Enterprise Software

OS/2 is Dead. Again. Really. We mean it this time.

It's been a long time since OS/2 has been in the news. This morning I noticed an article on News.com stating that IBM has finally decided to stop selling OS/2. So yet again, when OS/2 makes the news it's yet another declaration of its death.


When I worked at the Jefferson County Police Department, I became a big

fan of OS/2 3.0. We had deployed it on our computer aided dispatching

workstations because it was the only multitasking operating system that

worked on desktops and could still run all of the applications we

needed to run without crashing every 15 minutes.


IBM billed OS/2 3.0 and 4.0 as being a "Better DOS than DOS and a

better Windows than Windows". It certainly beat the daylights

technically out of Windows 3.1 which was its initial main competitor.

Warp, the moniker for OS/2 4.0, was even better than Windows 95, and

arguably Windows 98. Microsoft kept making Windows better and by the

time Windows 2000

Professional shipped, OS/2's technical advantages were mostly

overshadowed.


The problem was IBM couldn't market OS/2 to save its life and never

could overcome Microsoft's license arrangements with hardware vendors.

As such, OS/2 whithered on the vine. IBM tried to save it several

times, but to no avail. And most of the time when you saw OS/2

mentioned in the news, it was in some reference to OS/2's Death being

imminent.


It's a shame. I still run Warp on a computer at home. It still works

really well. Like the TRS-80 I mentioned in the last blog post, it's

resistant to spyware and viruses.  Sadly now, it looks like it's

equally obsolete.  

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