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OS/2 Going, Going... Gone 582

An anonymous submitter writes "IBM has posted a Software Withdrawal notice on their web site announcing that the OS/2 operating system, in all its forms, will cease to be available for purchase from IBM as of March 12, 2003. For users who have purchased the two year OS/2 Software Choice subscriptions, service will continue until December 31, 2004." We posted a pretty good story about the history of OS/2 earlier this year.
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OS/2 Going, Going... Gone

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  • Almost.. (Score:3, Funny)

    by IamTheRealMike ( 537420 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @12:06PM (#4862595)
    from the os/2-is-dying dept.

    Or rather, OS/2 is dead.

    Rest in peace.

  • Why it died (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wiredog ( 43288 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @12:07PM (#4862609) Journal
    OS/2 was an excellent system, technically. Certainly far better than Windows. Trouble was, DOS+Windows was Good Enough and cost about 1/5th as much. IBM, at that time, couldn't market space heaters in Nome Alaska in January.
    • Re:Why it died (Score:2, Insightful)

      by thona ( 556334 )
      Thats avery good statement. Technically OS/2 ricked at it's time. It was DAMNED UGLY, though. And IBM had the most expensive SHIT marketing I have ever seen. They dumped one billion USD in a year for the OS/2 marketing campaign - which was totally crap.

      I was on the german launch presentation for OS/2, and after I went out I called friends and told them to leave their fingers from it. God was I right.
      • Re:Why it died (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dohcvtec ( 461026 )
        They dumped one billion USD in a year for the OS/2 marketing campaign
        One billion dollars? I seriously doubt that. I don't actually have any idea how much they spent on marketing, but I can tell you that it wouldn't even be close to 1 billion.
    • Re:Why it died (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jbolden ( 176878 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @12:14PM (#4862679) Homepage
      It depends when it cost a 1/5th as much. IBM was all over the place on pricing for OS/2. At the start it was a few hundred dollars. Then they had a promotion for OS/2 1.3.1 for $99 which included a free upgrade to 2.0. Lots of people got 2.0 final beta for free.

      2.0, 2.1, 3.0 were all under $89-129 retail sometimes with $89-99 upgrade offers. Then they jacked the price up again.

      As for the marketing it went deeper. IBM couldn't decide what they wanted to do.
    • Re:Why it died (Score:5, Interesting)

      by chefren ( 17219 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @12:21PM (#4862743)
      Excellent as it was, OS/2 was also hopelessly tied to the i386 architecture. Not that it would likely have mattered, M$ dropped their alpha-version of NT and it didn't seem to hit their sales very much (not so sure about alphas sales, though). The problem with OS/2 (I used it for about 2 years) was the lack of productivity and entertainment apps. Actually it was the lack of variety in said types of apps. IBM made a good java implementation, but java didn't take off fast enough on the desktop (some might argue it still hasn't, even though there are some nice java apps available today) so the risk they took by putting their money on java didn't pay off.

      IBM marketed OS/2 Warp 3 very agressively, but it seemed that once Windows 95 was out, they forgot to market OS/2 Warp 4. I think this was one of the reasons it died.
      • OS/2 was also hopelessly tied to the i386 architecture

        Well yes and no. Don't forget that NT was originally supposed to be OS/2 3 and that it was going to gain hardware portability by piggy backing on NT's.
        • Was supposed to yes, but the NT kernel has nothing in common with the OS/2 kernel. This only means NT was portable and OS/2 wasn't, since M$ ran away with their new sexy microkernel shouting "Mine! Mine! My preciousssss..". Of course, they ruined it all later by staring to run all sorts of userland things as kernel threads...does wonders to performance and (ahem) wonders to stability.
      • 386 Architecture (Score:5, Interesting)

        by aron_wallaker ( 93905 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @01:11PM (#4863153)
        Excellent as it was, OS/2 was also hopelessly tied to the i386 architecture

        AMEN! I wrote device drivers (in what seems like a previous life) for OS/2, Windows, etc. and if you let your assembly-level debugger* wander through the OS/2 kernel there was absolutely no doubt that this was hand-coded assembly. It was beautiful assembly code, but I remember one day, in the midst of debugging, realizing "They'll never port this to another chip...ever!" The entire kernel was designed around how the 386 was designed....to the point where we kept Intel chip specs in our library. SWe had a good laugh when they announced they were going to port OS/2 to PPC. :)

        * Yes, in those days we didn't have fancy, schmancy source-level debuggers, at least not for kernel/driver work. WinICE was like crack when it came out - everyone doing DD work HAD to have it.....and now I write Java and I don't even produce real assembly anymore. Oh, the good old days. :)
      • Re:Why it died (Score:4, Informative)

        by Brian Knotts ( 855 ) <bknotts@cascadea ... com minus distro> on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @01:43PM (#4863436)
        OS/2 was also hopelessly tied to the i386 architecture


        IBM developed and released (in a very limited release) a microkernel-based OS/2 Warp (PowerPC Edition) in 1995.

        More information about this is available here:

        Highly Unofficial IBM OS/2 Beta FAQ [os2forum.or.at]

    • Re:Why it died (Score:2, Interesting)

      by jdludlow ( 316515 )
      Apparently DOS+Windows was good enough for their employees too. When I worked at IBM in the late 90's, they were in the process of moving their (non-Unix) desktop systems from OS/2 to Windows. The general reaction was "Hmm, ok. I use Windows at home anyway." It's probably a bad sign when the company doesn't want to use its own product.
    • Re:Why it died (Score:4, Interesting)

      by chrysrobyn ( 106763 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @12:27PM (#4862801)

      OS/2 was an excellent system, technically. Certainly far better than Windows. Trouble was, DOS+Windows was Good Enough and cost about 1/5th as much. IBM, at that time, couldn't market space heaters in Nome Alaska in January.

      OS/2 also was able to alienate many power users because of the install process. It was FAR worse than Debian, and we all know how many people complain about that. I was a very competant OS/2 user (and DOS/ Win3.11 for that matter). When I went to install my CD-ROM drive on a stable OS/2 Warp (that's 3.0 unless otherwise specificed, for you younguns), the OS ended up formatting my hard drive and doing a fresh install -- WITHOUT MY CONSENT! My backups were as good as my temper was short. I took my backups, good all the data I needed, and went to DOS/Win3.11 until I could get NT 3.51.

