Adoptions and orphans in the early microcomputer market

Neil Gandal, Shane Greenstein, David Salant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper we examine the development of the microcomputer market in the early 1980s. CP/M, a widely-adopted operating system, was orphaned by the user and the development communities. A new operating system, DOS, and a new hardware platform, the IBM PC, became the predominant industry standard. We examine the statistical relationship between data that reflects hardware and software sales for the competing platforms. We conclude that the economic processes underlying the development of DOS differed from those underlying CP/M and that many of these differences related to the role of software development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-105
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Industrial Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999


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