hardware freedom was what made MS
In my view, Microsoft's view toward hardware is what defined the company. Gates and Allen started out building BASIC for any OEM that wanted it, at a time when almost all software was built for a specific piece of hardware. The idea of an OS layer that you could program against, to run on any hardware was still a dream, so the idea of a software-only business was itself radical. In the Windows 3 time frame, MS knocked itself out to build drivers for everything under the sun, giving users an extraordinary freedom to choose hardware, and giving hardware vendors access to a huge market of buyers of all kinds of software. Before that, individual programs had to support hardware, like WordPerfect had its own printer drivers. Microsoft really changed the world of computing and made the PC a commodity, driving down prices to where everyone could afford it. Something to keep in mind.
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