When the San Francisco conference ended on July 8, 1992, and the applications writers stopped cheering, Paul Maritz faced a sobering day after. NT was surely the foundation for Microsoft’s next generation of software, but it was still “too big and too slow,” Maritz believed. “It wasn’t usable,” not by typical customers, anyway. PC Week agreed. After evaluating NT on three of its own computers, the computer magazine opined that NT “is a product only a developer [of programs] could love, as no end user would tolerate its current limitations.”
The bugaboos were size and performance. These twin yardsticks of PC software each carried an “overhead” cost. In a certain sense, choosing an operating system was similar to buying a car. Besides ...