Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 25th Nov 2013 17:43 UTC

The Ars Technica article on OS/2 mentions, in passing, Workplace OS, the pie-in-the-sky successor to OS/2 IBM was working on. I found this fantastic journal article written by Brett D. Fleisch and Mark Allan A. Co, which goes into this failed project in great detail.

IBM's Microkernel, named Workplace OS microkernel, was the core components of Workplace OS, a portable successor of OS/2. The basic premise of Workplace OS work was: 1) IBM would adopt and improve the CMU Mach 3.0 microkernel for use on PDAs, the desktop, workstations, and massively parallel machines, and 2) that several operating system personalities would execute on the microkernel platform concurrently. This architecture would allow users to switch between applications written for different operating systems while IBM would also benefit by having one common platform for all product lines. The goals of the microkernel and the technical features of design are described in this paper. We also present lessons that may benefit future projects with similar goals.

Also, I get to use the IBM icon!

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by phoenix on Mon 25th Nov 2013 19:49 UTC
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Wonder if this is the reason that Windows NT supported OS personalities as well. The original goals for NT were similar, with the ability to run DOS, OS/2, Win16, and Win32 apps simultaneously, each in their own interchangable personalities. The NT kernel was also originally very portable, with versions for x86, MIPS, PowerPC, Alpha, and one or two other CPU architectures.

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