OK, all of you fellow Old Farts who understand the title skip the next three paragraphs. For you newbs, here's some back story:
Once upon a time, there was this box called an IBM PC AT, which featured a kickin' 80286 processor, a substantial upgrade to the 8088 in the original PC. The two machines shared a common bus architecture, which allowed the use of plug-in cards to expand functionality. Back then you needed an expansion to do just about anything, including run the display. Trouble was, IBM had openly published the specs for that bus, as well as the rest of the original PC, and a lot of 3rd parties had started punching out expansion cards to compete with mother IBM. Even worse, there were 'cloners' who were copying the entire machine, and selling against Big Blue. This was not Good For Business and something needed to change.
When the 80286 generation rolled over to 80386, IBM tried to make that change. They ripped the standard PC bus out of the design, and substituted something called the Micro Channel Architecture (MCA), which was of course proprietary and patented by IBM. That would be the end of the license-free 3rd party add-ons, and of truly 'IBM compatible' PC clones.
In spite of some claimed architectural benefits of the MCA, the business intent was abundantly clear to both vendors and customers, and the market rejected it. The 'cloners' built 80386 boxes around the PC bus architecture that ran the PC-DOS of the day without modification. IBM's MCA based PCs entered the market late and ran a poor second to the cloners' machines. IBM was eventually forced to withdraw MCA from the market. Big Blue suffered an enormous erosion of PC market share and permanently lost strategic control of the PC platform to Microsoft, which happily supplied software to the cloners.
I'm not suggesting there is a complete parallel to Microsoft's situation with Vista, but there are a lot of similarities: A product introduced for strategic advantage at least as much as customer benefit. A workable alternative from the same vendor that remains in the market and still has wide support. Platform level competitors emerging as an alternative solution. Let me count the ways: