[lug] Software patents

Lori Reed lorireed at lightning-rose.com
Sun May 31 14:00:11 MDT 2009

Rob Nagler wrote:

> I'm sure some old-timers on this list will remember
> getting printouts of the entire BIOS in every MSDOS manual.

Just to pick at a nit, BIOSs were, and still are, hardware vendor 
specific. It was a well defined software interface to the BIOS that 
allowed MS-DOS, CPM-86, and other O/S's to run (or at least boot) on 
generic PC platforms.

IBM never bothered to copyright the PC BIOS interface because they 
thought that even if clone vendors were to pop up, IBM would still be 
able to beat them price by virtue of their own economy of scale. What 
IBM didn't foresee, was the advent of low cost chip sets that became 
fundamental in driving down the cost of PCs.


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