Skip to comments.OS/2 turns 25 years old ( anyone remeber this Operating System?)
Posted on 04/03/2012 9:41:31 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
TODAY MARKS the 25th birthday of OS/2, which IBM announced on 2 April, 1987.
Initially intended as a protected mode successor to PC-DOS, OS/2 became the first serious PC operating system rival to Microsoft Windows. For a while, IBM and Microsoft collaborated on it, until Microsoft withdrew its support for various reasons and focused its efforts on Windows NT instead. OS/2 has never fully recovered from Microsoft's abandonment of it, nor has Windows.
However, throughout most of the 1990s, OS/2 was a much more stable, secure and reliable PC operating system than Windows. It was capable of running Windows applications and did so better than Windows. The OS/2 Desktop Shell was a masterpiece of object oriented design and programming that has never been matched by Windows or even the heavyweight Linux desktops Gnome and KDE.
Unfortunately, IBM never really understood the great potential that OS/2 had or gave it the management commitment, software development resources and marketing support to make it the formidable PC desktop competitor to Windows, Mac OS X and Linux that it could have become.
IBM dropped support for OS/2 at the end of 2006, but Serenity Systems International still sells OS/2 under the name Ecomstation. It has had a very interesting and eventful first 25 years. µ
I remember installing and configuring a phone voicemail system on an OS/2 system once back around 1993. That’s about it though, never had enough experience on it to rate it but it was fairly easy enough to navigate around in.
Problem with OS2 Warp IBM sales guys could not sell Ice to a man in Hell. Microsoft Sales guys could sell Ice in the Artic circle.
“... OS/2 was a much more stable, secure and reliable PC operating system than Windows....”
Gates was as much a computer guru as Obama is a constitutional guru.
And both are equally matched crooks.
The real tragedy of the era was VAX/VMS. It was the OS for DEC minicomputers and considered great. However, closed source. So it was eclipsed. DEC, the second largest computer company, withered and was sold to COMPAQ. I’m sure many DEC/VAX’s are still in operation, but DEC management never capitalized.
I wrote my first e-mail on a DEC/VAX in 1981.
I still have a copy that came on about 50 floppy disks.
Well, if you feel nostalgic, you can always run an OS/2 emulator.
I played around with OS/2 warp, but it was lacking for any driver support.
But, hey, it was nearly free (found the book and disks in a second hand store for $1)
I replaced Delta Airline’s OS/2 RPL servers and workstations with Windows NT.
As a young whipper snapper I stayed up late many nights rebuilding IBM OS/2 servers in the bowels of airport server rooms.
Best OS, ever.....and the most poorly marketed.
I used to work for IBM. The reason I think OS/2(half an operating system-old joke) failed was IBM, in their infinite wisdom, made the OS/2 application development suite super expensive to buy. There was about a 3 year window in the late 90’s where they had MS whipped in the market place and blew it totally. The should have made the dev suit totally free ware.
VAX/VMS and later Alpha/VMS was simply awesome. Tons of groundbreaking software like VAXnotes (the precursor to ALL forum software and Runoff (the precursor to HTML).
I worked at DEC from ‘84 to ‘92.
Much the way HP killed off OSF/1 in favor of HP-(S)UX.
A crying shame.
Yeah, I tried using OS/2, and OS/2 Warp, but got tired of no applications (None?, well, hardly any...and very expensive) for it. Had to keep buying Windows programs, and then run them in “emulation mode”, which wasn’t much better than using Windows in the first place.
Also, I wasn’t all that fond of having to partition off a huge chunk of the HD, and use dual booting, because there were some programs that refused to run in emulation mode.
Like Sony Beta-Max, it was MUCH better, but too much an orphan, thanks to rotten marketing & developer support...even Apple had more native aps & software than IBM could provide for OS/2.
That must have been fun ! /s
OS/2 was a true multitasking OS, vastly superior to Windows 3.1, which had no process protection. OS/2 had a Windows 3.1 compatibility mode that was more stable and reliable.
What killed OS/2 was IBM’s total indifference to developers and marketers. I wanted to write a device driver for OS/2, but IBM wanted something like $10,000 for the Device Driver Kit (DDK) and another $5K or so for the compiler.
In contrast, Microsoft gave away their Device Driver Kit (DDK) for free with a compiler thrown in. And they gave great marketing support including a hardware compatibility program that granted hardware vendors the right to use the Windows logo and artwork in ad copy to sell Windows compatible hardware.
So all the hardware vendors (including mine) turned their backs on OS/2 and embraced Windows. This despite the fact that by any technical measure OS/2 was the superior platform by far. OS/2 had a 100% compatible Win 3.1 subsystem (IBM cross-licensed their source code with Microsoft). So a device driver written for OS/2 would also support Win 3.1 apps.
If IBM’s management weren’t such idiots we would be running OS/8 today instead of Windows 8.
IBM was a mainframe...MVS sales organization....
Believe me....MVS was gonna be the snaswer to everything.
I got bloodied up because I was trying to support something called VM/370.
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