I think the 32 MB limit was Microsoft's fault. Didn't they think 32 MB was way more than you'd ever need?
My first real computer (pre IMB PCs) of around 1980 or so could have a big 74 MB hard drive. It was an Ohio Scientific with dual 8" floppies. The hard drive was around $10,000 so was more than I could justify. They were really big dirives. I think they were at least 8" but might have been 14" disks.
One of the two Basic interpreters was written by Microsoft so I fault them for all the troubles that PC's had with the 32 MB limit. They knew bigger hard drives existed.
I read a story years later about Sky and Telescope magazine upgrading their subscription list computers to PCs and smiled when I saw they had been using two Ohio Scientifics with the big hard drives. In different buildings for redundancy. Upgrade was done just in time as they had to tape up the breaker/on off switch for the hard drive to keep it powered up during the final data transfer.