      The underlying issue is "why"? Why was the install procedure so bad for a company that can do better? Why did they not agressively price the beast? IBMers from the software group that did OS/2 will tell you that IBM set long term internal goals based on selling copies and never revisited them. [information grade=rumor]That meant, they told the engineers, financial guys, salespeople, "Sell X thousand copies this year, Y thousand next year and Z thousand the year after that," and stuck with that statement for all three years. All those goals were met and even exceeded some. What they might have done differently, if they didn't want to revisit the statement, is say, "Capture 10% of the marketplace this year, 20% next year, and 25% the year after that." [/information]

      OS/2's GUI was okay, but the I/O performance to the network and storage was excellent. That's where it really shined. Once you could get it going on all your hardware and never had to touch the drivers, that is.

      • Re: FUD (Score:5, Interesting)

        by benzapp ( 464105 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @12:51PM (#4862972)
        OS/2 also was able to alienate many power users because of the install process. It was FAR worse than Debian, and we all know how many people complain about that. I was a very competant OS/2 user (and DOS/ Win3.11 for that matter). When I went to install my CD-ROM drive on a stable OS/2 Warp (that's 3.0 unless otherwise specificed, for you younguns), the OS ended up formatting my hard drive and doing a fresh install -- WITHOUT MY CONSENT! My backups were as good as my temper was short. I took my backups, good all the data I needed, and went to DOS/Win3.11 until I could get NT 3.51.

        This is complete utter nonsense. By late 1994 early 1995, almost all cdroms were IDE. IDE cdroms did not require special installation, and were recognized by the base IDE device driver that runs your hard drive. Not only that, formatting the boot partition, like in any other operating system, cannot occur. Not only that, but OS/2 never had a bootable cdrom, so you would have had to boot from disk in order to format your boot partition.

        The installation program was very weak when supporting proprietary hardware, but the base install was cake. Remember, because OS/2 supported FAT AND HPFS, the installer would ask you if you want to format it FAT, HPFS, or not at all. To suggest it just formatted your drive is insane.

        I ran OS/2 from 1991 until 1998, even had a 3 note BBS running on an OS/2 box for four years. The installer was cumbersome, but it was ahead of what was in Windows 3.1. Should it have come with more drivers? Yes. Was it bad because it didn't? Of course not. You simply had to use a 80 line config.sys file.
        • To suggest it just formatted your drive is insane.

          I wish you would have told that to my 3.0 installation which merrily formated some of my "extra" partitions for me without bothering to ask. It used that to delete an NT and a lunix installation.

          The real travesty is that I continuined to try and use the OS for about 3 months after that foul up, despite IBM never being able to explain why it happened. Their best suggestion was that my partition table wasn't "standard".
      • Re:Why it died (Score:2, Interesting)

        e OS ended up formatting my hard drive and doing a fresh install -- WITHOUT MY CONSENT!

        You must have had a different version than mine, because it always neatly asked if I wanted to partition. It had an excellent partitioning program: far better than fdisk under DOS.
        Heck, even the famous OS/2 Boot Manager (which ships also with Partition Magic) was completely integrated within the OS/2 fdisk. Even after I stopped using OS/2 (about after 2 years and getting too much Office 95 docs that were unreadble), I still used the installdisks to get my hands on the Boot Manager and be able to dual boot DOS and Win95.

        As far as I recall, the OS/2 owners manual actually explains how to make a dual boot system, complete with images and all.

        For your comparision with Debian: I still haven't managed to install Debian *today*, but OS/2 worked out of the box *back then*

    • If I recall correctly, IBM axed the entire division responsible for OS/2 after the flop. Top brass shown the door, mass lay-off of managers & underlings, and the buildings sold off. (Plus the not-so-subtle "please notice the consequences of failure...think about your own future...if any" to brass & managers in other divisions.)
    • by 1015 ( 239564 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @12:33PM (#4862851)
      A lot of people talk about OS/2 like it was "a good thing" that never used it - or better yet, maybe they liked using it but never once wrote a single line of code for it.

      Now, I am unfortunate enough to still, to - literally - this day write and support programs for OS/2 - AND I HATE IT. If you are too busy to read all of this, please at least check out my personal "*** ALL TIME OS/2 FAVOURITE ***"

      OK, here are some original quotations from the OS/2 programming helpfiles.


      If the handle is a system-pointer handle ... it is possible that another application is also accessing the bit-map handle. If this is so, selecting the bit map into a presentation space may fail. Note: This rule is not enforced by the system; therefore, ensure that the program handles selection failures correctly.

      A procedure must not call DosSetExceptionHandler if it performs language-specific exception or unwind handling. This restriction is not enforced, but unpredictable results could occur if it is violated.

      The operating system does not generally use the information supplied by the hab parameter to its calls; instead, it deduces it from the identity of the thread that is making the call. Thus an OS/2 application is not required to supply any particular value as the hab parameter.

      When the OS/2 operating system starts executing a DLL, it sets the CPU registers to known values, but only for 16-bit DLLs.

      When designing an application which uses DosOpen, keep in mind that other threads within the same process that issue other DOS file system API requests (except DosRead and DosWrite) may be blocked until DosOpen processing is complete. Because of this serialization, a DosOpen call to a relatively slow device may cause other threads within the same process to appear to be hung until DosOpen is complete. To prevent this, a multi-process design can be used instead of a multi-thread design, or you can ensure that the device is ready when the DosOpen is issued to minimize the wait time.

      DBG_C_SStep (Debug Command 9 - Single Step Command) ...
      Usually, the DBG_N_Exception notification is returned, but any notification may be returned. ....
      Only that thread is executed, even if it is single-stepping a kernel function that can potentially cause a deadlock condition. ....
      When a single-step operation is interrupted by an exception, the EIP (instruction pointer) should be moved to the next RING3 instruction. This may be in ring 3 system code. The single-step notification will be issued at this time.
      The DBG_C_SStep command correctly single-steps most instructions.

