1. Microsoft got paid about $400 million for their work on OS/2, supposedly, through to v1.3 .
Development of Windows through to v3.0 was much much less. It is safe to say that Microsoft made money from the partnership with IBM.
2. OS/2 installation had a fatal flaw: if your PC had cache memory you had to disable it while the installer copied the files from floppy. It didn't hurt install speed since floppies were the bottleneck but it was very confusing to the newbies to OS/2 that IBM was trying to attract.
3. The Ziff-Davis magazines were pay-to-play in editorial content and they plugged Microsoft as being the better choice all the time. And pre-Internet they were a big source of information.
If you were an OS/2 administrator back in the day, hearing the disk drive start trying to re-read sectors on Disk 18 was a terrifying prospect.
The afternoons spent installing software and now they complain an app takes too long.
The first thing I did when I bought software back then was to create backup floppies and always install from the copies. Naturally it did not work with some copy protection schemes.
Yep, I did.
My stubborn refusal to use Windows during my student days was beneficial in a few cases. While my classmates were getting uninformative general protection faults, I was receiving much more insightful error messages.
It took two of us 2 days to install it for 5 systems - we also had to set up a server as they had neglected to buy one :-)
We even took enough cable and nics to build a small network in case they had no suitable network
At IBM around this time, Boca Raton was known as the place where people who weren't competent but couldn't be convinced to leave were transferred.
Because incubators work only as long as they're not administrated and controlled. The moment they produce a successful project that brings in money, you need to control the process and put administration in place.
This is based on experience in the 1990's, so may not hold anymore.
IBM normally at least had a procedure. Do you want to start a new project? Okay, fill in this form and give a presentation to that group next month. You've got about a 1 in 3 chance of 12-18 months of funding. We'll review your progress at that point as to whether to kill your project.
That's better than almost anywhere I worked ever since other than startups at which I was a principal.
IBM in the 1990's (remember--this is still mostly pre-internet) was still an amazing place if you were motivated. You could pick up the phone and call a world expert on just about any technical subject and just talk to them. There were lots of interesting projects still going on and someone who wasn't lazy could quite easily maneuver into them--even if you were just an intern or co-op. (As a co-op, I sat in an X-ray lithography class and lab! You couldn't buy that course at the time, for any amount of money let alone do stuff in the lab.)
In the 1990's, IBM still also had lots of little enclaves of hypercompetency--generally composed of old greybeards who were within 10 years of retirement. And, if you were motivated, you could attach yourself to one of those and do amazing things.
Or, you could go get an MBA and stab your way up the management chain. That was also a choice and option at IBM for those so inclined and motivated.
The point was that in the 1990's, IBM would let you wallow in laziness if you wanted--the company wasn't going to give you motivation. But if you found your own motivation, it was really quite an amazing opportunity.
(Story time: we were at a bar celebrating the fact that a friend's project shipped and he said: "I've been at IBM almost 12 years and I finally had a project ship." I stared at him in horror: "Dude, I've been here about 6 years and I've had all four of my projects ship. Perhaps you should pick projects that have customers instead of political connections.")
Only as the last step was it ported to real mode DOS.
Intel made a large mistake putting the interrupt table at 0000. It should have put the boot ROM there.
Also remember too C and C++ weren't really a thing back in 1977. C and C++ tends to love splating low memory when you mess up your pointer magic. Other languages didn't have that problem.
Haha, this is so ironic. I've worked on projects for MS that were just the same. We had to have code names for their code names and a code name for MS itself. Even our own code names had to be uttered with caution. Maybe they learned from IBM? Edit: Thinking about it some more, maybe they really did. None of the other big tech companies we did work for were that secretive.
"ArcaOS is more compatible with modern hardware, makes more efficient use of memory and system resources, and installs more easily than any other OS/2 distribution…ever. Really.
