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I, Cringely: Go to the Back of the Bus

Sep 18, 2004, 02:30 (15 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Robert X. Cringely)

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"As IBM's market share and influence faded, 'IBM-compatible' was replaced as a definition with 'MS-DOS-compatible' and finally with 'Windows-compatible,' with which Microsoft slapped-down Intel and took sole control of the standard. Now Microsoft publishes a hardware standard every year or two that defines very precisely how PCs will look two years out. PC companies build what Microsoft tells them to because doing otherwise risks having their hardware go uncertified, or even worse, simply not function with Windows.

"Microsoft's PC standard essentially says, 'If your PC is configured like THIS two years from now, it will work with the version of Windows and our applications that we will be shipping at that time. If it doesn't look like THIS, well then you are on your own...'"

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