Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Windows Microsoft Operating Systems Software IT

MS To Finally End OEM Licensing For Windows 3.11 388

Posted by timothy
from the like-a-moth-at-a-candlelight-dinner dept.
halfEvilTech writes with an excerpt from Ars Technica's story on the sputtering out of Windows for Workgroups 3.11: "Believe it or not, that headline is not a typo. John Coyne, Systems Engineer in the OEM Embedded Devices group at Microsoft, has posted a quick blog entry that broke the bad news: as of November 1, 2008, Microsoft will no longer allow OEMs to license Windows for Workgroups 3.11 in the embedded channel. That's exactly 15 years after it shipped in November 1993! Poor OEMs have so much to put up with these days; first Windows XP, and now this!"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

MS To Finally End OEM Licensing For Windows 3.11

Comments Filter:
  • Abandonware (Score:5, Interesting)

    by clang_jangle (975789) * on Thursday July 10, 2008 @01:35PM (#24139841) Journal
    The story's a bit amusing, but for me it does raise kind of a serious question. Maybe slightly OT, but I've always wondered why it is that abandonware doesn't automatically become public domain. Many people were really upset when Apple killed the "Classic" OS, just as many will feel the sting of XP support being abruptly withdrawn soon. Seems to me it would be a fair enough rule that software with a sizeable installed base that is abandoned by its creators should be opened to the community, so it can live on or die on its own merits. Personally, I'd love to see what the community might have made of the old Apple UNIX, and even Win2K and XP might be made into something really cool with a community-based effort.
    • Re:Abandonware (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @01:40PM (#24139979)
      Are you saying that discontinued products should be made available for free or that they should be open-sourced? If it's the former, that's one thing (though that still doesn't necessarily free the original manufacturer from any license or patent obligations they may have made). If it's the latter (which is what your last sentence makes it sound like), that would be a major issue, since the underlying technologies (which themselves are usually patented or licensed) are often used in the newer products that replaced the older ones.
      • by Hatta (162192) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @01:45PM (#24140067) Journal

        Of course they should be open sourced. Ideally all four of the software freedoms [gnu.org] should be enshrined in law.

        • Re:Abandonware (Score:4, Insightful)

          by operagost (62405) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @02:03PM (#24140411) Homepage Journal
          That would make software "free", but the people who create it less so. Shouldn't I be allowed to choose how I distribute my software? Let the market decide.
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Hatta (162192)

            Not if you use that software to remove the rights of others.

        • Re:Abandonware (Score:5, Insightful)

          by hey! (33014) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @02:22PM (#24140825) Homepage Journal

          I don't agree.

          I have a problem with the idea of software becoming open sourced just because the users want it. If you knowingly agree to be bound by a license, you should honor that agreement unless the licensor acts in an unconscionable way, and then your own actions should only be sufficient to address the specific issue. Everybody knows vendors stop supporting old software. You can't complain if the vendor gives you a couple years to upgrade and then pulls support, because you bought the license to use the software knowing this could happen.

          This is important. This is why businesses and individuals should use open source software wherever possible: in order to control their future. Much of the open source software I use is because I don't like the license restrictions of the proprietary alternative.

          People and organizations should support open source and free software rather than make deals with proprietary vendor then renege on them. And if people should be so cavalier with licenses, then the same applies to free licenses as well.

          • Re:Abandonware (Score:5, Insightful)

            by pla (258480) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @03:38PM (#24142517) Journal
            I have a problem with the idea of software becoming open sourced just because the users want it.

            The entire concept of intellectual property (by which I include both patents and copyrights) exists precisely because "users want it" - ie, We-The-People grant the creator a limited monopoly to encourage that entity to do their thing.

            Without the "limited" part of that, they, not the users, have broken their end of the bargain.



            By explicitly no longer allowing us to license WFW311 (or releasing it into the wild for free), Microsoft has done no less than exploited our beneficence - They've gotten their cash, now they want to take our shared cultural resource away from the very society that allowed them to gain by it.

            Unacceptible.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by hey! (33014)

              Without the "limited" part of that, they, not the users, have broken their end of the bargain.

