Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 25th Nov 2013 17:32 UTC, submitted by toralux
OS/2 and eComStation

It was now 1984, and IBM had a different problem: DOS was pretty much still a quick and dirty hack. The only real new thing that had been added to it was directory support so that files could be organized a bit better on the IBM PC/AT’s new hard disk. And thanks to the deal that IBM signed in 1980, the cloners could get the exact same copy of DOS and run exactly the same software. IBM needed to design a brand new operating system to differentiate the company from the clones. Committees were formed and meetings were held, and the new operating system was graced with a name: OS/2.

Fantastic article at Ars Technica about the rise and demise of IBM's OS/2. OS/2 is one of those big 'what-ifs' of the technology world, along the lines of 'what if Apple had purchased Be instead of NEXT' or 'what if Nokia had opted for Android' (sorry). Our technology world could've been a lot different had OS/2 won over Windows 3.x/95.

I reviewed OS/2 as it exists today (eComStation) six years ago.

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RE[2]: Comment by Fergy
by tylerdurden on Tue 26th Nov 2013 07:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Fergy"
tylerdurden
Member since:
2009-03-17

Do you have any actual source for the claim that Microsoft was pushing windows for $15 a pop?

In any case, the main problem of OS/2 wasn't cost. That OS was DOA because it never had any defined value proposition against the systems it was supposed to supersede or compete against. Not only that, but OS/2 initially was not a good design or product really.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by Fergy
by bassbeast on Wed 27th Nov 2013 23:30 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Fergy"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Yes I do Tyler, its the MSFT DOJ court case. Feel free to look it up but one of the charges they were convicted of is tying their discount prices to whether or not you sold any other OSes on your systems, as well as tying license costs to how many units you sold NOT how many units sold with Windows. These two factors made it virtually impossible to sell a PC with anything else without taking a hell of a hit to the bottom line.

And I'm sorry but you are wrong, I was in PC sales even back then and there was a LOT of value in OS/2 as frankly before Win98SE Windows was buggy as hell. Even Gates himself was famously bitten by the BSOD during a presentation when he plugged in a USB printer only to have the system crash in front of everyone. OS/2 was insanely stable compared to Windows pre XP, folks take a stable running Windows for granted now but back then? Daily BSODs were the norm.

Reply Parent Score: 2