Linked by snydeq on Mon 14th Jan 2013 18:46 UTC
Windows DOS 4.0, Zune, and Windows 8 are but a few of the landmarks among 25 years of failures Redmond-style, writes InfoWorld's Woody Leonhard in a round-up of Microsoft's 13 worst missteps of all time. 'Over the years, Microsoft's made some incredibly good moves, even if they felt like mistakes at the time: mashing Word and Excel into Office; offering Sabeer Bhatia and cohorts $400 million for a year-old startup; blending Windows 98 and NT to form Windows 2000; sticking a weird Israeli motion sensor on a game box; buying Skype for an unconscionable amount of money. (The jury's still out on the last one.) Along the way, Microsoft has had more than its fair share of bad mistakes; 2012 alone was among the most tumultuous years in Microsoft history I can recall. This year you can bet that Redmond will do everything in its power to prove 2012 naysayers wrong. To do so, Microsoft must learn from the following dirty baker's dozen of its most dreck-laden decisions, the ones that have had the very worst consequences, from a customer's point of view.'
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RE: DOS 4.0!
by tanzam75 on Tue 15th Jan 2013 07:20 UTC in reply to "DOS 4.0!"
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DOS 4.0 was going to have some kind of multi-tasking, but with all the project delays it turned out to be a Vista kind of thing.

Microsoft ended up releasing DOS 4.0 with lots of the refactored code still in place, the end result being a buggy OS with not enough memory space for user applications (these were the 640KB days).

This is a point of massive confusion. There were actually two independent DOS 4 projects -- one at Microsoft, and one at IBM.

MS-DOS 4.0 was supposed to be the oft-awaited Multitasking DOS. It never got widely released. Larry Osterman's blog gives the details:

PC-DOS 4.0 was written mostly by IBM to support the larger hard drives of the PS/2. It was developed from the DOS 3.3 codebase -- not Multitasking DOS. Some Microsoft developers were shipped out to IBM to help them work on it, but they formed a minority of the development team.

DOS 4.01 was the bugfix release for PC-DOS 4.0. It is unclear whether IBM or Microsoft was responsible -- I've read conflicting reports. Either way, Microsoft was in the unusual position of releasing a version of MS-DOS that was based on PC-DOS -- the opposite of the usual situation.

MS-DOS 5.0 was once again developed at Microsoft. And then Microsoft and IBM parted ways on DOS 6.

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