              Now this, I must say, is an excellent point. It may not be enough to put WFW in the public domain because people want it, but because that's part of the copyright deal. An individual of course can agree to any terms he wants, but society as a whole ought not be bound by such private agreements.

              I'd make two provisos to this, however. First, "open source" or "free" software isn't the same thing as software that

              • Re:Abandonware (Score:5, Insightful)

                by madsenj37 (612413) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @04:48PM (#24143877)
                Making it free would cost Microsoft money. They would have to host it somewhere and pay the costs of someone accessing it for free. As mush as I dislike Microsoft, that is not fair. Those who wanted it, paid for it. Microsoft has supported this product longer than most other companies with their respective software.
      • Re:Abandonware (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jedidiah (1196) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @01:47PM (#24140091) Homepage

        Discontinued products should be made available consistent with the spirit of the
        original intent of US Copyright and the actual relevant Constitutional language.

        Anything that patented is already "protected" in terms of "personal private property".
        Further obfuscation simply isn't necessary. Furthermore, it's entirely moot since
        anything patented has to be disclosed anyways (there are no secrets involved).

        There may be complications in using the source but that's a situation that exists
        already with Free Software.

        If it's not worth the author keeping for sale anymore then it should quickly enter
        the public domain. Abandonware should quickly go PD across the board.

        It's really the only way to make quasi-perpetual copyright not stiffle new creators.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by larry bagina (561269)
          That linus torvaldes guy isn't selling linux, so I guess that should be public domain as well?
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            Actually, I could argue that licenses like the GPL allow for more rights than are granted under copyright law.

            I'd use this fact by saying that longer terms on licenses that grant MORE rights to everybody would be justified in "promoting the sciences and arts". After all, all derivative works (which are expressly allowed, unlike copyright) must be under the same terms, thus promoting arts and sciences.

            More restrictive licenses associated to copyrights should have less time because they benefit fewer people.

            I

          • I agree, Linux from 10+ years ago should be public domain too.
        • Re:Abandonware (Score:5, Interesting)

          by thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) <marc.paradise@NOsPAm.gmail.com> on Thursday July 10, 2008 @02:33PM (#24141083) Homepage Journal
          The orphan works [copyright.gov] proposal that so many people love to hate would do just as you requested.
      • Re:Abandonware (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Bogtha (906264) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @01:54PM (#24140229)

        Are you saying that discontinued products should be made available for free or that they should be open-sourced?

        I can't speak for clang_jangle, but I believe that software should be required to ship with buildable source if it is to qualify for copyright protection. It would be the software/copyright analogue of the disclosure required for patents. It would go some way to mitigating the problems caused by copyright as it is applied to software, abandonware being one of them.

        • I believe that software should be required to ship with buildable source if it is to qualify for copyright protection.

          How would you build, say, a Wii game from source?

      • I think that when companies decide not to support their old software anymore they should have the choice -- release it under an open source license (which might allow them to maintain some small degree of control), or allow it to enter the public domain. I'm aware that under current IP law that can become hellishly complicated, but IMO it ought not be that way.
      • Re:Abandonware (Score:4, Informative)

        by blackest_k (761565) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @02:58PM (#24141639) Homepage Journal

        well I guess that means that windows 3.11 has 5 years before all the patents expire if the gif patent is anything to go by.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graphics_Interchange_Format [wikipedia.org]

        That still seems like too long but thats the deal with patents.

        I thought the exclusivity granted by a patent had an expiry date and one that should be enforced.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by nurb432 (527695)

      Some of us feel the same about current software, and act accordingly.

    • Re:Abandonware (Score:5, Informative)

      by CastrTroy (595695) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @01:45PM (#24140069) Homepage
      You can actually download System 7.5.3 [apple.com] from Apple for free. Sure you don't get the source code to edit it, but at least you can still run it. I think this is a good solution. Once your software is no longer commercially viable, let people use it for free.
      • by Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @02:22PM (#24140821)
        I think old versions should all be made available, just as soon as they are no longer available for purchase. Then perhaps we would see some actual innovation. About a year ago I stumbled across WFW 3.11, and DOS 6.22. On a slow day at work I installed them on a recent system. I must say DOS and Win3.11 fly on modern hardware. :)
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I think basically because new software is very rarely a revolution and very often an evolution. If XP became public domain for example, a large portion of Vista goes public with it by relation. It only takes a few geeks to fill in the blanks and release the patches and everyone could have a 'roll your own' Windows that would probably be better than Microsoft has to offer.

