Linked by Eugenia Loli on Thu 14th Jul 2005 20:57 UTC, submitted by Kelly
OS/2 and eComStation IBM has hammered the final nails into OS/2's coffin. It said that all sales of OS/2 will end on the 23rd of December this year, and support for the pre-emptive multitasking operating system will end on the 31st December 2006.
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OS/2 Lives On
by Anonymous on Fri 15th Jul 2005 12:05 UTC
Anonymous
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OS/2 may have been withdrawn by IBM, and IBM may no longer be providing updates, by OS/2 is far from dead. For a few years now it has also existed as eComStation, a fortified version of OS/2 with several enhancements, new installer and application suites with it. eComStation is from a company called Serenity Systems, and they have an exclusive agreement with IBM to continue selling and supporting eComStation despite IBM's own withdrawal.

I know what you're thinking - how can eComStation continue without IBM's involvement. Well OS/2 was always a modularly designed OS. Because of this, there are 3rd party versions of crucial device drivers and support services that eComStation already uses by default. These are functionally superior to their IBM equivalents and are usually open-source. For example, the universal SATA/IDE disk driver is no longer from IBM, a new single graphics driver runs over 4,500 graphics cards (supporting 100's of chipsets) with hardware acceleration (see www.scitechsoft.com) and a WPS-addin called eWorkPlace re-invents parts of the WPS shell (www.xworkplace.org). WPS allows 3rd party modules to be written to "slot-in" to replace or enhance the in-built versions. So to add trash cans, different folder views, different templates etc is all very easy. Libraries also exist for unified single network card driver (again one driver runs many cards) see www.os2world.be

Because OS/2 is entirely componentized, it is easy to add open-source or 3rd party versions. The kernel does belong to IBM and there is little chance of writing your own one of those easily ;-)) - but the kernel is stable and flexible. For example, an OS/2 kernel of 1993 (build 6.0xx) can be installed today on a multi-processor system - and with all the third party add-ons - an installation of this ancient kernel with run quite happily and fast today on modern hardware (the latest kernels from IBM are now the 14.xxx builds).

eComStation also includes ODIN (an OS/2 version of the WINE Windows Emulator), JFS (now open-sourced by IBM to Linux) and in-built bullet-proof firewall and IP stack. Mozilla, Firefox and Openoffice are all available too...

Yes, OS/2 may be dead, but it gave birth to eComStation first...

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