strangest systems I've sent email from

Liam Proven lproven at
Fri May 20 11:24:45 CDT 2016

On 18 May 2016 at 21:40, Fred Cisin <cisin at> wrote:
> But, "Moore's Law" held that it wouldn't be much longer.
> Just one doubling of the speed of the Lisa's hardware would have been enough
> to silence the speed complaints.

A general point, really.

One of Microsoft's strokes of brilliance was selectively exploiting
this. I think maybe it learned it from the 80286 OS/2 1.x débacle.

NT 3.1 was brilliant if a bit bulky and unoptimised. Fair enough, it
was a v1.0 OS. It was way way WAY too heavy for the average 1993 PC,
but power users played, partly 'cos it fixed serious problems with
Windows 3.1.

(You could run a Win3.1 16-bit app in its own memory space & thus
slightly get round Win3.1's terrible low resource limitations. Source:
my customers did it, and paid GBP 5K for a PC to run it on for that

NT 3.5 fixed some of that and now the PC was £3.5K or so.

NT 3.51 was pretty good and now the PC was £2.5-£2K -- in other words,
accessible to a high-end power user. The Win3 UI kept the proles away
-- they wanted the friendlier Win95.

NT 4 brought the UI, and now, a plain vanilla high-end PC could run it.

The cycle sort of repeated with XP and Vista -- they were aimed a bit
above the vanilla cheapo turn-of-the-century PC and its successor. The
market caught up as they matured.

Selectively aiming a bit ahead of where the ordinary PC was allowed MS
to refine the OSes in public, so they were ready for prime-time by the
time that the market had caught up.

IBM, OTOH, aimed at the thousands of boxes /it had already sold/ and
so totally torpedoed its own product.

Liam Proven • Profile:
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