In the Forums...
Posted: May 19, 2000
Written by: Tuan "Solace" Nguyen
Of all the news stories flying around right now, the most controversial news of them all has to be the ongoing battle between Microsoft and the DOJ. Many have sided with the DOJ while many more have sided with Microsoft. And each side has valid and invalid merits to their arguments.
But for the sake of this article, I will just tell you what I think is going on and what should be done with Microsoft. You may also want to note that I have been in the Microsoft, the Apple, and the Linux environment for almost the same number of years and have personally clear cut views of which side is the best. While we're on the subject of who is best, let it be stated right now that there is no clear winner and definitely no loser at all.
Let's just run through a brief history of the significants of Microsoft.
DOS: This relatively paltry operating system was the standard for PCs when it was out. And it went fairly strong. Sure, it didn't do full screen DVD or 3D gaming, but at that time, no one really knew, cared, or wanted any of that and was using the OS. It did its job, and did it well. It was used on the majority of desktop computers and popular among the "tweaking" crowd and gaming community. At that time, it did for gaming like no other OS did.
Windows 3.1: The second most significant Microsoft OS to ever hit our machines, it let the user have a high resolution (for that time) graphical user interface (GUI) that wasn't available before, unless you were using Macintosh. Since Microsoft already held a large user base with DOS, Windows became very popular in a short period of time. New waves of hardware became available and new software filled to the brim with graphics, sound, animation and even video. What was everyone talking about? The talk of the town was if your PC was a "multimedia" PC or not.
Windows NT: It wasn't used much by the average consumer because it was more difficult to use. But it offered fully 32-bit computing and stability that Windows 3.1 dreamed about. It was mainly used in Workstations and never gained mainstream audience until eight years later.
Office: Coming shortly after Microsoft introduced Word and Excel in separate units, Office began to dominate the productivity audience. Intuitive and easy to understand, Office then and now is still more easy to use and learn than the competing Word Perfect Suite. To this day, the majority of users still use Office -- even on Macintoshes. It has improved exponentially and has offered many features still yet to be implemented in other office productivity software.