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Chapter 2. The Design and Architecture o... > The Centrality of Application Softwa...

The Centrality of Application Software

If the demand were only for a serious operating system with most or even all the features described previously, NT (and now Windows 2000) might not have stood a very good chance of becoming the corporate industrial-strength operating system of choice for the PC platform. Corporations heavily invested in PC-based information systems could have adopted some form of UNIX en masse by now—or for that matter, IBM's OS/2 Warp. But the success of an operating system, particularly in a business setting, has more to do with application availability than with any other variable.

Apple was aware of this basic OS truth when it dispersed its Apple evangelists to entice application developers into writing programs for its new brainchild, the Macintosh. Without application availability, the Macintosh never would have taken off. Its predecessor, the Lisa, went over like a lead balloon for just that reason. The demise of the NeXT "cube" is another good case in point. It was a terrific machine, but due to a scarcity of applications, loyal users of PCs and Macintoshes just wouldn't be wooed away. (Of course, its lofty price didn't help any either.)


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