My thought here has always been that Microsoft's rise during the early PC era was basically down to two specific things; first, users with PCs were locked into Microsoft by IBM and Intel and second, the earlier versions of MS-DOS/Windows were incredibly easy to hack. No licence? Who cared! It wasn't as if the system asked for one and it was rare to hear of anyone getting done for it.
Of course there wasn't a viable alternative on the PC and users were being scared off other platforms such as there were despite the fact that more than one of them was superior at the time and, had they been successful in fighting off the deliberate Microsoft FUD, they may have gone on to be a lot better than what we now have. But then, of course, we now have Linux (I'll save the pro/anti-POSIX stuff for elsewhere) and Apple managed to survive the M$FUD - just - where contemporaries failed to hang on, either because sales disappeared or because financial types did them in the you-know-where (I haven't forgotten you, Boland!)
Though finally, I do need to say... Linux is not Min... oh sod it! It was worth it for the laugh!!!