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Bill Gates flips out! Leaked Microsoft emails.

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posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 01:17 PM

Originally posted by SugarCube
Bill Gates has not been "ahead of his time" on anything. ...

I am not a defender of Microsoft or Bill Gates by any means. But he DID do two things that WERE ahead of his time. The second one is debatable, but the first one is absolutely not debatable in any way, shape, or form.

What Bill Gates did that was WAY ahead of his time is this: He separated the software from the hardware. Up until then, if you wanted IBM software, you had to run IBM hardware. If you wanted Wang software, you had to run Wang hardware. If you wanted DEC software, you had to run DEC hardware. Microsoft (ala Bill Gates) said "We don't care what hardware you have, we want you to run Microsoft products." People forget that early personal computers were not like they are today, where everything is (basically) interoperable.

Up until that time, if you wanted a specific software solution, you had no choice but to buy the hardware it came on. THAT IS WHY IBM SAID THEY WERE A "HARDWARE" COMPANY NOT A "SOFTWARE" COMPANY.

Put another way: Microsoft was the first true software company. Yes, other companies developed software, but they limited it to a specific hardware vendor.

I would venture to guess that if Microsoft was never started, if you bought a Dell PC, then you would have to buy a Dell operating system. If you bought an HP, then you would have to buy an HP operating system (HP/UX anyone?). THIS IS WHAT IT WAS LIKE BEFORE MICROSOFT WAS STARTED. People forget that DOS ran on more than just what are considered the fore-runners of today's PC. And that Microsoft sold an operating system that competed with DOS called CP/M. In fact, for the longest time I had one of the original "user licenses" for this CP/M, with the address for Microsoft being listed as in Arizona. And, it was a single page, double spaced!

And just for a little history lesson.... the "micro" in Microsoft (originally MicroSoft) referred to micro computers, which were the functional equivalent of what we call "personal computers".

posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 03:40 PM
I agree to a point Sir Chancealot, but I believe that the advent of the interoperability of his software was precipitated upon the compatibility to the IBM equipment de facto standard.

I am of an age where I fondly remember spending hours programming a ZX80/81 in 1k haha - hell, I even remember using the Atari BASIC on the games console.

IBM forged the way ahead for MS, by virtue of the rollout of DOS and the subsequent market exposure. The market exposure meant that the other manufacturers converted to the IBM de facto standard (by and large) because back then, IBM really was Big Blue and pre-eminent.

He exploited that and well done to him. However, this was a natural progression of the market rather than a "leap ahead" in any altruistic way. Clive Sinclair was a man ahead of his time as he really did put a "personal computer" in the ordinary home at an affordable price.

In big business, software was abstracted from hardware by the introduction of affordable compilers. Don't forget, big business back then was still keying in their programs via punched cards or "ticker tape" and a lot of machines still used machine code or if you were lucky, assembly language. The likes of BASIC and COBOL abstracted software from the hardware.

On a smaller scale interoperability was an effect of IBM market dominance. Convergence of a de facto standard meant that many machines simply operated in a common way, however, even though the software was abstracted from the hardware, you weren't abstracted from the OS.

The advent of the PC within the UK was started with the ZX80/81 using a proprietary OS - Swiftly followed up by Commodore and the VIC20/C64. However, it is fair to say that, the C64 was way ahead of its time here as it used shadow RAM such that a completely different OS could be loaded at boot time as long as it was 6502 compatible. It is no different today. Windows for your average PC is not going to load on an Apple

"We don't care what hardware you have, we want you to run Microsoft products." - Yeah as long as it is running Microsoft OS. The concept of a virtual environment hadn't been introduced as yet - No Java engines to abstract the user from the OS. It was still a proprietary market, just that IT companies could see where the bucks were headed and fell into line.

Even today, things are not interoperable. Life looks easy because there is a touch of Java engine about the world and the vast majority of PCs run Windows. The OS abstracts from the hardware but you're not abstracted from the OS. Sure, software has been ported to other OS, but, a port is a port and not an abstracted piece of software.

I do completely agree that Microsoft was the first true software company in that, it is the only thing they did. They didn't need to limit it to specific hardware vendors because IBM's de facto standard was already a gravy train.

Mind you, that being said and done, I have a feeling that we're both old enough to know that there hasn't been anything innovated in the IT world since the internet was created. Everything else is just an extension of what already existed with a bright shiney new label attached to it. Who needs innovation when you've got buzzwords?

posted on Jul, 2 2008 @ 11:38 PM

Originally posted by Willbert
Every person knows that when "drivers" and "software" is upgraded that a reboot is needed to use the new "updates". Since this "person" knew they were upgrading drivers and such a reboot was necessary, especially if their critical updates.

Well.. this is not entirely true. New libraries can be referred to on the fly. Not all the time and sometime a reboot is required as some newly installed libraries require the hardware scan done during startup. But that's not generally the case.
In Windows XP, when you install a new Hardware driver you basically add to the Plug'n'Play libraries and the installation can then include a control that disconnects or unloads the hardware from windows and then re-adds it which is when the plug'n'play kicks in. Most of the hardware driver installers don't include such a control and the same effect is achieved by restarting. New hardware is then picked up and plug'n'play kicks in.
Security updates can be applied on the fly by the installer stopping the effected process and then restarting it, although most update installers achieve that by a restart.
I'm over simplifying because I don't have the technical knowledge to explain it clearly, but if you use linux, you'll notice that almost all updates are applied on the fly and the ones which aren't only ask you to logoff and back on to stop and then restart the window manager and display server.
So, Bill Gates could have been complaining about the use of a restart to shortcut and simplify development. Just a speculation.

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