DOS and Windows, according to Robert Cringely.
I see an Apple business strategy that combines OS X and Vista. Nearly all of Apple’s own applications, like iLife and iWork, will still be OS X-only, as will be thousands of native OS X apps, so there will be many opportunities to lure Vista users into the light.
Given Microsoft’s difficulties with data security and its long history of troubled OS introductions, there is the very real possibility that the Apple version of Vista will be by far the most stable. For awhile it might be the ONLY stable version. So Apple could, in a way, be Microsoft’s savior.
But even saving Microsoft from itself has to undermine Redmond, because it brings back the old Windows software model. As one grizzled veteran of the PC wars recalled:
“One of the good things about the earlier versions of Windows was DOS. While DOS was most definitely a limited operating system, that was part of its strength. Since there wasn’t much there, there wasn’t much to break and it was easy to fix. As the world moved to Windows, DOS was still there. It was just hidden. When Windows was messed up, you could always drop into DOS and fix Windows. Over time Microsoft created the registry and a new file system, neither of which could be fixed from DOS. DOS was the ‘trusted’ operating system that we could fall back on to fix problems.”