Issue 9 - June 2002
According to Microsoft "90% of the world's computers run on MS operating systems". Is this true? Most of the world's computers are neither mainframes, desktops or portables. They are embedded systems.
An embedded system is one which is integrated into an exisiting piece of hardware such as a video recorder, washing machine or even your car. If you look around your home you will find numerous examples.
These mini computers can be programmed to control and coordinate the functions of your household appliances. That way your clothes are washed at the correct temperature and you can record "Neighbours" while you're at school.
Count the world's desktop PCs and then add up video recorders and vehicles for a start. With between two and five embedded systems per recorder or vehicle, you'll soon see how the figures add up. Maybe Bill Gates is not as good at arithmetic as he thought.
Source: The Guardian (Letters page)
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