      When the system allocates the stack for the thread, a guard page is set up to facilitate dynamic stack growth. When a thread attempts to use stack in or "below" the guard page, a guard-page exception is generated. The default system action for this exception is to attempt to grow the stack by committing another page and moving the guard page. Since only a single guard page is committed at a time, and the page size of the 80386 processor is 4KB,a local stack allocation that is greater than 4KB must be handled by a stack probe that is performed by a compiler-generated routine.

      OS/2 Object Module Format Relocation
      If t=1, the target is defined by a target thread whose thread number is given in the 2 bit target field. The target field contains a number between 0 and 3 that refers to a previous thread subrecord containing the target method. The P bit, combined with the 2 low-order bits of the method field in the thread subrecord determines the target method.

      There is a system limit to the number of Window List entries. However, this is a large number (several hundred) and is unlikely to be reached in practice since other system limits, such as memory size, are likely to be reached first.

      Because windows are often created with zero height or width and sized later, it is good practice not to perform any size-related processing if the size of the window is zero.


      The only dialogbox function in the world, where

      * a) you have to set both a "parent window" and a "owner window",
      * b) and if you set the owner window to HWND_OBJECT - something the documentation allows you to do - you get an invisible and uncloseable dialog.


      Don't ever use SSF_SGFG_FORE. If you do, and for some reason OS/2 cannot start the process, you'll get a black screen as foreground, that keeps sitting there for ~10 seconds.


      This call is very efficient if hptrNewPointer is the same as the current (old) pointer.

      *** ALL TIME OS/2 FAVOURITE ***

      From the OS/2 Programming FAQ

      Q: How big should my stacksize be?
      A: It is critical to avoid stack sizes where byte 2 has a value of 2 or 4, e.g.:
      * 0x00020000 (128k)
      * 0x00040000 (256k)
      * 0x33023678
      * 0x11041111
      Otherwise, when executing under OS/2 2.0GA there may be various and always differing runtime error behaviors.
      Jokes from the OS/2 FAQ

      FIXPAK 40 (!!!)

      Q: Why does my Warp Server system not work with a 10GB drive after applying fix pack 42, when fixpack 40 fixes this problem for my Warp version 3 system?
      A: You are correctly assuming that all Warp fix packs are cumulative for fixes. However there has been a change that alters this "rule". Starting with fix pack 41 (and fix pack 11 for Warp version 4), device driver files are no longer included in the Warp base fix pack, and are instead located in a separate device driver fix pack.

      DLLs with long filenames

      Q: After migrating my application from OS/2 Version 2 to Warp, why do my DLL's with long file names no longer load?
      A: For performance considerations, all DLL file names are now stored in memory by 8 character file names whether or not HPFS is installed. This is applicable to Version 3 and Version 4 releases. Attempting to load a DLL with a file name which is greater than 8 characters may result in an exception for the DosLoadModule API. Recompile the source ensuring that all DLL file names are unique and less than or equal to 8 characters with the extension of DLL.


      Q: Is there a way to tell if a message was sent by a thread different from the one processing the message?
      A: Yes. WinInSendMsg will provide that information, but it won't tell you which thread sent the message.

      Migrating from Warp3

      My Presentation Manager application worked fine on OS/2 Warp version 3, but it seems to generate regular traps on version 4. What's wrong?
      A: Are you sure it's really a valid Presentation Manager application? Version 4 is less tolerant of a program that isn't fully compliant with the definition of a Presentation Manager program. In particular, make sure that your PM thread includes a WinInitialize call.
      • A lot of people talk about OS/2 like it was "a good thing" that never used it - or better yet, maybe they liked using it but never once wrote a single line of code for it.

        There probably is a mildly negative correlation between features for users and ease of programming. Apple OS 1-9 always had a reputation as a miserable environment to code for; but in terms of ease of use.... Anyway your examples sound pretty bad; but having coded using the REXX (like applescript for OS/2) at that higher level things were fine.
    • Re:Why it died (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Zathrus ( 232140 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @12:35PM (#4862878) Homepage
      What killed OS/2 was IBM.

      I was the president of the OS/2 SIG and head cheerleader for it back when I was in college. I ran it pretty exclusively for a couple years, and then ran it in dual boot with Linux. Up until 6 months ago one of my drives still had Boot Manager on it.

      Toward the end of my college days I was offered a part time sysadmin position at a large corporation doing OS/2 support. They had one and only one group running OS/2, and needed some help. It was a helluva lot better money than anything else I could get, and it let me do something I liked.

      By the time I graduated I realized just why OS/2 was going to fail, and do so miserably. It was because IBM was behind it.

      I'd known for years that IBM couldn't market its way out of a paper bag. Team OS/2 did a far better job pushing OS/2 in public and getting developers than IBM did. There was a lot of grassroots support, and the magazines would regularly state how great OS/2 was. I'd accepted that IBM couldn't market worth a damn, but hoped that the grassroots efforts would solve this.

      Then I got to admin a small (~10 PCs) network running OS/2 and LAN Manager. I ran into a problem and wanted to install a newer client, which was backwards compatible with the older version of LAN Manager they had (3.0; at the time 4.0 was the latest). I believe the final solution that I figured out (and was confirmed by IBM support after about 2 weeks of calling them daily from a Fortune 100 company) involved installing OS/2 2.1, then Warp, then Warp w/ LAN support. Installing in any other order would cause things to fail badly. This involved swaping about 100 diskettes, since CD-ROMs weren't common at the time. All of this to upgrade the network client.

      I believe my final decision was to give notice and graduate instead of going through that on all of the PCs. And I talked to top level support at IBM, to the other OS/2 gurus on the net, and used my contacts at IBM to get a better solution. There wasn't one. IBM just didn't see this as being a problem.

      Of course, shortly after this Microsoft got their act together and released Win95, which killed OS/2's Windows support dead. Win95 also had some (but not all) of the WPS's niceties, and was a helluva lot more stable than Win 3.x was.

      IBM had a huge window of opportunity to push OS/2 through, but between it's inability to market and support OS/2, it's no wonder it failed.
      • Re:Why it died (Score:5, Insightful)

        by sheldon ( 2322 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @02:44PM (#4864018)
        "IBM had a huge window of opportunity to push OS/2 through, but between it's inability to market and support OS/2, it's no wonder it failed."

