Vintage Software Copyright

Fred Cisin cisin at
Fri Aug 21 18:34:32 CDT 2015

On Fri, 21 Aug 2015, Geoff Oltmans wrote:
> The way I've heard the story before, was that Kildall was surprised when 
> he finally saw the price sheet for the pricing of CP/M-86 vs PC-DOS. I

I've heard that, but it was from people who did not think that the 
original contact with IBM was mishandled.

> guess we can either interpret that as he priced it too high and had no 
> idea what MS were charging for PC-DOS, or that IBM deliberately priced 
> them out of the market.

It could have been either.  I tend towards thinking that it was DRI's 
mistake.   I do not have the business experience nor acumen to have any 
idea how much lead time there was on pricing, nor how long a price change 
would take.

When the PC came out (August 1981), I got MS-DOS, is was the only thing 
available.  I assumed that once it was available that CP/M-86 would become
the standard.  When it came out, at a high price, I STILL thought that it 
would become the standard eventually, but stayed with MS-DOS waiting for 
that.  I really don't think that I was alone in that thinking.  But, the 
long delay, "waiting for CP/M-86 to become the standard", was long enough 
for MS-DOS to become solidly entrenched, and in the early versions, there 
was no obvious advantage to justify switching.  When CP/M-86 came down in 
price, it was too late.  (and maybe it should have come down ALL the way 
to MS-DOS price ($60? V $40 was the later price))

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