Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 20th Apr 2010 16:55 UTC, submitted by sjvn
OS/2 and eComStation Now this is one for the rumour pile. Yes, a rumour about a long-gone (mostly) operating system that lots of people have fond memories of. Barbara Darrow, Senior News Director at, claims that IBM is mulling over a reintroduction of OS/2. Wait, what?
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IBM failed spectacularly before, so it doesn't mean they will work this time.

I remember when Microsoft was first getting hauled before the DOJ and commentators speculated that OS/2 could be the alternative that could be pitched as a competitor to Windows. 10 years ago OS/2 4 and Windows were at a similar level and thus the opportunity at that time existed for such a 'rebirth' taking place. I simply don't see it happening today because the gap between Windows and OS/2 is so big that any investment made to get it up to feature parity with Windows would never have a business case to justify it.

As much as I think people want to find a holy grail alternative to Windows the problem is that Windows 7 right now, for all its faults, is good enough technology. It isn't the bleeding edge, it isn't the most radical or bleeding edge but for the vast majority of people it works - they flick their computer on, load up what they need, do what they need to do - end of story. For those of us here who eat, sleep and drink operating system news we tend to live in a very closed system when compared to the realities that the average user faces each day - with the operating system being a minuscule component of that.

Is there was ever an opportunity to unseat Microsoft it was 10 years ago but now it is pretty much a process of nibbling away at the edges by minor players of giving Microsoft a good hammering in markets they have ignored or grossly lacked resources allocated in a particular area such as Windows on mobile devices as one example.

As for the desktop, one could almost argue that operating systems these days are a natural monopoly if you're going to attempt to target mainstream users already running windows. The only successful model so far has been the operating system and hardware bundling which Apple do which negates the necessity of having to dedicate large amounts of resources to testing and supporting millions of different hardware combinations versus a limited hardware set. If Linux or *BSD Desktop (of some variant) were ever to take off, it would be on a hardware vendor doing exactly what Apple has done rather than a stand alone software vendor pushing out copies of an operating system.

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