        I begun using OS/2 with the release of 2.0 sometime back in 1992 or so. I then was involved in the 2.1 beta as well as the 3.0 beta, and actively tried to use both 2.1 and 3.0 in a real work environment. I struggled with that, as there was a measured 30% speed reduction in the application I was using at the time. This was signifigant as it was a job that would run for several days and 30% meant a lot.

        Then in 1996 I switched jobs and went to work for a Fortune 500 company that had a 5,000 seat OS/2 install. I supported about 500 desktops that were using OS/2.

        Win95 had already been released, and there was clammering for it from our end users. NT4 was released while I was working there, and we begun to see advantages to that. We switched from using OS/2 on our Notes server to NT4 and our stability and speed increased dramatically.

        The further into 1996 that we got, the more sense it made to dump OS/2, and that's what we began doing. I left that company right after the decision was made and the migration had started to occur, but it was the same story at most places where OS/2 had had large installations.

        I don't think people fully appreciate the chance that IBM had with OS/2. People today talk about Linux as being some sort of a competitor to Windows, and I just don't see it. OS/2 HAD INSTALLS! There were several dozen Fortune 500 companies who had standardized on OS/2 for the desktop and were using it also in a server capacity. IF there was a time to provide serious competition to Microsoft, it was then and IBM botched it.

        I would argue that OS/2 failed on several fronts:
        - IBM didn't support it well.
        - WinOS/2 emulation and the poor quality of native OS/2 apps meant companies really just used OS/2 as a fancy Win3.1 install. That meant when it was time to look at migrating off OS/2 it was trivial... no lockin with custom apps.
        - OS/2 development was expensive. (probably played into second point) Our developers required multi-thousand dollar licenses to write apps, and they didn't have the documentation and other support resources available that Microsoft was providing.

        I would also equate part of OS/2's death with Team-OS/2. The Infoworld product of the year ballot stuffing incident in 1996 played largely into it's downfall. The media began to realize that most of the demand for OS/2 was fabricated, and they stopped reporting on it rather than find out what the real level of interest was.
      • One more factoid (Score:5, Interesting)

        by jbolden ( 176878 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @03:38PM (#4864616) Homepage
        Just to give an example of IBMs bad handeling; I worked for Walden Software (mall software chain a few hundred stores nation wide). Walden wanted to stock OS/2 2.0. However IBM wouldn't sell through Ingram or any of the other distributors (since there were IBM authorized dealers...). They would however sell direct but many of the stores were unwilling to buy direct. For those that did it took weeks extra to get the product in stock. This was all going on when OS/2 2.0 was getting lots of coverage in the magazines and potential early adopters would stop in to ask about the product.

        Lets not even talk about the $99 OS/2 1.3.1 deal a year earlier where you needed to know the right 800 number by word of mouth.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...Mr. *BSD is dying. BSD outlived OS/2!
  • Support (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nogoodmonkey ( 614350 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @12:08PM (#4862622)
    It seems that IBM will support the mentioned part numbers until December31,2004. Over 2 years of support on a discontinued product? If only other companies would have the same ideas. ;-)
    • Re:Support (Score:2, Funny)

      by Ponty ( 15710 )
      IBM is fanatical about things like that. Remember, they're not a computer company, they make business machines. If they could, everything from the computers down to the manuals would be made of metal and be identified by nothing more than a five digit number.
  • NT (Score:3, Funny)

    by jedwards ( 135260 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @12:09PM (#4862624) Homepage Journal

    Not dead, OS/2 lives on in Windows NT/2K/XP/.NET
    • Re:NT (Score:2, Interesting)

      They pulled the OS/2 subsystem from XP.
    • Re:NT (Score:5, Interesting)

      by markhb ( 11721 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @12:22PM (#4862754) Journal
      It's not in Windows. NT prior to 2k had a 16-bit OS/2 API module and would run 16-bit OS/2 console programs, and there was actually a 32-bit Presentation Manager for NT available for purchase from Microsoft, but NTOSKRNL was an entirely new development.

      OTOH, what became Windows NT was originally intended to be OS/2 NT, but when OS/2 sold poorly and MS and IBM broke up, MS made Win32 rather than the OS/2 API the default persona for NT and the rest is history.

      Remainder of my .sig: be the majority of voters.
  • by SClitheroe ( 132403 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @12:09PM (#4862625) Homepage
    Check out eComStation (www.ecomstation.com), which is a beefed up OS/2 distribution. You get lots of neat goodies like SMP support, new filesystems, better driver support, X-Windows, and all sorts of other stuff.
  • Oh No!! (Score:2, Funny)

    by LordYUK ( 552359 )
    oh, wait, you said "OS/2" not "PS2"... for a second there I thought I cared...
    • oh, wait, you said "OS/2" not "PS2"... for a second there I thought I cared...

      As a former "PS/2" user (and current "PS2" player :P), you have my condolences ;)
  • Open Source It (Score:5, Insightful)

    by turgid ( 580780 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @12:10PM (#4862641) Journal
    Before you all go posting requests to IBM to open source OS/2, just remember whose code is in there: Microsoft. Remember, it was a joint venture between the two companies. Do you think that Microsoft would allow it to be open sourced? Anyway, it's technologically behind all the free Unixes, so what possibly could one learn from it, other than what was actually possible 10 years (or more) ago on realtively low-specced machines.
    • Re:Open Source It (Score:5, Informative)

      by Zathrus ( 232140 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @12:19PM (#4862725) Homepage
      Well... depends. There's probably a good bit of MS code lurking around in utilities, and certainly most of HPFS is from MS, but the last bit of MS code was excised from the kernel and UI in the Warp (3.0) days.

      As I recall, there was a party thrown down in Boca Raton when the last bit of MS code was removed. Warp was also much more stable than previous versions of the OS.

      I'm sure there are bits and pieces of the OS that could be of use to the open source community, but I think that by and large you're correct about code age.

      The bits that would be of the most use are probably of mixed copyright and thus unreleaseable.
    • I believe IBM's JFS for Linux effort was based on the JFS implementation for OS/2.

      Personally, I think it's too bad that IBM didn't create an OS/2 personality for Linux, more or less the same way that Apple created a MacOS personality for BSD. Not much point in it now, but a few years ago it might have made a big impact.

