posted by Eugenia Loli on Tue 4th Dec 2001 17:47 UTC

"eCS 1.0 Conclusion"
eComStation OS/2 1.0 is the killer operating system for 1995. OS/2 feels like Windows 95/98/ME done right, it is comparable and even better than Windows NT 4. I cannot compare it to Windows 2k/XP because it would not have been fair to do so (the last major changes under the hood of OS/2 were done years ago). Today rivals have surpassed the OS in most areas, and features once found only on OS/2 now can be found on systems such as BeOS, Linux, and Windows XP.

Chess game, Multimedia applications, X11 server folder I believe that OS/2 still has a place on specialized workstations, running special purpose applications where stability & extreme speed on every level is important. Today many bank ATMs run OS/2 and the OS is also used by major corporations for mission-critical applications. I can also see small company offices running OS/2 where good networking is important. Of course most companies also need Microsoft Office compatibility.

With a price of $299 for the normal version and $399 for the version that supports SMP (please do not forget that eCS OS/2 is a business level OS, not a consumer level one), most companies will most certainly choose either Windows XP, MacOS X, or possibly Linux with a copy of StarOffice in it. OS/2 can be useful as a small server. It can run very fast on an old Pentium machine with only 64 MB of RAM and its full GUI configuration for Network related matters can have an edge over regular Unix.

It is good to see OS/2 being able to run applications in Java, Win16 and Win32, DOS, Linux and more, but what about the OS/2 itself? Its GUI is aged, hardware support has been kept a bit back, multimedia needs more attention, the installation is far from ideal, the OS management needs a way to get away from the config.sys and the micromanagement of configuration files etc. I want to see development tools coming with the distribution, I want to have Pentium-only instructions and also optimizations for MMX, SSE and SSE2 that can make the OS even faster than what it is today.

OS/2 has the important things already: stability, good internal design, speed, application base. Now, it just needs some good polishing.

Installation: 6/10
Hardware Support: 8/10
Ease of use: 8/10
Features: 8/10
Speed: 9/10 (UI responsiveness, latency, throughput)

Overall: 7.8 / 10

Table of contents
  1. "History"
  2. "Installation"
  3. "User Interface"
  4. "The guts"
  5. "eCS 1.0 Conclusion"
  6. "The Future & eCS 1.10"
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