Author Topic: OS/2 history  (Read 523 times)

Rick C. Hodgin

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OS/2 history
« on: June 01, 2017, 09:23:12 pm »
I had someone tell me something today about OS/2 that I've never heard before.

He says he worked at IBM during the OS/2 years, and that Microsoft never actually stopped working on OS/2, but rather there was code in OS/2 that was licensed from Microsoft and IBM continued to pay Microsoft to develop it until IBM decided to pull the plug much later.  He says Microsoft didn't leave OS/2.

He paints it as a picture like Microsoft worked on Windows NT and OS/2 and wasn't any part of the cause of OS/2 being less than stellar in its market share gains.  He also states Microsoft is the reason they couldn't release the source code, because of the parts licensed from Microsoft.

Does anybody have knowledge of this?

Thank you,
Rick C. Hodgin



Remy

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Re: OS/2 history
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2017, 09:50:48 pm »
From what I know, it looks to be correct except microsoft is no more working on the code since a long time...

Gerry Prosser

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Re: OS/2 history
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2017, 10:53:37 pm »
Well, it was not quite like that, and the licensing issues were worse than that.

Martin Iturbide

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Re: OS/2 history
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2017, 11:05:17 pm »
Hi

I really do not know exactly the date where Microsoft stopped all OS/2 development.

According to history OS/2 was developed under an agreement called "Joint Development Agreement Between IBM and Microsoft".

I'm not a lawyer to make an statement about the document and some annex are missing, but it states some things like:

Quote
DEFINITIONS:
"Code" shall mean Joint Code, MS Code or IBM Code, or any combination thereof, as generally defined below. "Source Code" · shall mean Code in source language form and "Object Code" shall mean Code in machine language form.

Quote
4.0 DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION

For a period of ten (10) years from the date of receipt of Source Code from the other party, neither party shall disclose to any third party such Source Code of the other party unless such disclosure is made in accordance with terms aad conditions regarding coafideatiality substantially similar to those contained ia Addendum A to this Agreement, entitled "SAMPLE CONFIDEJlTIAL DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT".

According to the agreement Phase II documents are the ones generated on the agreement (the OS/2 components and products may be one of those).

There it is "3.2.1 With respect to Joint Code and Joint Documentation" It says that both parties (MS and IBM) are the owners of the product.  But then there is "3.2.2 With respect to IBM Code and IBM Documentation:" and "3.2.3 With respect to MS Code and MS Documentation:" which says IBM owns his own generated products and MS owns its own generated products.

The issue is that I don't have the annex to know what components are Joint Code, MS Code or IBM Code.

Quote
15.0 TERM AND TERMINATION

(g) The .terms of the Section entitled "Disclosure of Information" shall survive the termination of a Phase II Document until ten (10) years have expired from the effective date of such Phase II.

It is possible that the copyrights are owned by Microsoft and IBM on the source code, but maybe the source code can be disclosed by now :)

Regards
« Last Edit: June 01, 2017, 11:06:55 pm by Martin Iturbide »
Martin Iturbide
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Dave Yeo

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Re: OS/2 history
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2017, 03:33:03 am »
My understanding is that MS stopped mostly working with IBM with OS/2 v2 though there was a MS branded prerelease of v2. The deal was that IBM would develop v2 and MS would develop v3, which would be a rewrite and was called OS/2 NT. By ver 3.1 it had become Windows NT. Note that our internal version number is 2.45 as ver 3 and up belong to MS.
NT was quite capable of running OS/2 v1.x applications, I even ran v1 of cmd.exe on Win2k and loaded pinball.sys to access HPFS partitions (a mistake as MS never updated their HPFS driver to handle bigger then 4.3 GiB partitions. IIRC NT3.1 used HPFS and NTFS was partially based on HPFS). Have a Byte article somewhere that describes MS bringing up the 32 bit Presentation Manager on NT as well.
The os2museum http://www.os2museum.com/wp/ has lots of history.

André Heldoorn

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Re: OS/2 history
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2017, 06:37:32 pm »
For a period of ten (10) years from the date of receipt of Source Code from the other party

IBM owns his own generated products and MS owns its own generated products.

It is possible that the copyrights are owned by Microsoft and IBM on the source code, but maybe the source code can be disclosed by now :)[/quote]

It is possible that the copyrights are owned by Microsoft and IBM on the product, but maybe the source code can be disclosed by now.

But that's not likely. Even with source code it's like owning a book, without having the rights to publish that book. Microsoft has no reason to donate you their parts of the product, which may compete with their own product again. That's financial suicide. If Microsoft wants your money, then they'd try to sell you a copy of Windows 10.

I guess laws could be modernized to account for abandonware, for example by allowing an unauthorized distribution of some registered copy of a popular shareware product after 15 years of full inactivity of the owner of the rights. This won't help OS/2, because Microsoft may still be using and updating components/technologies of MS OS/2 1.0.