      Also, there is the obvious case where thousands of geeks grep the code looking for amusing sections and potential embarrassment for the c

      • by SQLGuru (980662)

        I think the main concern is that of royalties to other companies.

        Windows code includes the use of code licensed from various parties. MS can only release what they own as PD. You'd still need to pay a license to "whoever else" unless they also released the licensed code as PD.

        Layne

    • Re:Abandonware (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Verdatum (1257828) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @01:49PM (#24140141)
      Companies believe, and often jusifiably so, that it makes little business sense to do this. Even though they abandon it now, they reserve the right to "unabandon" it later (granted this makes more sense for properties like out-of-print books than for out of date software titles). Maintaining the rights allow companies to do things like charge you ten dollars to play the original Super Mario Brothers on your Wii. Second, since the old software can do some of the same things as the new software, consumers could for certain applications, go with the public domain OS when otherwise they would be forced to pay for the current OS. Microsoft does not want to be in competition with it's own now-profitless product, that would just be silly.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sm62704 (957197)

      I would applaud that, and not just for software. Any out of print book, album, movie; anything that can be given copyright protection should enter the public domain if it is out of print.

      Too bad we have the best legislators that money can buy.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by skutch (805084)
      It's not in a company's best interest to release an abandoned piece of software into the public domain because then it may compete with the company's supported products. e.g. Why would I buy the latest version of Microsoft Windows when I when an old-ish version which adequately suits my needs is in the public domain?
    • Re:Abandonware (Score:4, Insightful)

      by OrangeTide (124937) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @03:00PM (#24141687) Homepage Journal

      The problem is there is no reasonable definition of Abandonware. Look at an old 1980s arcade game. It's 25+ years since someone made the unit. But there is likely 1. a thriving used market. 2. the current copyright holder for the ROM might want to make some money off selling it as part of an emulation package. This happens all the time, especially now that "retro" sells. All the current game console seems to have a "collection" or "anthology" with a bunch of old games on it. Those have to be licensed and someone is making money off selling those old Midway, Sega, Namco, Taito, etc games.

      One issue worth bringing up is that computer software generally doesn't have much aftermarket support. Especially for things like Windows which have a license that is usually non-transferable. Selling your used XP discs seems to be (almost) as illegal as making a copy to install on another computer. Seems strange to me. (I think if you want to call it "stealing" you should at least require that all of it be fully transferable and have no restrictions over physical property).

      Of course it is always possible for congress to make a law that would shorten copyrights for software, and thus make abandonware possible. Amend the law so that it automatically expires after 10 year of your last publish date would be reasonable way to do abandonware. But still have it expire if it exceed some time from the date of creation like it currently does (what is it now, like 10,000 years? :)

    • Re:Abandonware (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Endo13 (1000782) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @03:08PM (#24141809)

      Seems to me it would be a fair enough rule that software with a sizeable installed base that is abandoned by its creators should be opened to the community, so it can live on or die on its own merits.

      I'm going to have to respectfully disagree somewhat with this idea - though perhaps more with the specifics added to it by others, than your original idea quoted here.

      First, how do we define "abandoned" in this case. The best hard line I can think of off-hand is "when official support is discontinued". But if that is where the line would be drawn, it puts software developers/publishers in a very difficult position. Their own older software because their biggest enemy and competition, like WinXP vs. Vista, except to a much greater extent. For an example, let's bring Win2K into the mix. If Win2K was now legally free to obtain and use because of support being discontinued, how many customers would have purchased XP? And more, how many would have purchased Vista? For the most part Win2K can do all the essential functions that either of the newer versions can do, and with a lot less bloat and overhead to boot. Many users still prefer Win2K, even at an equal price point. So with such an "abandonware is free" rule, now the software company has to tread a very careful path, so as to make their next version just enough better to entice users to switch from the old version, but yet not so good as to make a better version unfeasible. Service packs and major patches would become history; such updates would have to become a new pay-for version of the product. Otherwise, the only option is to keep supporting old versions of software merely so it doesn't become "abandonware" (and therefore free). Even worse would be if the hard line for becoming abandonware is whether or not the product is still sold by the publisher. Then they would not only be locked into perpetually providing support, but also keeping the old product available for sale to compete with the newer versions.

