Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 9th Mar 2010 23:38 UTC, submitted by poundsmack
Windows "Few people understand Microsoft better than Tandy Trower, who worked at the company from 1981-2009. Trower was the product manager who ultimately shipped Windows 1.0, an endeavor that some advised him was a path toward a ruined career. Four product managers had already tried and failed to ship Windows before him, and he initially thought that he was being assigned an impossible task. In this follow-up to yesterday's story on the future of Windows, Trower recounts the inside story of his experience in transforming Windows from vaporware into a product that has left an unmistakable imprint on the world, 25 years after it was first released."
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RE[4]: imprint indeed
by demetrioussharpe on Thu 11th Mar 2010 00:36 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: imprint indeed"
demetrioussharpe
Member since:
2009-01-09

"Microsoft is just now catching up with where OS/2 was technologically in the 90's. Imagine if all the work that went into Win 3.1, Win9x and ME had instead gone into improving OS/2. It makes me sad.


Not saying there is no truth in that, but saying MS is "just now" catching up is quite a bit over the top. I used OS/2 from version 2 all the way to Warp, and used it exclusively. It was _far_ more advanced that Windows 1/2/3/3.1 - but that isn't really saying much at all (I don't really consider those Operating Systems, they are basically DOS shells with a rudimentary API)...

It would even say that from a purely technical perspective OS/2 2.0 was more advanced than any version of windows in the 95/98/ME series - but that technical advantage was never put to good use imo. The fact of the matter is that most of the native applications for OS/2 were mostly inferior to their Windows counterparts in both usability and stability, and there simply were not enough of them. I would say most if not all OS/2 users were using it to run Windows 3.1 applications - it did that VERY well - but so did Windows...

But to get back to the point - Windows NT 3.5.1 may not have been pretty and it may have been a memory hog compared to OS/2... But it was certainly technically superior in almost every way. Microsoft basically caught up with that release from a technical perspective - it just took them until until 2000/XP to actually complete the transition, mostly due to their own self created problems unifying the userspace/driver side of the equation with their Windows 95/98/ME releases (which while technically inferior were effective at introducing app developers to the Win32 API and getting them up to speed before the real transition to the NT codebase).

I remember OS/2 quite fondly, but still it had warts and LOTS of them. It was far from perfect. And from a purely technical standpoint NT was simply a much better design for the future - most of the perceived advantage of OS/2 at the time was simply due to its much lower memory usage - which was mostly due to the large portions of heavily optimized assembly code strewn all over the place. Over the long haul that advantage meant nothing - eventually the hardware caught up. And OS/2 was forever tied to x86 because of its tight coupling with Intel's chips (yes I know there was a PPC version - but it was never completed. Maybe it corrected alot of the earlier mistakes, no way to know really..)

I sometimes think Dave Cutler does not get the credit he deserves. There are many things MS has screwed up royally over the years - but the fundamental design of the NT kernel is not one of them. Consider the fact that it is STILL being used 17 years later virtually unchanged from an architectural perspective. Sure is has been refined over the years, but the fundamentals have changed very little. There is no way OS/2 would have been competitive over all these years had it not undergone radical redesign from the ground up...
"

You fail to remember one key point. The OS that became Win NT was originally developed as OS/2 NT. The change happened during development after Win 3.0 began to take off. Had it stayed as OS/2 NT, then it probably would've still had the same features or even been a bit more advanced.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: imprint indeed
by galvanash on Thu 11th Mar 2010 02:09 in reply to "RE[4]: imprint indeed"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

You fail to remember one key point. The OS that became Win NT was originally developed as OS/2 NT. The change happened during development after Win 3.0 began to take off. Had it stayed as OS/2 NT, then it probably would've still had the same features or even been a bit more advanced.


The only thing that really changed was the addition of the Win32 subsystem and its promotion to "primary" API status over the OS/2 API. The parts of NT I speak of when I claim it was technically superior are neither of those - it is the kernel, executive, and all the bits that go together to implement them. Those bits have virtually no resemblance in any way to either OS/2 or any MS code that came before them.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: imprint indeed
by demetrioussharpe on Thu 11th Mar 2010 02:22 in reply to "RE[5]: imprint indeed"
demetrioussharpe Member since:
2009-01-09

"You fail to remember one key point. The OS that became Win NT was originally developed as OS/2 NT. The change happened during development after Win 3.0 began to take off. Had it stayed as OS/2 NT, then it probably would've still had the same features or even been a bit more advanced.


The only thing that really changed was the addition of the Win32 subsystem and its promotion to "primary" API status over the OS/2 API. The parts of NT I speak of when I claim it was technically superior are neither of those - it is the kernel, executive, and all the bits that go together to implement them. Those bits have virtually no resemblance in any way to either OS/2 or any MS code that came before them.
"

True enough, however, if things would've continued down that path, that would've been OS/2 & the OS/2 that we know of currently (from after the MS/IBM split) would not even exist. That architecture would be OS/2's current architecture.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: imprint indeed
by tylerdurden on Thu 11th Mar 2010 03:40 in reply to "RE[4]: imprint indeed"
tylerdurden Member since:
2009-03-17

No, there was never an OS/2 NT. Or at least nothing that was further from vaporware.

NT and OS/2 are mostly unrelated codebases. In fact, OS/2 from a technical stand point was not that impressive of a design. And had some craptastic bad design decision, as exposed by the fantastically hard time IBM had porting OS/2 to PPC (the hacks that were required ended up being legendary).

As bad as MS have been in slowing the advancement of the technology in the desktop and personal computing spaces. Pretending that if IBM had had their way would have been any different, it is fairly dishonest.

After all IBM was the company which until recently still expected customers to pay twice as much for half the performance.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[6]: imprint indeed
by demetrioussharpe on Thu 11th Mar 2010 15:37 in reply to "RE[5]: imprint indeed"
demetrioussharpe Member since:
2009-01-09

No, there was never an OS/2 NT. Or at least nothing that was further from vaporware.

NT and OS/2 are mostly unrelated codebases. In fact, OS/2 from a technical stand point was not that impressive of a design. And had some craptastic bad design decision, as exposed by the fantastically hard time IBM had porting OS/2 to PPC (the hacks that were required ended up being legendary).

As bad as MS have been in slowing the advancement of the technology in the desktop and personal computing spaces. Pretending that if IBM had had their way would have been any different, it is fairly dishonest.

After all IBM was the company which until recently still expected customers to pay twice as much for half the performance.



You are incorrect. When NT began development, it was billed as the next version of OS/2. It's development name is OS/2 NT. It wasn't rebadge as Windows NT until much later in development, but before release. This was during the time that Windows started gaining popularity (I think it was around Windows 3.0). This is also why MS & IBM parted ways. After the MS/IBM split, IBM took their original portion of the codebase & MS took the NT codebase that had be refitted with Window's personality. Most people don't even realize that NT is actually a completely different OS that just ACTS like Windows. This feature is how they originally planned to take OS/2 to the next level.

You need to brush up on your IT history. Before you try to correct someone, get your facts straight.

Reply Parent Score: 1