Re: Patents

Harvey Newstrom (
Tue, 23 Feb 1999 10:03:53 -0500

John Clark <> wrote:
> Apple paid Xerox??? That contradicts everything I've read on the subject.
> Where did you hear this ? How much did they pay? They must have gotten
> more than "look and feel" so exactly what did they get for their money?

Do you work in the field of computers? I thought it was common knowledge that Apple paid Xerox for technology. It didn't even occur to me to give a reference to support this. I don't have a reference handy, but I could try to find one.

> Well, Microsoft is certainly no stranger in the Apple world, for many years
> they had more programmers writing Apple programs than Apple itself did, but
> I would be very surprised if Apple would cooperate with anyone to write
> an emulator to run on a PC, they've always acted like that's the last thing
> in the world they'd want. But I've been surprised before so perhaps you're
> correct, but I'd love to know your source.

Most people forget that Microsoft started out writing software for the Apple. The migrate Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel to the PC platform later.

And yes, in the beginning, Apple did want to emulate Macs on PC's. They thought people would migrate to the real thing after having a taste of the emulator. It was their lost court case that allowed anyone to copy/emulate the Mac without paying Apple that made them lose interest in Mac emulation. (There are a few Mac emulators for PCs still available today.)

> And Microsoft was right. Although Bill Gates strongly advised against it
> IBM insisted that the first version of OS/2 be a 16 bit system and even worse,
> they wrote it in assembly language (not C) optimized to work best on a
> 286 chip. That decision was one of the most stupid in the history of
> computers. OS/2 version 1.0 could never handle Windows 95 nor could it be
> modified to do so, IBM had to start from square one to make the next version
> and by then Windows had a big head start.

I agree with this mostly, but I do know that IBM wanted to include Windows 95 support in OS/2 and that Microsoft would not legally allow them to do so.

Harvey Newstrom <>
Author, Consultant, Engineer, Hacker, Researcher, Scientist.