According to an old Ex-Intel employee, the primary architect of Windows NT thought that the x86 wouldn’t be around very long:
Given your interest in VMS you might find this amusing. In the early 1990’s we visited Microsoft to try to ensure that their new OS “Windows NT” would be available on IA32. We met with Dave Cutler, and he was adamant that IA32 was doomed and would we please get lost so he could target Alpha and then whatever 64-bit architecture was certain to replace IA32 by Intel. It was not a polite disagreement; that guy HATED IA32 and wasn’t reluctant to transfer his displeasure to IA32’s representatives (us). What an ugly business meeting. Smart guy, though.
Dave Cutler is the guy who wrote a real-time OS for the PDP series at DEC. He was later selected to design VMS for the new VAX architecture. Later on he made this other little OS (with his hand picked team, of course) called Windows NT.
More trivia, it wasn’t until last year that I knew that Windows NT or WNT is equal to VMS with each letter incremented by 1 🙂 (Shout out to the Joseph Smarr for that one) It is funny because I had always heard that the core of NT had tremendous DEC influence and design similarities, I just never made that connection.
Why all this… more on that in the next post.