      I think IBM suffered a huge blow to it's confidence in the 90's when it lost the operating system war to MS, and lost market share to everybody else. It's only been in the last few years that they've felt strong enough to do anything even remotely daring.

    • Re:Open Source It (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Gerry Gleason ( 609985 ) <[gerry] [at] [geraldgleason.com]> on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @12:31PM (#4862838)
      Of course, they should Open Source whatever they can. I would expect that IBM and their lawyers would have done their best to establish and maintain full control over their products, so it is unclear just how much MS would be able to say about what they do with it now. Unless you have access to the contracts which are unlikely to be publicly available.

      This points to the tragedy of the source code to abandoned projects and products ending up in the bit bucket rather than being released for people to study and investigate, if not actually reuse. At least if the code to an open source project goes missing, you can be sure that nobody found it interesting or useful.

  • Bye... (Score:2, Funny)

    by eyeball ( 17206 )
    Fare the well, OS/2. We hardly knew ye.

  • I thought about trying OS/2 out recently, trying to get away from Windoze, but with this news... i doubt it. sorry IBM. sorry.
  • Hmm... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by WetCat ( 558132 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @12:10PM (#4862644)
    OS/2 is heavily used in ATM (bancomates) machines.
    What happens with support for that stuff?
    Switching to Linux?
    • Embedded Windows probably. I'm sure Microsoft wont miss the chance to replace OS/2 with as many copies of their software as possible.
    • That was my first thought. OS/2 is EVERYWHERE. Either they're planning a Linux replacement, or they'll roll out an OS/2 variant under another name for all those ATM and point of purchase appliances.

    • Re:Hmm... (Score:2, Informative)

      by tigress ( 48157 )
      Windows NT. And before you start laughing, I've seen it. It's not very reassuring to walk by a set of ATMs, all of them displaying either an error-message (asking you to click on Ok, or press F1 to make it even better), or even bluescreens.

      A couple of months ago, I was standing in line to deposit money into one of those weird reverse-ATM type machines. The lady in front of me had already deposited 4000SEK (about $400), when the machine bluescreened and ate her money. This was around 7pm, so no one was available to help her.

      I just walked away, happy it wasn't me, and kept the cash on hand instead.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    It really was great for multitasking. And, you could format a floppy disk while you were doing other things! But, seriously, for those of us who could only afford one computer, it let us use it while also allowing the users access. It sure as hell beat DESQView or Windows 3.1.
  • *sob* (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Xpilot ( 117961 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @12:11PM (#4862654) Homepage
    A moment of silence for the Little Operating System That Could Have Been.

    Now it's just another corpse on the bloody trail of the rampaging Alternative PC OS Killer that is Micro$oft.

    Rest in peace, OS/2
  • After it's all said and done in 2004, if they would release it open source, or, better yet, just make it public domain.

  • OS/2 (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @12:12PM (#4862667)
    Eveyone always says OS/2 was great technically, and that it was far better than Windows. Can someone give those who aren't in the know more details about how OS/2 was better than windows?
    • Re:OS/2 (Score:4, Informative)

      by ekrout ( 139379 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @12:32PM (#4862843) Journal
      First, remember when OS/2 came out and compare it to the Windows offering at that point in time.

      Now, the features of OS/2:

      - a flexible object-oriented graphic user interface
      - the ability to multi-task applications and to allow multi-threading within applications
      - support for most DOS and Windows 3.1 software in addition to native OS/2 applications
      - WARP 4 includes in its basic package a voice type dictation facility that not only allows a user to navigate an OS/2 system using voice commands, but also allows dictation of text into documents--truly hands-free computing!
      - WARP 4 includes built-in support for JAVA.
      - OS/2 has included a web browser since version 3, and new browsers continue to be developed
      - The Mozila open source group offers an OS/2 version code named Warpzilla. Warpzilla is very modern, standards compliant, and very usable. Major bugs are addressed in a day or two and milestone builds are released regularly. Warpzilla grows stronger every day.
      - There is an OS/2 version of Adobe Acrobat which can be configured as a helper application with Netscape Navigator.

      This info and more is available at this [phillyos2.org] computer society's Web site.
    • Re:OS/2 (Score:5, Informative)

      by seosamh ( 158550 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @12:35PM (#4862872)
      OS/2 used preemptive multitasking when windows was still using cooperative multitasking.

      OS/2 included things like REXX and a couple useful editors, when Windows included solitaire. (Yeah, OS/2 had a solitaire game, too.)

      OS/2 included the Internet Access Kit (or some such), including the WebExplorer browser, a news reader, a mail reader, etc. when MS still considered the Web a dying fad.

      Later, OS/2 included the IBM Voice recognition software in the box. Windows NT included the BSOD.

      The list goes on and on. Like the previous poster said, search the web. The OS/2 Fido groups on old fashioned bulletine board systems were great technical resources, unlike the AOL polluted usenet of today.

      • ...The genius running IBM at the same time OS/2 was doing well made some pretty stupid remarks about the internet as well.

        Doing well is a relative term, it was doing well as far as I was concerned because I used it :)

        So far, I always seem to like the underdogs. OS/2, Linux, Mac OS X....

    • There was this program which created a cute little cat who would chase your mouse around on your screen's background. That alone put it light years beyond any modern OS.
  • What about ATMs? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by The Iconoclast ( 24795 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @12:12PM (#4862669)
    I recently had the pleasure of having an ATM lock up on me and eat my card. However, I DID get to see the watchdog timer kick in and reboot the sucker.

    It was quite nifty. It was running a 486DX25 with 16 MB of RAM and a 1M video card. For its OS it was running OS/2, as opposed to MS/DOS, which made me feel much safer. One wonders what they will run ATMs on in the future. And NO, I don't really think Linux is ready for that sort of thing. Hrrmmm... mabye QNX?

    • This. [ecomstation.com]
    • Re:What about ATMs? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by drinkypoo ( 153816 )
      I'd say linux is absolutely ready for use on ATMs. It has a small footprint and hardware watchdog timer support, what else do you need really? Let's see, SVGA graphics support, check; Mouse and keyboard support, check; High uptimes, check. Security is a matter to be handled both at the kernel level and the application level, most linux exploits are through applications (including servers and such) and most of those things won't be running.
    • by Chester K ( 145560 )
      For its OS it was running OS/2, as opposed to MS/DOS, which made me feel much safer.

