-- (deprecated) Microsoft Windows OS (XP/NT/Vista)
---- Microsoft innovations
kaled - 3:35 pm on Oct 15, 2008 (gmt 0)
A lot of people underestimate just how hard it is to maintain backwards
It is relatively easy - all you do is implement the API calls of the old OS using the API calls of the new OS. Running 16bit apps in a 32bit OS complicates the issue somewhat, but Intel did the hard work on that. As for other CPUS, the 68000 and the ARM were 32bit from their inception so there would never have been any such difficulties (ARM was 32/26bit).
Be honest, can you think of one, just one, genuinely useful innovation that can be attributed to Microsoft? Animated paper-clips and puppies don't count!
It is, perhaps, also worth pointing out that if IBM had given away OS/2 version 3 (WARP) they would have killed off Microsoft - it could run Windows 3.1 software in a 32bit OS and was released nearly a year before Windows 95.