Linked by Eugenia Loli on Tue 19th Jul 2005 03:36 UTC, submitted by her friend Brad
OS/2 and eComStation In the dawn of the end of IBM's OS/2 Stardock's CEO Brad Wardell pays his respects to the venerable operating system by writing a long article about the history of the OS. Stardock was one of the major third party software houses for OS/2 back in the day and so Brad has lived OS/2 from up close.
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RE: @jeffb
by rcsteiner on Tue 19th Jul 2005 19:24 UTC in reply to "@jeffb"
rcsteiner
Member since:
2005-07-12

OS/2 2.0 and Windows 3.1 were contemporaries (and head to head competitors) for roughly a year, and then OS/2 2.1 closed the API compatability gap until Microsoft started their rather infamous Win32s-of-the-month club (making the Windows API a constantly changing target).

Being able to run "The same applications" as a cheaper solution was no way to sell a more expensive product, and there was no software just for OS/2 that would wow enough of the target audience to justify buying it.

The "upgrade" prices for OS/2 2.0 for any DOS or Windows user were US$99 and US$49 respectively. That's it. Hardly "an engagement ring" in terms of cost, and no more expensive than the typical price for Windows 3.1 at the time.

To me, admittedly a hobbyist who was heavily into BBSes and online message networks like Fido and RIME, it was well worth fifty bucks if only to be able to run two DOS programs reliably at the same time.

As you well know, the serial drivers for DOS programs under Windows totally sucked -- trying to do a 14.4kbps or faster download was a royal pain. However, Telemate or Telix running in a VDM was as smooth as silk, and I could use a filemanager and SLMR in other VDMs at the same time with no impact at all on the way they ran.

Was it worth $50 at the time to upgrade? Heck yes!!

[i]And the applications that did it were Word and Excel under Windows 3.x and the introduction of the "Office Suite" concept... What did OS/2 offer for that 'killer app'?[i]

Those weren't killer apps for hobbyists, and business users can write stuff like that off. For me, the bit that sold OS/2 was the multitasking. (I'd already been sold on GUIs based on my experience with PC/GEOS and the GeoWorks Ensemble suite somewhat earlier).

In time, both StarOffice and Lotus SmartSuite became available and were good compatitors against MS Office, but I don't remember the timeframe. Tools like DeScribe were also around, but Lennane priced it so high that it wasn't all that popular until he released its Voyager Edition much later.

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