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The phrase "bet the company" -arrgh

I realize this is trivial, but I have heard Bill Gates claim he "bet the company" with the move to Windows. Maybe so. But since then, it seems to be a pet phrase of his and others at MS, when touting some new initiative or other. I notice the phrase is being revived for Longhorn.

Given the untold riches of Microsoft these days, can't we give this blustery pseudo-brinksmanship a rest?  If it is so perilous for Microsoft to invest in new iterations of their OS, why didn't we hear the last of them with Windows Apocalypse, er Millenium Edition?

Michael Joyner
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/3.06/winer.if.html

Note the date, 1995

Matthew Lock
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

It's probably hyperbole, but it's also true that Longhorn is a humongously more ambitious effort than WinME...

John C.
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Don't they use "Bet the farm" too ?

This seems even more silly, than "bet the company".

Steve Jones (UK)
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Let Google be the judge:

http://www.googlefight.com/cgi-bin/compare.pl?q1=microsoft+%22bet+the+company%22&q2=microsoft+%22bet+the+farm%22&B1=Make+a+fight%21&compare=1&langue=us

Matthew Lock
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Especially since Apple is going to beat them out of the gate with virtually all the compelling Longhorn features, in OS X 10.4. :(

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Besides, there was so much demand for a GUI and no credible offer that was compatible with DOS at the time, how risky a project was Windows for MS?

Fred
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

There's a current financial scandal going on in London about a stock flotation where the floater bet using spread betting that the price would rise by such and such an amount.  The betting company had to lay off that bet of course and ended up buying shares in order to cover themselves, hence covering the volume of the offering.

MS's betting the company on Windows was supported in a similar way, not by spread betting but by forcing all MS OEMs at the time to take Windows, whether or not they wanted it and whether or not they had the hardware to support it.

Simon Lucy
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Oh, and the credible alternative at the time was Gem, which pre-dated Windows was scaled for 8088/8086 which Windows never was and was in many ways superior.

Apart from relying on a cascading set of arrays for everything, but hey it was 1983.

Simon Lucy
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Gem? We had that on our Amstrad PC back in 1986, there was little wonder why that didn't last.

Matthew Lock
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

It did last in lots of ways.
XGem was the real time version running on FlexOS.
It was the graphical shell Viewmax for DR DOS
It was bundled with Ventura for umpteen years.

Which is all ancient history and neither here nor there these days :-).

Simon Lucy
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Oh yeah GEM was on the Atari ST too. That was reasonably popular until the early 90s.

Matthew Lock
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Forget GEM, Amiga OS was way ahead of the game.  It took windows until 95 to catch up.

If only Commodore had had the business smarts.

Ged Byrne
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Anyone that uses "bought the farm" in place of "bet the company" is an idiot.  If you've "bought the farm", it means you died.

Devin
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

I thought Windows was the weapon MS used to fight off IBM and OS2 (which as I recall, MS also developed but for some reason OS2 never really worked very well; how did that happen?)

Anony Coward
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

I am going to do a white paper.

"Bet the company considered harmful"  That would mate two of my most hated phrases.  Now that's a paradigm shift.

gambler
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Gem? GEOS was the best windowing environment for PCs in the pre-Windows 95 era. It came with several decent applications and it ran well on 80286s.

Bored Bystander
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Wasn't GEOS originally developed for the Commodore 64?

Matthew Lock
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

To motivate the troops you need to continually reinvent
the other, otherwise people will lose the fight
impulse.

son of parnas
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Yep. It was called GEOS on the C64, and when it grew up and got PC roots, it was called GeoWorks Ensemble. But it was basically the same philosophy.

Neat, but it just goes to show that the GUI doesn't mean anything. It's the apps, the apps, the apps, the apps.

I got much more mileage out of QuarterDesk than I did GeoWorks Ensemble.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

> Especially since Apple is going to beat them out of the
> gate with virtually all the compelling Longhorn features,
> in OS X 10.4. :(

Yes, but who is going to notice?

Jack Squat
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

> I thought Windows was the weapon MS used to fight off IBM and OS2 (which as I recall, MS also developed but for some reason OS2 never really worked very well; how did that happen?)

OS/2 was actually IBM's baby and, in the late 80's they got Microsoft to help them develop it, since Microsoft knew the desktop. Microsoft continued its work on Windows, much to IBM's displeasure.

At some stage Microsoft realised Windows was running well and could beat OS/2. Probably IBM had onerous contract terms in its OS/2 deal too. The upshot was that Microsoft withdrew from OS/2 and left it to IBM. OS/2 was the first 90's style desktop to hit the market, beating Windows 3.1, but it never flew.


Wednesday, June 30, 2004

"I am going to do a white paper."

And what methodology are you going to use.... AAARRRGGGHHHH!!!!!!!

Tapiwa
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

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