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LinuxPlanet: Alas, Poor OS/2; I Knew it, Horatio

May 21, 2000, 10:05 (11 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dennis E. Powell)

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"The news last week was scarcely a surprise, but it had that sudden deflating effect that one gets when an ancient and beloved friend and teacher, terminally ill, finally passes on: IBM is pulling the plug on OS/2. No service is planned, but the mourners will comprise thousands, maybe millions of Linux users who first tasted independent thinking in computer software when they endured the horrendous installation procedure of what was otherwise the most powerful and magnificent of dosrivative operating systems, present company included. Having earned their stripes by just getting the thing on the hard drive, they learned that power, reliable multitasking, yes, a better DOS than DOS and a better Windows than Windows were theirs."

"There will be no funeral, but an obituary is in order anyway."

"From the days when it was still a joint production involving IBM and its pet software company, Microsoft, OS/2 was a sickly child, not expected by many to live long at all. The first version, devoid of GUI or native applications and capable of running but a single DOS app at a time, was released in December 1987. It had no mouse support, wouldn't support hard drives bigger than 32 megs, and was functionally crippled by IBM's insistence that it run on 80286 processors. A beta had been sold the previous summer to anyone willing to pay $3,000 for it."

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