[TUHS] Dave Cutler recollection about Xenix

John Cowan cowan at ccil.org
Sat Oct 21 12:27:59 AEST 2023

On Fri, Oct 20, 2023 at 8:37 PM segaloco via TUHS <tuhs at tuhs.org> wrote:

 I wonder to what degree that sort of paradigm shift lead to what we see
> today with "app stores" and cheap little apps being peddled a dime a
> dozen.  Must be a viable enough business model if people keep doing it, but
> it makes me die inside.

Book publishers made similar complaints about the mass-market paperback
when Robert de Graaf introduced them to the U.S. market in 1939, just in
time for World War II.  They cost about an eighth of the price of the same
book in hard covers and they sold like crazy — 1.5 million in the first
year alone.  Yes, the quality was crap (those early paperbacks are
collectibles now because most of them have fallen apart), but the words
sold books to a huge untapped market who would never have bought a book

Bought any hardbacks lately?

Was it not wanting to have any licensing questions by avoiding anything
> that smelled like Xenix at all?  Or was the consumer base at the time that
> invested in the MSDOS environment that handing them a Bourne shell with
> some ubiquitous UNIX tools would've just been unworkable?

I think both of those are pretty likely explanations.  Another possibility
is that the idea was just out of the box for them.  DOS was for one market
and Xenix was for another.
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