Linked by Eugenia Loli on Fri 14th Jul 2006 04:00 UTC, submitted by Nicola D'Agostino
OSNews, Generic OSes "What is the world's most widely used operating system?" The answer is in an interesting Linux Insider piece about ITRON, 'a Japanese real-time kernel for small-scale embedded systems' that runs on a lot of "mobile phones, digital cameras, CD players and other electronic devices."
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The stench of Microsoft
by mario on Fri 14th Jul 2006 19:20 UTC
Member since:

I know this has beenmentioned, but my outrage calls for this to be reposted:

In 1989, Japanese electronics giant Matsushita introduced a BTRON PC, a machine that stunned the industry with its advanced capabilities. The BTRON PC had an 80286 Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) Latest News about Intel chip running at 8 MHz and a mere 2 MB of memory, but it could display moving video in color in a separate window. Also, it had a dual-booting system that could run both the BTRON OS and MS-DOS.

When the Japanese government announced it would install BTRON PC in Japanese schools, the U.S. government objected. It called the Japanese initiative "actual and potential market intervention" and threatened the move with sanctions. The Japanese, dependent on the U.S. export market, quickly dropped the plan.

I am sure MS had something to do with this, and/or Bill's high-profile lawyer father.

Reply Score: 1

RE: The stench of Microsoft
by Bit_Rapist on Fri 14th Jul 2006 20:26 in reply to "The stench of Microsoft"
Bit_Rapist Member since:

I am sure MS had something to do with this, and/or Bill's high-profile lawyer father.

Its possible but it appears MS did not get heavily involved in lobbying efforts within the government until the mid-late 90s after being brought up on anti-trust charges.

I can't find anything related to MS lobbying in the late 80s, esp in regards to this.

So basically you think it happened and I think it did not happen, and there dosen't appear to be any proof one way or the other.

Not that it matters either way.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Thats crazy.
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Fri 14th Jul 2006 20:29 in reply to "The stench of Microsoft"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:

I'd ahve to see another soruce before I believed that this happened, Plus, as other posters have mentioned it probely wouldn't have made a difference. It was still a 16 bit OS. Plus 2mb was NOT a small amount of Ram on a 286. Try 256k, that would be impressive. With OS2 Warp, I could get four dirrerent videos running on a 386 with 1 mb of ram. Granted that system was slightly better,

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: The stench of Microsoft
by Bit_Rapist on Fri 14th Jul 2006 20:42 in reply to "The stench of Microsoft"
Bit_Rapist Member since:

I did find some information on this and here is the more interesting part of the original Business Week article published in 1988 concerning the matter:

Looks like it was more than just MS involved:

What is bringing the issue to a boil now are reports that the Japanese Education Ministry plans to require TRON computers in all of the country's schools. U. S. officials estimate that the Ministry will subsidize purchases of about 2 million computers starting in 1992. Although the Ministry has not formally endorsed TRON, it is widely believed that such computers will get the nod.

'Against a Wall'

That has dragged Apple Computer Inc. into the fray. Apple, which has the largest share of the U. S. school-computer market, doesn't want to be shut out of Japan's educational system. After five years of slow sales in Japan--partly because of its own mis-steps--the company now wants to build a $500 million business there in the next five years. Delbert W. Yocam, president of Apple Pacific, says that so far he has had little luck getting Apple into Japanese schools. ''We're up against a wall,'' he complains.

Microsoft Corp., which was the first U. S. supplier to lobby Washington about TRON, has backed off, at least temporarily. The company feared that TRON would end the domination of NEC Corp. personal computers in Japan. Those machines, which use Microsoft's MS-DOS operating system, have an estimated 50% share of the market. However, NEC has designed a machine that runs MS-DOS and TRON for the Education Ministry bid, and Microsoft is lying low. ''Our earlier concern was that there were government people backing a nationalistic approach,'' says Ron Hosogi, Microsoft's director of Far East Operations. He adds that ''it still could be a political issue if we find out that a government body or a quasi-government body mandates TRON.''


Reply Parent Score: 1