Linked by Eugenia Loli on Tue 15th Nov 2005 00:39 UTC, submitted by Mikael Elf
OS/2 and eComStation Serenity Systems offers a promotional price for eComStation 1.2 until the last of November. This will include a one year software subscription. The subscription implies also that you can participate in the betaprogram for version 2.0 and includes the version 2.0 GA release after betatesting is done.
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RE: But it cost people like me
by LewisR on Tue 15th Nov 2005 21:02 UTC in reply to "But it cost people like me"
Member since:

<sigh> Generalizations....

"Golly, gee, wow?" This is an operating system, for heaven's sake, not a car stereo.

You want free? There's a free demo CD you can get to see all that you've apparently missed between OS/2 1.0 (you didn't say whcih version) and eComStation 1.2: . The CD is bootable and does indeed boot into eCS (it's not a slideshow). It has some bundled apps, too. It will give you a good feel for the desktop and the responsiveness of the OS on your hardware (and yes, contrary to some of the comments I've seen here, eComStation does indeed install quite easily on NEW hardware).

Did you want free hardware to go with that, too? And, BTW, do you get free rent and free food, as well? Sorry to sound so caustic, but I get so tired of the "I might use it if it were for free" crowd. Do you think that everyone working hard to make this OS as tight as it is eats air, sleeps under the night sky, and walks to work naked? $59?? I spend more than $59 to fill the gas tank in my car, and I do that a couple times per week.

"Stripped down personal version without all the licensed code...". Well, as IBM writes the kernel (yes, that's right, while all the media seem to have latched onto the announcement from IBM that they will no longer be "selling" OS/2 (an exaggeration, by any stretch), the kernel is indeed 100% IBM-produced. And no, it's not a free project at IBM, it's a money-making proposition (how evil of them!!), so no, there is no "stripped down personal version without all the licensed code," no.

Reply Parent Score: 1

rcsteiner Member since:

Linux is often available for free.
The BSDs are available for free.
BeOS was available for free.
QNX was (and is?) available for free.
Even Sun's Solaris is available for free.

OS/2 (aka eCS) is one of the few desktop OSes which does not have a usable free version of some type.

The eCS Live CD might be a step in the right direction if it works out well, and it *is* a free version even if it is functionally limited, but it doesn't come close to what is available from other vendors.

Reply Parent Score: 1

LewisR Member since:

None of the free distributions come with installation support (official, not user-to-user) from the manufacturer. We're comparing apples to oranges, anyway. We need to compare eComStation to Windows, as both are proprietary operating systems.

The only reason people don't "feel" the cost of Windows is that it's diluted in the cost of the bundled system just purchased. In fact, I read recently (The Register? eWeek?) that MS has been sadly disappointed by the lack of upgrade sales of XP on the corporate desktop. When you consider that people received bundled W2K Pro licenses with the last round of hardware they purchased, the thought of paying for an "upgrade" (their word, not mine) to XP became yet another unnecessary cost.

For those companies using whitebox workstations (vs. packaged systems), the OS cost is usually visible (at least it's visibility is under the control of the VAR, or in my case, the consultant). Retail for MS Windows XP Pro w/SP2 (part # E85-02665)(from CompUSA, who I do not consider to be a deep discounter) is $299.99 US (see That, of course, includes no upgrade protection to the next version. Next to that, eComStation 1.2, at $229 US retail, is a bargain. (BTW, Mensys lists XP Pro at $420.40.)

Often, the trade-off for the free OS licensing is the lack of phone or even email support (BTW, try calling Microsoft for a problem with an OEM version of XP on a Dell system; you can't, you have to call Dell, who may have nobody there with the resources or knowhow to resolve an issue). For some (hackers, like me), this makes very little difference. For others, this can be the difference between using the OS and just deleting the downloaded iso and giving up (or hiring a professional like me, at $140 per hour, to resolve the problem).

Hey, if you want to build your own house, knock yourself out; that's great. Most folks, however, don't have the skillset (or the time) to do that, so they need to buy one from someone else. If they pay a fair price for it, and they find a problem after they move in, they can (usually) call the builder to have it fixed - free of charge. That's a good feeling - for most people.

In my line of work, I get weary hearing the same, "can you guarantee that this won't happen again?" question. As my right hand tech says, "if you want a guaranty, buy a toaster." The question comes up more in the spirit of "will I have to pay you to fix this again," than "will I have to deal with the issue a second time." With product support from the manufacturer, my charges are less of an issue.

I can't speak to Sun's policy with regard to Solaris for x86. I know the distro is free, but I would doubt that Sun provides any kind of non-fee-based support for it.

Reply Parent Score: 2

Sparrowhawk Member since:

You miss the point: eCS is not a free OS. It's a business OS. It's run commercially, to make money. Serenity Systems cannot make it free even if they wanted to, as IBM won't let them, and IBM can't make it free either as iirc there is some MS proprietary code in there too (drivers I think, but I forget).

Remember, eCS is not aimed at the OSNews crowd. It's not even aimed at the SOHO market. It is aimed at corporate users who want to keep their investment in OS/2 whilst having access to, for example, an up to date browser, up to date drivers, an up to date office suite (OOo 2 is about to be ported to the platform), etc.

Of course it would be nice to have a free version, but frankly I don't see this happening. Me, I'll be upgrading to 2.0 when this comes out.

Reply Parent Score: 1