Friday, August 03, 2007


Court Ruling Supports Claims That Microsoft's First OS Was Stolen

Link to article at InformationWeek
Dismissing a defamation suit brought by the inventor of DOS against a British writer, a judge has left unchallenged computer industry lore that holds the operating system Microsoft licensed to IBM in the 1980s -- thereby launching Bill Gates' multibillion dollar software empire -- was a knock off. In a book on American innovation, author Sir Harold Evans wrote that DOS inventor Tim Paterson relied heavily on an existing OS called CP/M (Control Program/Monitor) created by a programmer who has since died. Microsoft in 1980 struck a licensing deal with Paterson's company -- Seattle Computer Products -- to obtain access to DOS and resell it to IBM.
WONDERFUL! I still remember being appalled at the poorly copied versions of CP/M that were dumped on the market as DOS. My opinion at the time was that the only difference between the two OS's was the switch from slash (/) to backslash (\) in path names. Years later I realized just how poorly copied DOS was and even today cringe when using most Microsoft products.

Back in the 1980's many of us assumed that Gary Kildall and others would use legal procedures to save the world from Gates and company. Gary's untimely and suspicious death put a crimp in that hope. Might be good to reopen investigations and determine the details of that death. I've always had a personal opinion and it would be nice to see some facts.

- Frank

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