      I think the real issues here that need to be addressed are software patents and ridiculous copyright durations. If those get properly fixed, abandonware would become free by default at an appropriate time.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 10, 2008 @01:36PM (#24139869)

    This news doesn't bode well for Windows 95...

  • by snoyberg (787126) <snoyberg@nOSPAM.users.sourceforge.net> on Thursday July 10, 2008 @01:37PM (#24139899) Homepage

    A slashdot article without a typo? Can't half that!

  • But... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Illbay (700081) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @01:39PM (#24139945) Journal
    ...will my "Bob" license still be valid?
  • Ahh the memories (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dada21 (163177) <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Thursday July 10, 2008 @01:39PM (#24139957) Homepage Journal

    I recall when the original WfW packs hit the stores many years ago (was it CompUSA?). Software + NIC, IIRC.

    At the time, I was running LANtastic, a terrible networking package. It was cheap, and handled my multinode BBS fairly well, but it was REALLY proprietary and sometimes had no reason to crash but did.

    I sold my multinode BBS about that time when I first noticed WfW. Since I was a bit flush with cash after selling the old BBS, I decided to purchase a WfW "starter pack" of some sort. A few hours later, and it was up and running on my now-smaller home network.

    At the time I was working for a Novell installation company, and I detested Novell's interface. WfW was significantly better, even though it wasn't as geek-friendly as Novell. I was not very *nix concerned at the time, either, but at that point I had over 9 years of PC experience.

    For me, WfW really beat down what my old standards were. LANtastic was out. DESQview was a dying application. Novell was too expensive for the small networks, and too hard to administer for the basic admins at the clients I was handling at the time.

    I recall clearly saying "This is going to sweep the PC world." And it did. It was the beginning of a much more profitable venture for me, personally, and provided the basis for many jobs of the geeks who circle at /.

    So RIP WfW. It was nice knowing you.

    • by ArhcAngel (247594)

      I recall when the original WfW packs hit the stores many years ago (was it CompUSA?). Software + NIC, IIRC.

      It would have been SoftWarehouse at the time.

    • by C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @02:09PM (#24140545) Journal

      hey, what's the problem with lantastic ? i earned my living out of it for a bunch of years. i liked the way the DOS boxes bleeped everytime the coax cable was open.

      bleep! bleep! bleep! bleep!

      and there i went with a 50 Ohm terminator to find the faulty node...

      ahhh, the good old times.

      now get of my lawn, punk.

    • Re:Ahh the memories (Score:4, Interesting)

      by ogre2112 (134836) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @02:39PM (#24141227)

      Good post. I had a similar experience with Lantastic, a BBS, and then moving on to WfW and what I called naively at the time, "Internet Multitasking" using the Trumpet WinSock. "Oh boy I can FTP and use Mosaic at the *same* time!"

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by RangerElf (32760)

      Should we all get off your lawn? :-)

  • If part of an industry is relying on something and it goes poof, it costs quite a bit of money to retool to accommodate such a radical change.

    Also goes to show you that old isn't always 'bad'.

    • by Illbay (700081) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @01:47PM (#24140095) Journal

      Also goes to show you that old isn't always 'bad'.

      It's a good rule of thumb, though. I just found a cabbage in the fridge that I think we bought three months ago.

      OMG, the stench!

  • by voss (52565) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @01:47PM (#24140103)

    If an OEM has purchased a pile of Windows 3.11 licenses from microsoft they can continue to sell it indefinitely...under the doctrine of first sale. So people who want windows 3.11 can license it until November 1st.

    Admittedly Microsoft may stop the sale of NEW licenses which is what they are apparently are doing.

    I suspect win 3.11 is licensed for POS devices and legacy applications. I guess all those people licensing that stuff will have to go to windows 95/98 embedded???

    • by tepples (727027)

      I suspect win 3.11 is licensed for POS devices and legacy applications. I guess all those people licensing that stuff will have to go to windows 95/98 embedded???

