Brief History Of Linux (#18)
There are lies, damned lies, and Microsoft brochures
Even from the very first day, the Microsoft Marketing Department was at
full throttle. Vaporware has always been their weapon of choice. Back when
MS-DOS 1.25 was released to OEMs, Microsoft handed out brochures touting
some of the features to be included in future versions, including:
Xenix-compatible pipes, process forks, multitasking, graphics and cursor
positioning, and multi-user support.
The brochure also stated, "MS-DOS has no practical limit on disk size.
MS-DOS uses 4-byte Xenix compatible pointers for file and disk capacity up
to 4 gigabytes." We would like to emphasize in true Dave Barry fashion
that we are not making this up.
Big vaporous plans were also in store for Microsoft's "Apple Killer"
graphical interface. In 1983 Microsoft innovated a new marketing ploy --
the rigged "smoke-and-mirrors" demo -- to showcase the "overlapping
windows" and "multitasking" features of Interface Manager, the predecessor
to Windows. These features never made it into Windows 1.0 -- which,
incidentally, was released 1.5 years behind schedule.