When computers were first offered for sale, manufacturers knew that they would have to provide technical support for the unwieldy, unknown, and unfriendly machines. They usually leased them, maintaining responsibility for them, and provided basic software and training to start users off. By the late 1960s this system was collapsing. A steady flow of computer gifts to universities had trained a generation of computer scientists ready to advance the field on their own, and they were often willing to work for less than the manufacturer's support cost. Companies found themselves breaking their costs into smaller chunks,offering more specific services to customers, and competing more heavily in a wider range of fields.

Today bundling survives, but in a more limited form. Most computers today come with an operating system, whether MS-DOS or the Macintosh OS or UNIX, and these standards compete fiercely. Computers designed especially for beginning users often come with software as well, simple tools that get the job done without providing the power to compete with other software applications on the market.

This file created with Hypertype 2.2 by Simon St.Laurent