a 100% Unix-compatible operating system, which he called "GNU", in 1984.

"GNU" is a recursive acronym that stands for "GNU's Not Unix".

When referring to the GNU operating system as a whole running on top of the Linux kernel, it is proper to refer to it as GNU/Linux.

Please see Linux and GNU (located on the GNU Project's Web site) for more information.

Last edited by cparker15; 03-20-2003 at 09:57 AM.
 
Old 03-20-2003, 10:04 AM   #6
wapcaplet
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Quote:
Originally posted by cparker15
When referring to the GNU operating system as a whole running on top of the Linux kernel, it is proper to refer to it as GNU/Linux.
This is a point of much debate, depending on whether you are Richard Stallman or Linus Torvalds Personally I agree that credit should go to the GNU project for all their work, but think it may be too late to convince anyone to call it GNU/Linux instead of just Linux. Calling all Linuces "GNU/Linux" is somewhat misleading, too, since not all of them are entirely GNU-based. For those which actually are, sure, it makes sense. But I gotta agree with Linus that it's kind of silly to call Linux in general "GNU/Linux."
 
Old 03-20-2003, 06:07 PM   #7
cuckoopint
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well, there's Debian GNU/Linux... and what more do you need?
; )
 
Old 03-20-2003, 06:18 PM   #8
Crashed_Again
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I can't believe there is a site called www.linuxsucks.org !!!! I read one of the posts and it seems like they just don't know what they are talking about. Saying that Linux is slower then Windows. What they don't realize is that everything is pre-loaded in Windows.

Interestingly enough that site is running apache. That is very ironic. Why not use IIS. If linux is so bad then use Microsoft servers. They're real secure! (Sarcasim levels are very high here)
 
Old 03-20-2003, 07:09 PM   #9
Dave Skywatcher
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Quote:
Originally posted by cparker15
...The interface, system tools, etc., make up the operating system known as "GNU". Because the native GNU kernel--the "HURD" kernel--still is not stable, a replacement kernel--the "Linux" kernel--written by Linus Torvalds in 1991, is being used with the GNU operating system running on top of it.
This is a matter of opinion. Different versions of (GNU/)Linux are based on GNU software to different extents -- there are many BSD tools (plus ones from other parties) included in most distros, the most well-known probably being vi.

There is no such thing as "the GNU operating system", unless it's one using HURD rather than the Linux kernel. A kernel is the central part of an OS -- you can't have an OS "running on top of" its kernel.

You feel that GNU is not being given its due when people refer to the OS as "Linux". I can understand that -- GNU has certainly made far more significant contributions than anyone else except Linus (depending, once again, on your point of view). But you're doing much the same thing by referring to "the GNU operating system as a whole running on top of the Linux kernel".

None of this is to demean RMS or the GNU project. There is no question that, without them, we would not have the OS we know and love (by whatever name you call it). I personally admire RMS greatly as one of the finest hackers who ever lived. But for some reason, the people who admire RMS the most seem to have lost all perspective...
 
Old 03-20-2003, 07:26 PM   #10
Tinkster
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Even though I really liked the picture of RMS
playing his recorder to the server-rack and in
general think that his work for the OSF is most
amazing and can't be honoured enough I think
he's kind of loosing it here ;)

Cheers,
Tink
 
Old 03-21-2003, 01:17 AM   #11
slakmagik
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Skywatcher
There is no such thing as "the GNU operating system", unless it's one using HURD rather than the Linux kernel. A kernel is the central part of an OS -- you can't have an OS "running on top of" its kernel.
Exactly - I read another post somewhere that said "all" Linus Torvalds did was write the kernel. And all Mozart did was write the notes - he wasn't a violin maker. All the GNU stuff is incredible and wonderful and Stallman and the FSF movement is great - but the Linux kernel comes supplied with a bunch of optional, interchangeable utilities and apps, from various sources. The OS is Linux. Just like in DOS, you can run 4DOS and replace fc with compare and do this and that - even run little utilities like cal or major apps like Vim on it - it's still DOS. And Linux is Linux.

Quote:
Originally posted by Tinkster
Even though I really liked the picture of RMS
playing his recorder to the server-rack and in
general think that his work for the OSF is most
amazing and can't be honoured enough I think
he's kind of loosing it here

Cheers,
Tink
I didn't look at that closely enough to tell but I hope he was joking.
 
  


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