I, Cringely: Go to the Back of the Bus

[ Thanks to laststop
for this link. ]

“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

“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


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