      Why's that? There was nothing insecure about MS-DOS. Contrary to what you read on Slashdot, just because something was made by Microsoft doesn't mean it's crap.
    • Re:What about ATMs? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jbolden ( 176878 )
      And NO, I don't really think Linux is ready for that sort of thing

      You know the joke about an OS is: well I wouldn't use it run a nuclear reactor or anything but its pretty stable....

      Starting in 2006 the control system used in the American nuclear sub fleet will switch over from HPUX to Linux. So Linux will in fact be running a nuclear reactor. :-) I think its ready to handle ATMs.

  • It was still available? I thought it died years ago...shows how much I pay attention.
  • This does make sense, IBM hasn't really marketed OS/2 for quite some time, so it's conceivable that they would discontinue selling and supporting it...

    Sound familiar?

    Microsoft [microsoft.com] has done this too with their previous versions of Windows (Read: Not their money makers)

    Still, it's a shame to see it go...
    • This does make sense, IBM hasn't really marketed OS/2 for quite some time, so it's conceivable that they would discontinue selling and supporting it...

      Yes, everyone knew this was coming. They haven't marketed it because they've been wanting to shelve it for a long time now. However some of their larger accounts still used it and supporting it kept these accounts in the IBM fold. I bet many of these accounts are now hitting their upgrade cycles so the time was right.

      Sound familiar? Microsoft [microsoft.com] has done this too with their previous versions of Windows (Read: Not their money makers)

      First of all, why say "sound familiar" and tag it with a M$ reference? Is dropping a non performing product something unique to M$ or something inherintly evil? Plus, other than Windows for Pen Computing, which other versions of windows have they dropped. You're not referring to things like Windows/286 and Windows for Workgroups are you? Do you expect them to support them forever?
  • by ACK!! ( 10229 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @12:17PM (#4862713) Journal
    My company still uses OS/2 for some functions and they rarely fall down in the way that say NT 4.0 would however NT 2000 seems just as stable it took Windows awhile to reach that point.

    I always thought the interface felt very CDE-like and had some interesting features. It is a shame but pricing+bad marketting did them in. I remember when Warp reached the market place before Win95. People at that time were still more worried about Big-bad Blue than Microsoft.

    I know there was a theater company that used OS/2 for their platform in some ticketing devices. I remember going by the box and thnking how weird that is.

    Where have you seen OS/2 still lingering in IT?

    • Where have you seen OS/2 still lingering in IT?

      Anyplace there is an IBM mainframe. zSeries machines use a PC running OS/2 as a control box.

      Remainder of my .sig: be the majority of voters.
    • I work for state government, and we still use OS/2 is places where connectivity to the 3270 is important. I know some agencies that are still using OS/2 1.x and 2.x as PC3270 gateways. There are days that I see my OS/2 software in storage at home and wish that things had turned out differently. IBM killed the product, especially when they allowed Windoze compatiblity. Who's going to buy a compatible os for twice the money as the os it's compatible with?
  • by karmawarrior ( 311177 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @12:20PM (#4862735) Journal
    The death of OS/2 is sad indeed. I remember in the early nineties OS/2 was being taken seriously as a potential Windows killer. Ironically, one reason was that it came with Windows (3.x, needless to say) and this meant that users had access to a 32 bit platform (Win95 was a while away, and MS wasn't pushing NT) that was stable, while retaining compatability with their existing apps.

    Microsoft's actions to kill OS/2 are well documented and need not be repeated here, except to say that they did a good job making it look like IBM's fault - MS basically told IBM if they distributed it with their own machines or continued to market it (and Lotus Smartsuite which died under similar circumstances) MS would do everything to prevent IBM from having access to Windows 95 in any sane way short of refusing to sell it to them. IBM capitulated, and the rest is history. For more details, the entire story is documented in the Findings of Fact in the Microsoft trial.

    OS/2 follows BeOS, not to mention half a dozen other upstarts, in disappearing. I could say it's another nail in the coffin for choice, but I guess that nail was driven into OS/2's coffin in 1995. Right now the free software community seems to be the only place where choice may stay alive - by keeping platforms open, and by making source available allowing for the possibility of porting almost any open application to any open platform, choice has a chance, and probably the first chance it's had in several years. Vendors like Sun and RedHat have become a part of this (despite the constant protests about Sun, I think they're one of the good guys, NIS, NFS, OpenLook, OpenOffice, and many other innovations and applications have been given to the community over the years, and while Java isn't open source or free, it is source available, and the restrictions - given the 500lb gorilla that stands against Sun - are rational if disappointing.)

    Linux, the BSDs, Atheos, and the upcoming BeOS clones, are only viable though because of this base of software that can either run on them now, or can be made to run on them. That means constant work keeping the base of free and open software relevent.

    Making the alternatives stay sensible and rational will not happen by itself. Resources need to be devoted, and unless people are prepared to actually act, not just talk about it on Slashdot, nothing will ever get done. Apathy is not an option.

    You can help by getting off your rear and writing to your congressman [house.gov] [house.gov] or senator [senate.gov] [senate.gov]. Tell them that choice is important to you, and that it's important that the base of open, free, software available with source is constantly kept up to date, viable, and relevent to today's needs. Tell them that you appreciate the efforts of free and open software producers, but if one day those applications ceased to be updated in line with modern needs, you would be forced to find less secure and intelligent alternatives. Let them know that SMP may make or break whether you can efficiently deploy OpenBSD on your workstations and servers. Explain the concerns you have about freedom, openness, and choice, and how monopolies and a failure to keep the alternatives relevent destroys all three. Let them know that this is an issue that effects YOU directly, that YOU vote, and that your vote will be influenced, indeed dependent, on his or her policy on choices, on relevence, and keeping the free and open software base relevent.

    You CAN make a difference. Don't treat voting as a right, treat it as a duty. Keep informed, keep your political representatives informed on how you feel. And, most importantly of all, vote.

