Tech Center -- WSJ Interactive Edition (

Robert S. Thau (
Thu, 27 Aug 1998 13:14:08 -0400 (EDT)

Dan Kohn writes:
> I had never heard the whole story about the encrypted code in Windows
> 3.1 beta that crashed the machine if it found DR-DOS installed, but this
> article contains the most damning anti-trust information I've yet read
> about MSFT.

Gee, I thought everyone knew about this. Seriously. The Dr. Dobbs
story mentioned by the WSJ was a loudly trumpeted cover story.

BTW, in the Caldera antitrust suit against Microsoft covering this and
other matters, Caldera naturally subpoenaed the source code for
several versions of Windows and DOS. Microsoft fought this subpoena
in court. Now that the judge has ruled that they really have to turn
it over, Microsoft is (according to ZDnet) actually claiming that they
*can't find* several potentially incriminating pieces of source code:,3441,2132052,00.html

One of the pieces of code that they can't find is particularly
interesting: they claim that they have completely lost track of the
source code to QDOS, the Quick and Dirty Operating System which
Microsoft bought from a local hardware shop (Seattle Computer
Products) and reworked, fairly lightly, into the first version of
MS-DOS. QDOS is *widely* believed to have been largely pirated from
CP/M, an ancestral product of Caldera's DR-DOS.

(BTW, the Wendy Rohm "Secret Case against Microsoft" book mentioned in
the ZDnet piece is on my local bookshelves --- anyone looked at it