      Anything wrong with porting that stuff to Windows CE or Wine?

    • Now, now... (Score:5, Funny)

      by BForrester (946915) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @02:21PM (#24140801)

      I suspect win 3.11 is licensed for POS devices...

      Just because someone is using crappy hardware, it doesn't give you the right to use language like *that*.

  • Now how am I supposed to finish debugging the expansion packs I've been developing for Civilization and Duke Nukem 3D?

  • This is an outrage! I'm switching to Linux only now! 3.1/3.11 were my first Windows OS back in 1994. I do hold a little nostalga for it still, though I always hated exiting to DOS to play doom.
    • Re:what a shame (Score:5, Interesting)

      by MBGMorden (803437) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @02:58PM (#24141637)

      though I always hated exiting to DOS to play doom.

      Actually, back when I was on a Windows 3.1 machine, I rarely even booted Windows itself. I took the "win" command out of autoexec.bat and just had it boot to a prompt. Most of what I did back then was run DOS programs and mess around on BBS's anyways (using a DOS based Terminal program), so I had little use for it. Even my word processing back then was done on an old copy of Wordperfect 5.1 that I copied (shhhhh) from my aunt's computer, so I even did my schoolwork in DOS.

      Truth be told, for most DOS games that came out even after Windows 95 was introduced (of which there were a lot since DirectX came later and they wanted to keep games playable by 3.1 users), I still ended up exiting to DOS out of Win95 to play them.

      Before I moved to Win95 though I did browse the net on Windows 3.1 for a short while. I was using Netscape + Eudora (and naturally Trumpet Winsock) to do my net stuff on that machine. My Win3.1 machine when I got rid of it was a 486DX 75Mhz with 6MB of RAM, an 80MB hard drive, SVGA graphics, CDROM, and sound card. Strange that it could still do the common web/email tasks I needed of it back then yet anything under a gigahertz with lass than 1GB of ram is considered unusable now :S.

  • by frovingslosh (582462) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @01:56PM (#24140287)
    While the tone of the /. post comes across as thinking this is funny, the actual truth is that this may well impact some oem vendors in a serious way. For all of it's faults, Win3.1 was far more stable than Win 95, 98, WIN me or any later version. I personally worked on mission critical systems that ran 24/7, never needing to be shutdown (Heck, usually the only time I would have to deal with our old Novell file servers was when the daylight savings time changes took effect, and if that had been taken care of at the application level rather than the system level they may have run for years without human contact). We had a number of DOS and even Win 3.1 systems that sat there cranking out the product day after day. The programmer who did the 3.1 application was a true craftsman, he took the time to track down every memory leak in his code and correct it, and those systems were quite capable for running indefinitely without ever going down.

    Contrast that to Win95. When it was discovered that there was a serious bug in Win95 that would crash the system after 40 days of operation, the reaction in many places, including here on Slashdot, was "You mean there are people who have actually kept Win95 running for 40 days?" I doubt that we will ever see products from Microsoft again that had the stability required for process control applications that existed in DOS and Win3.1 .

    Of course, If they need it, many OEMs will simply keep shipping Win3.1 solutions, just not pay Microsoft. They may be putting themselves at quite a risk, but it sure would be an interesting lawsuit to see get to court. I would love to see how Microsoft reacts to the "We had to pirate the software to keep our company running and it's workers employed, because the newer Microsoft software is such crap" defense. Likely Microsoft would not, and would drop the suit.

    • by operagost (62405) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @02:37PM (#24141157) Homepage Journal

      The programmer who did the 3.1 application was a true craftsman, he took the time to track down every memory leak in his code and correct it

      ... and that's why your Windows 3.1 systems were stable. The stability of Windows 9x and earlier versions was susceptible to memory leaks due to their limited USER and GDI space. If your ace programmer had ported his app to Windows 95, it would have been at least as stable. The tick count problem was a stupid bug, true; but it was easy to fix and a patch was released for both 95 and 98. You could easily point to all the Y2K bugs in Windows 3.1 and call it "unstable" too, if you didn't patch it.

