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Page 47
attempt to sell CP/M to end users one at a time (at least initially).
After all this
transpired, Kildall died suddenly and unexpectedly from causes that have not been
fully disclosed.
By the time the successor to the IBM PC, the IBM PC/AT, came out in 1983
with the Intel 80286 CPU, MS-DOS was firmly entrenched and CP/M was on its
last legs. MS-DOS was later widely used on the 80386 and 80486.
Although the
initial version of MS-DOS was fairly primitive, subsequent versions included more
advanced features, including many taken from UNIX.
(Microsoft was well aware
of UNIX, even selling a microcomputer version of it called XENIX during the
company’s early years.)
CP/M, MS-DOS, and other operating systems for early microcomputers were
all based on users typing in commands from the keyboard. That eventually chang-
ed due to research done by Doug Engelbart at Stanford Research Institute in the
1960s. Engelbart invented the Graphical User Interface, complete with windows,
icons, menus, and mouse. These ideas were adopted by researchers at Xerox PARC
and incorporated into machines they built.
One day, Steve Jobs, who co-invented the Apple computer in his garage, vis-
ited PARC, saw a GUI, and instantly realized its potential value, something Xerox
management famously did not. This strategic blunder of gargantuan proportions
led to a book entitled
Fumbling the Future
(Smith and Alexander, 1988). Jobs then
embarked on building an Apple with a GUI.
This project led to the Lisa, which
was too expensive and failed commercially. Jobs’ second attempt, the Apple Mac-
intosh, was a huge success, not only because it was much cheaper than the Lisa,
but also because it was
user friendly
, meaning that it was intended for users who
not only knew nothing about computers but furthermore had absolutely no inten-
tion whatsoever of learning. In the creative world of graphic design, professional
digital photography, and professional digital video production, Macintoshes are
very widely used and their users are very enthusiastic about them. In 1999, Apple
adopted a kernel derived from Carnegie Mellon University’s Mach microkernel
which was originally developed to replace the kernel of BSD UNIX. Thus,
is a UNIX-based operating system, albeit with a very distinctive interface.
When Microsoft decided to build a successor to MS-DOS, it was strongly
influenced by the success of the Macintosh.
It produced a GUI-based system call-
ed Windows, which originally ran on top of MS-DOS (i.e., it was more like a shell
than a true operating system).
For about 10 years, from 1985 to 1995, Windows
was just a graphical environment on top of MS-DOS.
However, starting in 1995 a
freestanding version, Windows 95, was released that incorporated many operating
system features into it, using the underlying MS-DOS system only for booting and
running old MS-DOS programs.
In 1998, a slightly modified version of this sys-
tem, called Windows 98 was released. Nevertheless, both Windows 95 and Win-
dows 98 still contained a large amount of 16-bit Intel assembly language.
Another Microsoft operating system,
Windows NT
(where the NT stands for
New Technology
), which was compatible with Windows 95 at a certain level, but a

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