> Back in the mists of time computer makers provided their own OS. It was an additional cost for them and an additional cost for customers who had to maintain the required expertise for each platform they had in the business. Commodity OSs solved that. CP/M in particular allowed a lot of startups to offer H/W.
Those computer makers OS were generally very simple boot loaders and/or language based systems (such as ROM BASIC). There was very little 'expertise' required and very few businesses had more than one 'platform'.
Before CP/M there were several other OSes that were available to HW makers: notably Unix from various software houses. The notable thing about CP/M was that it was a microprocessor based OS that had a proper Disk Operating System. There were many clones of CP/M, such as Turbo-DOS. MS-DOS 1.x was a CP/M clone for 8086/8088.
> Maybe the H/W manufacturers need to look at setting up a consortium to deliver OSs for both PCs and phones that they can shape to what they perceive to be the market's needs.
Maemo, Moblin, Meego, Tizen, ... Been there, done that, still got the T-shirt.