Old PCsenvironmental hazard 3229
Yes, but that wasn't my point. Certainly, I agree that better backwards compatibility would be nice. I'm trying to explain why we don't have it.
Old PCsenvironmental hazard 3230
John Savard "Can't" or "Won't"? The design and tooling of a 486 hardware and buttociated software are done. The incremental unit cost of manufacturing them in mbutt production should be pretty low. Indeed, while...
At one time, IBM sold 8088, 8086, 80286, and 80386 computers simultaneously in its early PS-2 lineup. The performance spread between a slow Celeron and a fast dual-core Xeon is not quite as sharp. However, it is *now* true that now is once again a bit like then, because not all systems sold are 64-bit yet.
Software companies, partly due to the threat of software piracy, and partly for other, even simpler reasons, focus on those customers who seem to have the most money to spend. People who still find their 386 SX with Windows 3.1 - or their 90 MHz Pentium with Windows 95 - entirely adequate for everything they do probably aren't going to spend a lot of money on new software anyways.
*If*, on the other hand, you could buy a new PC for only *$200* if you were willing to settle for a 486, then there would be an industry supplying software for such machines - they would be still current, still active. If people have just bought them, they wouldn't have replaced them yet. Obviously, there's no point *still making* 486 PCs if you can't make them significantly cheaper than Pentium IV PCs.
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