    • Right now the free software community seems to be the only place where choice may stay alive
      [comic book guy] hellOOOO!!!! can i get a little reCOGNTION here?? [/comic book guy]
    • Give it up with the scripted spiel, dude! This is the third time I've seen this, and a glance at your posting history indicates you've posted the same spiel several more times. And that is in the space of two days! I'm sure you mean well, but regurgitating the same comment over and over ain't going to make you Mr Popular...
    • Microsoft's actions to kill OS/2 are well documented and need not be repeated here, except to say that they did a good job making it look like IBM's fault - MS basically told IBM if they distributed it with their own machines or continued to market it (and Lotus Smartsuite which died under similar circumstances) MS would do everything to prevent IBM from having access to Windows 95 in any sane way short of refusing to sell it to them. IBM capitulated, and the rest is history.

      I think you're exaggerating the degree and effect of MS's strong-arm tactics. I was part of the WordPro development team between 96-98 (after the release of W95), and we had active Windows and OS/2 development efforts, with about 30 engineers, 5 or 6 of whom were specifically tasked to the OS/2 version.

      During my time at Lotus, we had two major releases of SmartSuite for Windows, and at least one major release of SmartSuite for OS/2. AFAIK, IBM didn't really retire SmartSuite until at least 2000, when development was moved to Bangelore, India. Even then, I was told that SmartSuite was in "maintenance mode"; i.e., that bug fixing would continue, and updates would be made available.
    • If you read Neal Stephenson's In the Beginning Was the Command Line, he blame's the trials of OS/2 on IBM's unwillingness to embrace the development community.
    • To quote a small section of your well-written post:

      OS/2 follows BeOS, not to mention half a dozen other upstarts, in disappearing.
      Does this mean the start of an OpenOS/2 project, much like OpenBeOS [openbeos.org].
  • Maybe IBM could be nice and open some of the OS/2 source code up to the community? At least the parts where they hold IP rights?

    Maybe enough source could be opened as to create a server product to run under Linux or other Operating Systems? So current OS/2 shops could have an easy migration from OS/2 to another OS?

    Personally, I would love to the WPS running along with my favorite window manager.
  • by Aardvark99 ( 261926 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @12:21PM (#4862741)
    Cool, now the way is paved for OS/3! I'm holding my breath!
  • OS/2 Memories... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by blakespot ( 213991 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @12:30PM (#4862836) Homepage
    I worked for a while, in '97-'98, as a systems engineer at the University of Virginia as a technician and systems engineer. I would get "Rock" duty (round the clock) every month or so and one of the systems I had to support was a patient tracking system for the UVA Hospital. It had a graphical user interface showing the floors of the hospital and what patient was where. It was an OS/2 Warp 3 system. Quite nice. It was the HARDWARE that kept glitching, making me aware of this system at 3am in the morning, sadly...

    I tried to run Warp 3 a few years before but it did not work out. I really found the interface unattractive and the lack of apps difficult. I kept running Windows 3.1 sessions under it to the point that I just started using Windows 3.1. Sad.

    A nice os. I also tried to run NeXTSTEP but had to take that offline for lack of app reasons (the interface was wonderful). Happily I run NeXTSTEP today and there is no lack of apps...well, it's actually OS X I am running -- but same difference.

  • by Chacham ( 981 )
    OS/2 Going, Going... Gone

    Shouldn't that be, "OS/2 Going, Going... Going"?

    It will be availibe for purchase for a few months, and for support a couple of years.
  • Still running OS/2 (Score:3, Informative)

    by www.sorehands.com ( 142825 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @12:34PM (#4862870) Homepage
    I am still running OS/2 on my main system. I have been running Post Road Mailer 3.0. I still have not been infected by any virus. When people say, I might have sent out email because I have contracted another outlook virus, I laugh.

    You are still running OS/2. Many ATMs and cash registers still run OS/2.
    • You are still running OS/2. Many ATMs and cash registers still run OS/2.

      Lots of voice mail systems too. Though lately NT/2000 (blech) have popular. Stupid Dialogic. porting their API to win32 just so they could "sell more" and "make money"! What's this world coming to! ;)
  • by Warpedcow ( 180300 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @12:35PM (#4862877) Homepage Journal
    Check out www.ecomstation.com
    This is essentially OS/2. I checked up on some usenet groups discussing IBM's announcement, and it seems clear that the eCS folks knew about this when they started eCS, so OS/2 (in the form of eCS) should be around much much longer than 2004! :)


  • by Mr_Silver ( 213637 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @12:46PM (#4862938)
    It is official; IBM now confirms: OS/2 is dead.

    One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered OS/2 community when CmdrTaco confirmed that OS/2 market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming close on the heels of a recent Slashdot survey which plainly states that OS/2 has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. OS/2 is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

    You don't need to be a Kreskin to predict OS/2's future. The hand writing is on the wall: OS/2 faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for OS/2 because OS/2 is dead. Things are looking very bad for OS/2. As many of us are already aware, OS/2 continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

    etc.etc.etc. You get the idea :o)

  • by tmark ( 230091 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @12:49PM (#4862960)
    At the time, OS/2 had extremely heavy system requirements compared to Win 3.x. In particular, I recall that it required an enormous amount of memory to run comfortably by comparison to Windows. This was at a time where memory was running at probably $100 or more per 4 MB (my own memory is failing), and at the time, it was just really difficult to justify for many people. Towards the latter part of the '90s, its requirements didn't seem so onerous, but by then Windows had become too entrenched and Win95 was on its way.

    I also strongly believe Win/OS2 killed any incentive to write native OS/2 apps.
  • So are they going to (Score:3, Informative)

    by TerryAtWork ( 598364 ) <research@aceretail.com> on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @12:54PM (#4863002)
    Release it's source code under GPL?

