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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Member since:

you act like this is a BAD thing, at least they do offer new licenses and support. do you HONESTLY think that if IBM couldn't hack it that eComstation could compete with MSFT? Do you have ANY idea how many new pieces of hardware are released monthly? Linux has dozens of corps contributing and there is still a decent lag between when new hardware is released and when it has GOOD support, not some buggy beta.

Finally don't forget that nearly 30% of OS/2 belongs to MSFT. it has pretty much the entire Win16 subsystem built into it which means that while IBM can license it out to anybody they want they can NOT Open Source the code, its not theirs. I remember reading back in the day that figuring up the amount of time and money required to go through OS/2 line by line and remove or replace any infringing code would have cost tens of millions of dollars. Honestly? OS/2 isn't worth that kind of expenditure.

So at least eComstation allows those institutions that need to keep OS/2 running to buy new licenses and they do add generic drivers here and there. but expecting them to actually try to compete with Apple and MSFT? that's madness.

Reply Parent Score: 3

CapEnt Member since:

You are overlooking the fact that IBM deliberately killed OS/2, when they choose to shift focus to Linux.

If IBM really wanted to keep OS/2 alive, i'm pretty sure that there was companies large enough interested in that great product back in the day. But keeping a competitor alive (even if originally developed by yourself) against a new product line is bad for business, so they choose to simple let OS/2 fade away.

It was not about competing against MSFT and Apple for PC market, but to keep the niches that OS/2 dominated expanding.

But the new strategy of IBM was quite flawless, and i cannot argue against it: get a new flagship OS (Linux), with a vibrant developer community, offset some development cost to the community that also profit from these shared work, replace all niches that OS/2 once filed by Linux, and get access to all niches that Linux himself excels.

Thus, what really killed OS/2 was not Windows, but Linux. IBM never saw OS/2 as a Windows replacement in the last years of OS/2 as their product, but as a niche market workstation OS.

IBM do not wanted to just leave the niche markets that OS/2 had to another company. Anybody know pretty well that for IBM there is no such thing as "too small market". They wanted all niches of OS/2, the niches of other mainframe/workstation OS and several new niches, all consolidated around a single OS for support cost reasons. The elected OS for this task was Linux.

Now the OS/2 is near his total dead. =(
And i don't regret it because i love Linux. =D

Reply Parent Score: 3

tylerdurden Member since:

No, OS/2 was a desktop OS, and IBM has not pushed Linux on that space, at all. What killed OS/2 is that IBM saw the writing on the wall and reformed itself into a services company during the early/mid 90s.

IBM mainly produces technology that can lead to either service contracts or vertically integrated products. OS/2's value proposition over windows was minimal when it came to either consideration, so it was killed.

Reply Parent Score: 3