    • by bazorg (911295) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @02:40PM (#24141239) Homepage
      For all of it's faults, Win3.1 was far more stable than Win 95, 98, WIN me or any later version

      they must have (had) a different kind of Windows 3.1 in your country.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by BeerCat (685972)

      When it was discovered that there was a serious bug in Win95 that would crash the system after 40 days of operation, the reaction in many places, including here on Slashdot, was "You mean there are people who have actually kept Win95 running for 40 days?"

      The most insidious part of the 40 (and some) days - 65536 minutes is 45 and a half days - crash was that everything appeared normal. The mouse would move the cursor and the icons were still all visible on the desktop. The problem was that no amount of double-clicking or keyboard shortcuts would make anything actually happen.

      (I found this one out the hard way - leaving the machine on to let the daily backup complete, while I went home)

    • by jd (1658) <{moc.oohay} {ta} {kapimi}> on Thursday July 10, 2008 @03:08PM (#24141817) Homepage Journal
      The local mass transit (Trimet) ticketing system runs entirely on Windows 3.11. Found that out when one of the maintenance engineers was rebooting one of the systems. Apparently, the machines are imported, Trimet doesn't have permission to do any software maintenance, there's no way in hell they're going to be able to afford to pay German engineers to come to the west coast to do a software update at all those locations, and there's an even smaller chance Trimet is going to be happy running multiple versions of the software, as it means getting engineers with greater skills (which will cost) and they'll have to keep a wider range of spare parts (which will also cost).

      I could very easily see them buying machines that are not technically licensed from Microsoft, on the grounds that Microsoft lawyers don't ride light rail, a little fudging of dates would conceal it from any realistic audit, and replacing every single kiosk with one that is powerful enough to run Vista would be insanely expensive both to buy and to run (electricity isn't free).

  • I wonder if it will still be available to MSDN subscribers.

    (please feel free to ridicule the crap out of me if this was mentioned in TFA or on TFB)

    I do have one nice thing to say about W3.11; if you can get it to run on anything about as or more modern then a PII it runs (and installs) really fast!

  • Just out of curiosity, if I did happen to be a guy selling 486s, would Microsoft have a Vista version that can run on it?

  • by hxnwix (652290) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @02:08PM (#24140531) Journal

    Only the most hardcore used "Windows NT",
    President Bush's popularity sank to new lows,
    Afghanistan's ongoing collapse continued to somehow worsen,
    A series of bomb blasts killed scores of people in India,
    RMS insisted that Linux be called GNU/Linux and nobody cared,
    MTV sucked ass,
    The number of Americans incarcerated increased by between 300,000 and 700,000 a year...

  • by cant_get_a_good_nick (172131) on Thursday July 10, 2008 @02:12PM (#24140617)

    I can see this as a niche product, one that fits perfectly.

    Embedded controller. Low memory use. Weak (therefore cheap/easy on electricity) chip. Networkable, but no TCP/IP (no Internet can be good, i think our Canon copiers got the slammer worm a few years back).

  • Around the time that people were developing new software for Windows 3.11 they had the option of using smaller, faster, and less power-hungry operating systems like OS/9 (which had recently been re-released as OS/9000 but is now OS/9 again) and QNX had been around for over a decade.

    It's not that things like real-time multitasking and POSIX compatibility were unnecessary, but rather that these features had essentially no overhead compared to the mess of already-rotting DLLs and captive DOS environments that Windows was built on.

    The people who were using Windows as an embedded system were already considered dangerously careless by the hard real time community... we were dubious about using UNIX, and UNIX was an order of magnitude cleaner and more reliable than Windows 3.11.

    I would rather not have a heart monitor running on Windows, thank you very much. If the products based on Windows in 1993 go off the market, because the manufacturers can't find any more certificates of authenticity in their warehouses, we'll be all the better off for it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by X0563511 (793323)

      So we'll get embedded vista or whatever comes down the line next. Even better! The companies that use Microsoft have already drunk the coolaid, and will not recover.

  • by Orion Blastar (457579) <orionblastar@gmail . c om> on Thursday July 10, 2008 @05:18PM (#24144373) Homepage Journal

    as OpenGEM [shaneland.co.uk] is still available and is being worked on to make it 32 bits. So your DOS machines can use OpenGEM instead of Windows 3.11 if you want to keep a GUI on them.

Recent investments will yield a slight profit.

Working...