Just a quick post to point folks to a two-part look (from The Register) at the situation that was the OS/2 operating system and why it failed, from the perspective of an IBM insider. It’s well worth a read.
- Part One: IBM insider: How I caught my wife while bug-hunting on OS/2
- Part Two: Where were the bullet holes on OS/2’s corpse? Its head … or foot?
Released 25 years ago, OS/2 was a team effort between IBM and Microsoft to replace DOS and Windows with the PC operating system of the future. It was highly advanced in many ways, but also severely stymied by ill-made decisions on the parts of “business people” at the top, and developers as well.
I tried out OS/2 v2.1 and v3.0 “Warp” back in 1994-1995 on my 486 PC, but it never really worked out for me due to hardware incompatibilities in the first case, and its heavy use of resources and awkward interface in the second. My greatest involvement with OS/2 would have to be when I worked for the University of Virginia Medical Center Computing department back in 1997 and shared on-call, evening support for a hospital room allocation application running at the UVA Hospital, custom written for OS/2 by a staff doctor.
OS/2 now exists as eComStation, published by Serenity Systems. It’s certainly an interesting part of computing history.