If that deal had been made, Microsoft wouldn't have gotten the big infusion of capital that turned it from a niche vendor into the behemoth it eventually became. Which means Windows, Office, and IE (if they were ever developed at all!) would have had to compete in the marketplace without MS being able to use their monopoly over PC operating systems as a lever to boost them up over the competition. Which in turn means a whole host of products whose names are just footnotes today -- Netscape, OS/2, GEM, TopView, DESQView, DeskMate, GEOS, Lotus 1-2-3, WordPerfect, Ami Pro, and on and on and on -- would have had access to the oxygen that could have turned them into the Next Big Thing. Oxygen that Microsoft was only able to deny them because of the muscle the failure of that original deal had given them.
Who knows what the computing world would look like today if that deal had been reached?
Bill Gate's parents are impressive on their own rights.
"In 1980, she discussed with John Opel, a fellow committee member who was the chairman of the International Business Machines Corporation, her son's company. Mr. Opel, by some accounts, mentioned Mrs. Gates to other I.B.M. executives.
A few weeks later, I.B.M. took a chance by hiring Microsoft, then a small software firm, to develop an operating system for its first personal computer."
IBM went back to Microsoft and said "now what?". Microsoft, fearing they would lose the BASIC deal as well, then purchased the rights to QDOS or 86-DOS (a CP/M clone) for $50,000 from Seattle Computer Products, and did the deal with IBM, agreeing to the onerous terms that Digital Research wouldn't. Which as we all know didn't actually turn out to be very onerous at all.
This is well documented in Triumph of the Nerds.
Mary Maxwell Gates may have provided an introduction, but it was the chutzpah, genius and desperation of Bill Gates that got the deal done.
Several weeks later, when deal was ready to be signed, IBM execs ran the agreement by John Opel, who then mentioned "oh, this must be Mary Gates' son. She's great. Yes, go ahead".
It was the price that killed CPM/86, as nobody could give a reason why someone should pay so much more than for PC-DOS.
That was supposed to be under the question "what about Turbo Pascal"? I musta goofed.
It was basically Java before machines got fast enough to make Java practical.
It was also difficult to transfer files between disparate platforms in those days. If there had ever been a p-code applications market, distribution would have still required separate boxed copies for different platforms.
We had both available at work, and I tried CPM/86. I thought it was inferior and awkward compared to PC-DOS. Nobody could justify paying 4-5 times as much for it, even its adherents.
I don't know who set that high price on it, but it was sufficient to destroy CPM/86, no nefarious closed door maneuvering was necessary.
I wish I had a photo of that IBM CPM/86 box, few people believe it existed :-)
Some more context: In "Computer Chronicles" memorial episode, they too did not know who set the high price.
I remember coming upon a website of someone in the industry that asked Gary Kildall, "Who set the high price?". Gary said it was him.
I don't know if the page is up. I also don't know how to find it. I'm betting it's somewhere in the Internet Archive.
Even before OSes, Gates would argue with Allen: "If we give away our programming language for free, we will have high market share!" Allen would reply, "We would also go broke." Source: Andrews and Manes' "Gates": http://www.amazon.com/Gates-Microsofts-Reinvented-Industry-H...
Grabbing market share, low prices... combined w/ Scott Oki's strategic thinking (barriers of entry, legal contracts as competitive tool, from book "Microsoft Generation" http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-First-Generation-Library-Edi...), and MSFT's motto, "We set the standard", it would make sense that MSFT would do it's best to price the OS as low as possible for long-term gain.
Also, there was a Pascal-based OS, but most people forget about that one.
Things could have been very different or they could have been very much the same.
Don't forget BeOS!
His book on file system design is still a must-read, imo.
Dominic Giampaolo developed that, so I assume that's what's being referred to.
There's a great writeup of the file system here: http://www.nobius.org/~dbg/practical-file-system-design.pdf
In particular, the labels and how they worked in BeOS are a big part of HFS, when Finder says it's "indexing" it's indexing all those extended attributes (among other things).
Companies go bust. Microsoft didn't kill DEC.
"The failure of Microsoft and IBM to reach a deal to bundle DOS with the original PC provides one of the great "what-ifs" in computing history."
WordStar and WordPerfect were pretty big. They were standard requirements for office jobs.
WordPerfect didn't fail because MS had a stranglehold on the industry but because they botched their transition to Windows.
- A movie: Pirates of Silicon Valley (https://youtu.be/BI-nzUIYIX4)
- A documentary: Triumph of the Nerds (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLudrw8Z7-gFa7Is4YZitO...)
- Not involving Gary Kildall, but about open source, gnu, and linux: Revolution OS: (https://youtu.be/fxjElWL8igo)
Triumph of the Nerds has some first person accounts from Jack Sams of IBM and Bill Gates and Balmer (of the whole IBM/ Digital Research negotiation (or lack thereoff). Its in part 2 (11 minutes in).
Basically IBM wanting programming languages and an OS from Microsoft. MS didn't have an OS, so they sent IBM to Digital Research (Gary's Company). The deal to get CP/M fell through Microsoft said, we'll sell you (IBM) and OS too. Microsoft then bought the OS from a company across town. That os was basically adapted from CP/M (the author used the cp manual as a starting point)
IBM eventually offered three different OS on the original IBM PC but Gates shrewdly made sure his was the lowest priced one and the rest is history.
Whole playlist of episodes, its like watching non-fiction 'Halt and Catch Fire':
And the episode celebrating his life https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVqBokd3l2E
"Easter eggs: Gordon and Donna Clarks’ first initials and back story echo those of Gary and Dorothy Kildall"
So if you wanted your file to display properly when type'd to the console or pip'd to a printer, you needed CR,LF make it work. LF alone would give you text in a barber pole pattern, and CR alone would give you the last line of a file on a terminal, or a horrible mess of over strike text on a printer.