Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 2nd Apr 2012 13:51 UTC
OS/2 and eComStation "Co-developed by IBM and Microsoft, it was intended to replace DOS, the aging software that then powered most of the planet's microcomputers. It never did. Instead, Microsoft's Windows reinvigorated DOS, helping to end IBM's control of the PC standard it had created. By the mid-1990s, IBM had given up on OS/2 - a major step in the company's slow-motion retreat from the PC industry, which it completed in 2005 by agreeing to sell its PC division to China's Lenovo. But while OS/2 never truly caught on, it's also never gone away. Even if you believe that you never saw it in action, there's a decent chance that you unwittingly encounter it at least occasionally to this day." The last time I took a look at eComStation was way back in 2007.
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Great OS
by jefro on Mon 2nd Apr 2012 15:49 UTC
jefro
Member since:
2007-04-13

They actually didn't want to replace dos, they wanted a better Windows OS. OS/2 was designed to fix many of the original limits of dos, hence windows. Microsoft's only interest in the venture was to gain access to thousands of IBM patents that they later put into windows products. IBM messed up by trying to sell it only to commercial companies. MS was way less expensive (since they stole it) at something like $30 per Windows 3 versus $200 per OS/2

Edited 2012-04-02 15:50 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Great OS
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Mon 2nd Apr 2012 20:42 in reply to "Great OS"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

What exactly did MS steal for windows?

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Great OS
by galvanash on Tue 3rd Apr 2012 00:15 in reply to "Great OS"
galvanash Member since:
2006-01-25

They actually didn't want to replace dos, they wanted a better Windows OS.


Joint development of OS/2 between Microsoft and IBM begin in August 1985... Windows 1.0 wasn't even released at that time. You can't really start working on a "better" version of a product when the product doesn't exist yet and you have no idea if it would be successful on it's own.

OS/2 was designed to fix many of the original limits of dos, hence windows. Microsoft's only interest in the venture was to gain access to thousands of IBM patents that they later put into windows products.


Only interest? My take on it is Microsoft started out the venture very interested in building what they thought would become the eventual successor to DOS. It unraveled for a multitude of reasons (on both sides).

It was the unexpected success of Windows 3.0, and the difficulty they had with working in IBM's bureaucracy that did the whole thing in, among other things. I don't think that initially it was bad intentions on either party's part, although things definitely broke down and got heated as time went on.

Besides... The eventual winning product for Microsoft was Windows NT. That was Dave Cutler's project. He thought OS/2 was a train wreck and wanted nothing to do with it.

I seriously doubt patents where the original motivation for Microsoft. I don't think the Microsoft of 1985, even for a second, considered taking IBM on head on... The practical purpose of a cross licensing of patents is make sure the parties can't sue each other. You make it sound like it somehow gives Microsoft access to "secrets" or other such nonsense. If it is patented, it is already public knowledge - that is the whole point of a patent... All the development agreement did was allow Microsoft to use patented methods without having to negotiate for licensing separately - something they would have done and IBM would have been open to based on their relationship at the time.

IBM messed up by trying to sell it only to commercial companies. MS was way less expensive (since they stole it) at something like $30 per Windows 3 versus $200 per OS/2


That is simply not true. Windows 3.0 Sold for $149.95 (upgrades from Windows 2.0 were $79.95). That was on top of the price of MS-DOS. Sure, it may have been cheaper to PC manufacturers, but to be honest that was the difference maker, not the price point of the software. Windows came bundled with cheap computers that sold well. OS/2 came bundled with expensive computers that didn't (PS/2).

And... Microsoft stole Windows 3.0 from IBM??? That's just silly...

Edited 2012-04-03 00:17 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[2]: Great OS
by lwriemen on Tue 3rd Apr 2012 12:13 in reply to "RE: Great OS"
lwriemen Member since:
2012-04-03

"IBM messed up by trying to sell it only to commercial companies. MS was way less expensive (since they stole it) at something like $30 per Windows 3 versus $200 per OS/2


That is simply not true. Windows 3.0 Sold for $149.95 (upgrades from Windows 2.0 were $79.95). That was on top of the price of MS-DOS. Sure, it may have been cheaper to PC manufacturers, but to be honest that was the difference maker, not the price point of the software. Windows came bundled with cheap computers that sold well. OS/2 came bundled with expensive computers that didn't (PS/2).
"

If you consider preloads, Windows was ridiculously cheap to the PC seller and free to the consumer. You really have to move to 1995 to appreciate the difference. As Norris testified in the antitrust trial, IBM's strategy to offer OS/2 on some of it's PCs meant they had to pay 4-5x for Windows licenses over what they would have paid for offering only Windows. This was even after Microsoft's per-processor licensing agreement had been deemed illegal by the court.

In order to get OS/2 into enough PCs to get OS/2 into enough consumer's hands to build demand, IBM would have had to subsidize that extra cost, provide OS/2 to the PC sellers for free, and provide free installation support. Instead IBM went for the hope that consumers would choose the better OS.

Reply Parent Score: 3