Do you have a system with 16GB of RAM in it? Want your apps to really fly? Configure ArcaOS to utilize all memory above 4GB as a RAM disk, and at bootup, copy your most frequently used applications there. It’s like running your OS/2, Windows, DOS, REXX, Java, and ported Linux applications on air."
And they develop further for the newer hardware:
"When IBM left off USB driver development, OS/2 had a working, 16-bit USB 1.x and 2.0 driver stack. Fast forward to 2019, and this is no longer adequate for the needs of today’s hardware.
The Arca Noae USB stack is now fully 32-bit, and USB 3 support development continues to make good progress. Implementing USB 3 support has been tedious because the OS/2 USB architecture didn’t accommodate the peculiarities of USB 3 well."
"entry last updated: October 16th, 2019"
WinRT is closer to it, but still lacks the metaclasses capabilities that SOM had.
My OS/2 experience is based on playing around with it at trade shows.
When I finally got a PC, I went with a 386SX, which was unable to run OS/2, as the only shop in town selling PCs with OS/2 was selling it with alongside PS/2 systems, about 1000 € more expensive (in today's money) than compatibles running the DOS + Win 3.x combo.
One comment from 2017: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14070102
> This story first ran in November 2013, and it appears unchanged below.
OS/2 1.1 EE had EHLLAPI support but was still a few months from release and I couldn't wait for it. I was really disappointed I didn't get to explore it fully because first look was really impressive.
I ended up using DOS + DESQview, and it worked out fine.
This was my standard setup for almost a decade, from my first 486 machine (my previous computer had been an 8088 PC clone, with only two 360K floppy drives and no hard disk) until I replaced it with a Windows 98 machine. I even ran Windows 3.1 occasionally in a DESQview window.
Wasn't as impressed by anything else that was not from Apple or Microsoft except NeXTStep and BeOS.
(See also, though with timeline offset and/or scaled: RISC OS, MacOS.)
They stole the right-click menu and the Blue Screen of Death.
They also baited a bunch of their competitors into developing for OS/2 because it had IBM's support, then made their own products for Windows.
WordPerfect and Lotus 1-2-3 for OS/2 were great products for the wrong OS.
Due to the success of Windows 3.0 and the lack of OS/2 success, Microsoft wisely decided to expand the Windows API to the Win32 API and have it be the default API.
The book Show Stopper, has a good account of the early days of NT.
It is interesting read.
The programming API for use by userland started out as OS/2 though.
That gave them a huge lead in developing a server-grade OS. They probably just used OS/2 for the OS/2 part that ran on top of it. Fast forward to today, the result still isn't robust as its predecessor in cluster configuration or the AS/400 Microsoft ran on before using their own product. They did show how much better VMS could've been as a desktop... by dominating on the desktop. :)
Anyway, they settled out of court as long as MS promised to port Windows to DEC's Alpha.
And it was a good team.
That said I think there is a difference between re-implementing APIs and stealing sources.
Majority of NT/alpha work was done by team at DEC, later Compaq.
Like almost everyone else I kept to 3.3, totally ignoring 4.
Afterwards I actually ended up using DR-DOS 5 for a while, until MS-DOS 6 came out.
Apple and MS basically bought their current incarnations of their respective OS at some point in the past.
Looking back on all this, the only lasting legacy I can identify is the linux windows emulation layer (wine), which exists only because Microsoft was required to make the Windows API public so it could be used by OS/2.
Given the difficulty of getting an ancient version of Windows running on currently available hardware, linux/wine is now the only practical way to run a lot of old Microsoft Windows application software. If it weren't for wine (which was made possible by OS/2), that application software would be unusable.
What operating systems were named after towns in California named after dogs?
> In early March 1967, Alex Matienzo, Jim Thompson, and Dick Notmeyer surfed the distant waves of Pillar Point. With them was Matienzo's roommate's white-haired German Shepherd, Maverick, who was accustomed to swimming with his owner and Matienzo while they were surfing.