I would like to clarify a few points in John Irving's article comparing DOS and Windows (The Lawyer, 4 October). Firstly, Windows is not an operating system as stated in the article. You cannot talk about this either or situation when deciding to go for Windows or DOS. Your choice of operating system is one of DOS, OS/2, Windows NT and perhaps a weird flavour of Unix or even Next etc. Only if you decided to go for DOS do you then decide whether you want to run Windows on top.
"Microsoft recently released its new operating system, Chicago" Not true. To talk about it being released now just because it may be in final testing is like saying the next BMW Model XYZ is also released because the Germans are probably crash testing that now. To give it a more meaningful name, what John Irving is referring to is the next version of Windows.
".. 286 machines on their desks which are technically, incapable of running Windows applications" So how come the 286 was the most popular machine at the time Windows 3 was launched? 386s were too expensive and 486s unheard of. For running single applications like the original Word for Windows and Excel it was fine. Remember Microsoft actually designed it so Windows would run on a 286.
" ...it might be better to delay upgrading and spend a little more on a new and bigger Windows-compatible machine" All IBM PCs after the 286 are Windows compatible. They were designed to be upgraded which was probably the single most important aspect of their success. Of course it is always better to wait. But why buy a new machine when all you need is a new engine?