    This would be a great opportunity for IBM to show it's Cluefull....
  • OS/2 is/was a kickass OS that 1000 books about bad marketing could be written about. It was at least as stable as DOS, if not more so. Seiko paging used OS/2 as the operating system for all their watch paging terminals They ran on IBM 486DX2/66 computers. The paging system used the SCA subcarrier of FM stations. Satellites were used to receiev the signal and then it went through this paging terminal and out the FM transmiter from there. I was Chief Engineer for two of these FM stations for two years until Seiko went out of business and during that time the number of reboots to those computers numbered ZERO! Show me an OS other then pure UNIX today that can make that boast! I also remember that these computers were being used under fairly heavy load 24/7, because each one had to process the data from the entire transponder (Which included every Seiko page made in the U.S.), and send out only the ones desired for the area it transmitted to.
  • by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @01:10PM (#4863134) Journal

    Why can't they just sell it without support? If I were an IBM shareholder, I'd want to know why they are just throwing away money, even if it's not very much. If reproducing the CD-ROMs isn't economical, they could estimate their annual sales and auction off the rights to distribute that number of CD-ROMs to somebody like Cheapbytes. I don't see why *any* software package has to "just disappear".

  • by SensitiveMale ( 155605 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @01:17PM (#4863218)
    OS/2 was gaining ground on windows until the windows 3.11 update was released. This release was mainly 'updated printer drivers' according to ms. The main thing the upgrade did was break OS/2's ability to run a windows' application within an OS/2 window.

    Of course IBM was able to fix this months later. But ms had shown that if you run OS/2 then you would not always be able to run your windows applications unless you actually ran windows.
  • OS2 is still used (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Archfeld ( 6757 ) <treboreel@live.com> on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @01:29PM (#4863337) Journal
    and will continue to be supported on enterprise contracts by IBM. It is used in financial applications extensively and is STILL more solid than any windows app. They use it because of legacy applications that connect to mainframe computers via SNA with M$ won't or can't support but OS2 does nicely. It will be a LOOOONNNNG time before they find anything else. The large financial institution I work for has gone so far as to purchase and store source code with IBM's blessing for use in the future, under license of course....
  • by Rock ( 16836 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @01:32PM (#4863360) Homepage Journal
    IBM had an ad campaign in the summer of '94. The theme was something like "Demand OS/2 on Your Next Computer". I tried. My phone conversation with IBM's own direct sales division went something like this:

    .Me: I am interested in buying a ThinkPad.
    IBM: It's a good machine. What model would you like?
    .Me: Which models come with OS/2?
    IBM: We don't sell ThinkPads with OS/2.
    .Me: Wait a minute. You are IBM!
    IBM: Yes, but we don't sell ThinkPads with OS/2.
    .Me: Are you aware of IBM's own "Demand OS/2" campaign?
    IBM: Yes; we wish they hadn't done that.
    .Me: They?
    IBM: The Software Division. They have no say on hardware.
    .Me: So, IBM is telling people to demand OS/2, but refuses
    .....to install it on their own systems??
    IBM: I'm sorry, sir. What model of ThinkPad would you like?
    .Me: The one with OS/2.
    IBM: There isn't one.
    .Me: I demand to buy a ThinkPad with OS/2!
    IBM: It's not possible.
    .Me: Geez, you guys need to get your act together. Bye.
    .Me: <Hang Up>

    IMO, that attitude (IBM not supporting IBM) is what killed OS/2. The corporate decision not to market OS/2 to consumers, made the week before release of Win95, didn't help either.

    -- Rich

  • by ToasterTester ( 95180 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @01:43PM (#4863437)
    Actaully IBM has been wanting to do this for a long-long time. But since a couple key customer was refusing to wean themselves off IBM hung in there.

    I've had to develop for and support OS/2 and even work with IBM on projects. I can't stand OS/2 it had a poor architecture, inaccuracies in the API documentation, and I couldn't never see what people liked about the interface. The only thing it had going for it is it wasn't MS. It was the OS the "anything but MS" crowd until Linux caught on. Thank god its finally dead.
  • by harlows_monkeys ( 106428 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @02:25PM (#4863857) Homepage
    I think it was in his Byte column where he wrote of his experiences trying to get started developing for OS/2, and Win95.

    At a trade show, he went to the Microsoft booth, and asked what he had to do to get started with Windows development. They handed him a developers kit right there.

    He went to the IBM booth, and asked then what he had to do to get started with OS/2 development. They handed him an application to their developer program so he could ask for permission to develop for OS/2 (for a large fee, of course).

    I realized OS/2 was truly doomed about a year later, when I went into Egghead, and saw MSDN Library subscriptions for sale. The only OS/2 development tool I saw at Egghead was the Watcom C/C++ compiler.

    Another thing that hurt OS/2 was the lack of good third-party documentation. Where was the equivalent of Petzold's wonderful Windows books, that got so many of us started on Windows programming? There IS a book on OS/2 programming by Petzold, but it was often out of print. I'm sure IBM could have managed to get it back into print if they'd wanted.

  • by prototype ( 242023 ) <bsimser@shaw.ca> on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @02:32PM (#4863922) Homepage
    OS/2 may have the support cables pulled and IBM is pulling the sheet over it's head, but it's still in wide use in a lot of industries. It was a solid 32bit pre-emptive multi-tasking system for it's time (before Win95). The only other alternative at the time was real Unix systems but that was a huge cost for small businesses. OS/2 provided the reliability and stability that some businesses needed.

    The majority of the current user base is banks. They have (or perhaps had?) a HUGE investment in OS/2. Most ATMs ran and are still running OS/2 for their operating system. The uptime is incredible so without support or the ability to continue the product, most businesses must get off of OS/2 asap. Of course we've known that it was a burning platform for years now but with such a large installed base and legacy applications running off it, who has the time or budget to move off.

    We currently use OS/2 with our train control systems as well as a few other key safety systems. It's just as reliable as it was years ago and our plan to move to another platform doesn't manifest itself until the 2004-2005 timeframe.
  • by ickypoo ( 568859 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @03:39PM (#4864622)
    ...because you can still get PC-DOS [ibm.com].

    This time-tested and useful operating system is now Y2K compliant and it supports the euro symbol.

    That's the IBM experience - value and support.

    And the best part? It's only a $50 download [ibm.com].
  • Linux is.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jlrowe ( 69115 ) on Wednesday December 11, 2002 @04:11PM (#4864971)
    Linux is IBM's new version of OS/2, in a way.
    But far better supported by them than OS/2 ever was.

There are no data that cannot be plotted on a straight line if the axis are chosen correctly.