Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 25th Aug 2006 20:33 UTC, submitted by Saad
Legal When Mac sales dropped off in 1985, Bill Gates personally wrote John Sculley suggesting that he license the Macintosh design to companies like Apollo, DEC and Wang, and establish the software as the industry standard. Apple declined, and Microsoft published Windows. Sculley was enraged, and eventually filed suit. After five years, Apple lost, but not before severely damaging its relationship with Microsoft (which accounted for 2/3 of all Mac software sales).
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RE: Fatal delusion
by javiercero1 on Sat 26th Aug 2006 05:09 UTC in reply to "Fatal delusion"
javiercero1
Member since:
2005-11-10

Hum, I agree with some of your points... but you seem to ignore the fact that by the time Apple introduced the Mac. MS was already a huge company, since PCs were selling by the dozens.

The initial licensing scheme of DOS is what allowed to squash other players in the GUI arena that were competing with somewhat supperior offerings than Windows 1.x/2.x, like GeoWorks, and GEM. Those anticompetitive practices are what forced every other player out of the PC OS market. This allowed MS to have the huge momentum behind being the quasy exclusive supplier of the OS for the defacto computer platform that a lot of the emerging personal computing manufacturing was standarizing about. If you did not see that, then you were not paying much attention during the 80s.

What apple was trying to do, is to hold on to the onslaught from MS the best they could. And so far they are still in business...

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Fatal delusion
by siebharinn on Sat 26th Aug 2006 11:50 in reply to "RE: Fatal delusion"
siebharinn Member since:
2005-07-06

"The initial licensing scheme of DOS is what allowed to squash other players in the GUI arena that were competing with somewhat supperior offerings than Windows 1.x/2.x, like GeoWorks, and GEM. Those anticompetitive practices are what forced every other player out of the PC OS market."

That is revisionist bullshit.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Fatal delusion
by alcibiades on Sat 26th Aug 2006 14:49 in reply to "RE[2]: Fatal delusion"
alcibiades Member since:
2005-10-12

'Revisionist bullshit' is a bit impolite, but its true that the argument has little merit. Go to:

http://www.pegasus3d.com/total_share.html

Go to the years 1982-1989, a little down the page. These are absolute numbers shipped. There is also, a bit further down, a chart of market share.

I don't think it shows that anti competitive practices were what did it for MS. Certainly the IBM compatibility issue was very important and gave legitimacy to the PC.

But you still have to ask about Apple management: how on earth did they expect to meet global demand under their business model? You can see from the chart that they never got much over 10% with the Mac, and that was in the nineties. They couldn't, and must have known they couldn't, supply the level of demand shown in the charts all by themselves. If they did not expect to meet global demand themselves, and if they wouldn't let anyone else help them, then what did they expect to happen? Were people to give up and do without computers?

What in fact happened is that they bought PCs. As they were bound to. As we would have done. You were General Motors in those days. If you had ordered what you needed from Apple, they couldn't have supplied you.

The same thing, by the way, has happened all through Apple's history. They just run out of supply. As evidently they are doing right now.

The business model is not necessarily a problem if you are bound and determined to be a niche player. But people should realise that the niche status is the result of a strategic choice made by the company. It is not mainly due either to anti-competitive machinations by others, or to idiocy on the part of buyers. It is intrinsic to a business model which prevented them from supplying more than a tiny fraction of demand.

Edited 2006-08-26 14:50

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: Fatal delusion
by steve_s on Sun 27th Aug 2006 11:47 in reply to "RE[2]: Fatal delusion"
steve_s Member since:
2006-01-16

Jeez - not another MS apologist.

MS's OEM license required that manufacturers of PC Compatible hardware that wished to supply MS-DOS/Windows with their machines would have to pay MS a license fee for ever machine they shipped. This was irrespective of whether the machine was even capable of running DOS/Windows, so long as it was based on an Intel chip. This is how MS came to completely dominate the OS market on IBM PC Compatible hardware. It also helped to prevent alternative Intel-based platforms from becoming established.

Windows 1 and 2 were abysmal pieces of software. GEM and GeoWorks really were technically superior. PenPoint was a real OS, crushed by MS's Windows for Pen Computing which was vapour. All those OSes suffered through the fact that MS had to be paid a license fee for every machine that shipped with them installed, inherently making them significantly more expensive.

This does not explain how the PC market came to be dominated by clones of the IBM PC and their descendants rather than something else. That is explained by diversity of supply - corporate buyers were happier knowing they were not tied to a single PC manufacturer.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Fatal delusion
by rcsteiner on Mon 28th Aug 2006 18:01 in reply to "RE: Fatal delusion"
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

The initial licensing scheme of DOS is what allowed to squash other players in the GUI arena that were competing with somewhat supperior offerings than Windows 1.x/2.x, like GeoWorks, and GEM. Those anticompetitive practices are what forced every other player out of the PC OS market.

The licensing scheme of DOS wasn't paricularly relevant, since both PC/GEOS and GEM ran on top of (and thus had a hard requirement for) DOS. I still run PC/GEOS (in the form of Breadbox Office) on MS-DOS, PC-DOS, and in OS/2 VDMs to this day.

Reply Parent Score: 1