Vintage Software Copyright

Fred Cisin cisin at
Fri Aug 21 18:14:47 CDT 2015

On Fri, 21 Aug 2015, Jay Jaeger wrote:
> The written records I have read state that Kildall finally came to his
> senses way way late, and realized what a market opportunity the IBM PC
> represented.  But by then he was too late.  By every account I have
> read, he blew off a meeting arranged by Gates that would have been a
> chance to sell his operating system,

There are conflicting accounts of what happened, but it is undeniable that 
he failed to take advantage of an incredible opportunity.
Most of the accounts have gaps in credibility.  Flying up to Oakland to 
deliver some documentation is certainly NOT a task that couldn't have been 
delegated.  Kildall's defenders make too much of IBM's NDAs; some of his 
dtractors portray it as a purely cultural clash.  A few years ago, I went 
and visited the house, and I can easily see that.

> so IBM asked Gates to see if he
> could find an alternative elsewhere and found what eventually became
> MS-DOS, and the rest is history, as they say.  Even had IBM been somehow
> responsible for the disparity in the pricing, DRI could have marketed it
> on their own anyway.  The truth of the matter seems to be that Kildall
> just didn't have any business acumen, and Gates, who did, rolled right
> over him after he blew his chance.

Kildall didn't have any business acumen, and Gates did.

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