By Alan Shimel – Today (Apr 2, 2012) marks the 25th anniversary of IBM‘s announcement of the OS/2 PC operating system. Harry McCracken over on Time.com has a great piece reflecting back on the success and failure’s of IBM’s ill fated attempt to to rule the desktop and how in some places OS/2 sill lives on.
More than anything to me though OS/2 is the poster child of why very often the best technology doesn’t win. Sometimes it is marketing, politics and other factors that make our technology decisions for us and have us choose inferior technology instead.
In case you are not familiar with the history involved here, let me give you a quick synopsis. When IBM launced the original PC (largely developed here in the Boca Raton area where I live) they choose as the OS a system licensed to them by a small company called Microsoft. Microsoft in turn had licensed this disk operating system (DOS) from a Seattle based company. DOS was 16 bit, clunky, buggy and not real user friendly but as PCs were cloned, Microsoft was making a fortune licensing it to all of the clone makers. more> http://is.gd/MUzfNl
- IBMSmartCloud, StrategyGroup
- OS/2 turns 25 (zdnet.com)
- IBM’s Failed Operating System OS/2 Is 25 Years Old – But It Still Powers ATMs and Checkouts [Ibm] (gizmodo.com)
- OS/2 wasn’t all that good (erratasec.blogspot.com)
- 25 Years of IBM’s OS/2 (tech.slashdot.org)
- IBM’s OS/2 celebrates 25 year anniversary, still alive if you know where to look (theverge.com)
- OS/2: IBM’s attempt at building an operating system turns… (shortformblog.com)