Author Topic: OS/2 Preloaded On IBM Personal Computer Hardware  (Read 4505 times)

PAUL555

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OS/2 Preloaded On IBM Personal Computer Hardware
« on: 2011.02.07, 17:27:10 »

Since OS/2 Warp 4.0 faced major installation problems in installing onto Clones of the IBM PC made by Dell, Compaq, Gateway e.t.c, how come IBM did not resort to sales of IBM Personal Computer Hardware preinstalled with OS/2 Warp 4.0 / 4.52 in order to boost world wide sales of OS/2 instead of giving up to the Microsoft Win 95 bandwagon ? This question is related to the years of 1995 / 1996 when Win 95 had just come out.   

Paul

DougB

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Re: OS/2 Preloaded On IBM Personal Computer Hardware
« Reply #1 on: 2011.02.07, 19:09:45 »
It's a long story, which you can find by googling, but the short version is that IBM upper management, at the time, were (and still are) a bunch of idiots who thought that personal computers would never be used by serious computer users. They fully expected that PCs were a passing fad, that would eventually go away in favor of huge central computer complexes that people would access using dumb terminals. Therefore, they pretty well ignored the whole thing, and let their internal departments fight over what they would support. The PC manufacturing division didn't like the OS/2 development division, and the other way around, (apparently, they were across the hall), and pretty well refused to have anything to do with each other. Therefore, IBM manufactured PCs with Windows pre-installed (as did all other manufacturers), and OS/2 was only installed when the sales force realized that some customers actually wanted something better, and insisted that OS/2 be pre-installed. Of course, windows was also pre-installed, just because the manufacturing division wanted it that way.

Fahrvenugen

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Re: OS/2 Preloaded On IBM Personal Computer Hardware
« Reply #2 on: 2011.02.07, 19:21:31 »
Actually the idea that Warp 4 failed to install on machines made by Dell, Compq, Gateway, etc - is false.  I've installed OS/2 Warp 4 (the original shipping version, unpatched) on quite a few machines from different vendors which would have been current for the time Warp 4 came out and never had a problem.  

Os/2 2.0, and 2.1 were problematic.  Warp 3 (the original red-spine shipping 1994 version) also had a few known installation issues (the first batch of boxes to be sent out from IBM had a problem with the installer which made it not install on anything properly - fixed by either a download from Compuserve or one of the many OS/2 support BBSes, and yes - available on the internet for those who were connected, or you could call IBM and they'd ship you a new install disk).  Some of the later Warp 3 boxes needed an updated ibm1s506.add and idedasd driver to install properly (again - downloadable from various locations).  And often video and sound drivers needed to be udpated.

As for IBM, when Warp 3 came out they did try pre-loading Warp on their own PC's.  For about a year (around 1994 / early 1995) if you bought a PC from IBM it came pre-loaded with a dual-boot - you'd either boot to Windows or to OS/2 Warp 3.  IBM was the only major vendor doing this, and by the time Windows 95 came out they'd pretty much dropped this.  By the time Warp 4  came out (fall 1996) they'd pretty much decided to try and stop promoting Warp towards the home market.

RobertM

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Re: OS/2 Preloaded On IBM Personal Computer Hardware
« Reply #3 on: 2011.02.07, 22:37:50 »
Warp 4 also came preloaded on a bunch of Aptiva units (alongside Win95). Besides the pressure put on IBMPCCo by Microsoft (ridiculously increased licensing fees for Windows if IBM preloaded OS/2 alongside or even separately on IBM PCs), Microsoft was "nice" enough to continue to make various changes to how the Win95 and WinNT installer and bootloader worked in efforts to cripple an OS/2 install. This included deleting OS/2 partitions, deleting Bootmanager, suggesting the user delete the OS/2 partitions, informing the user that a bad or invalid partition was on the system and that Windows could not install until the partition was deleted and on and on and on.
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Blonde Guy

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Re: OS/2 Preloaded On IBM Personal Computer Hardware
« Reply #4 on: 2011.02.07, 22:46:17 »
Technical issues aside, by that time, IBM had decided to end OS/2. Reading Lou Gerstner's "Who said elephants can't dance?" http://www.amazon.com/Elephants-Dance-Inside-Historic-Turnaround/dp/0060523794

Gerstner became IBM's CEO in 1993, and decided to stop OS/2 within months of taking over.

I believe IBM engineers could have made OS/2 install a lot easier if the company had decided to do so. I further believe IBM could have made agreements with other large computer manufacturers to install OS/2. But there was no reason to do those things if OS/2 had already been cancelled.
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Ben

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Re: OS/2 Preloaded On IBM Personal Computer Hardware
« Reply #5 on: 2011.02.08, 05:03:18 »
It's a long story, which you can find by googling, but the short version is that IBM upper management, at the time, were (and still are) a bunch of idiots who thought that personal computers would never be used by serious computer users. They fully expected that PCs were a passing fad, that would eventually go away in favor of huge central computer complexes that people would access using dumb terminals. Therefore, they pretty well ignored the whole thing, and let their internal departments fight over what they would support. The PC manufacturing division didn't like the OS/2 development division, and the other way around, (apparently, they were across the hall), and pretty well refused to have anything to do with each other. Therefore, IBM manufactured PCs with Windows pre-installed (as did all other manufacturers), and OS/2 was only installed when the sales force realized that some customers actually wanted something better, and insisted that OS/2 be pre-installed. Of course, windows was also pre-installed, just because the manufacturing division wanted it that way.

I agree with most of that Doug, but if you think that the IBM executives didn't know what they were doing in putting Windows ahead of OS/2, I think a bit more pondering is in order; They certainly did know and the results of that is insultingly obvious... especially to OS/2 users.

I know that you were around and into computers, (more or less), around the time that little Billy Gates himself was placed in front of a computer, (and he was 'placed' there). Cast your mind back to that time period for a few minutes while you have a cup of tea.

Have you ever thought about how odd and how extremely unlikely his meteoric rise to fame was? Just look into who his father was and the organizations that he was attached to. Mighty convenient that his son/sun was extremely bright and shone heavily in an area that he knew nothing about. Perhaps some doors were opened for him and things "handed" to him. Why? Ever use any of his products? Ever ask why he got away with an incredible string of crimes that no one before in modern, commercial history has pulled off? We aren't talking about dime store robberies here either. We're talking crimes involving mega millions, (in total), thousands of employees, the direction of a nation, (or nations), and the creating, storing, and viewing, of massive amounts of data, personal, intellectual, financial, and governmental. He was untouchable. Even when  Small n' Limp, (read Micro Soft), was Soft n' Shriveled, in prepubescence and his pools of money were the dripping, drools of late teenage-hood. Try and think of only one person who has done 1/100th, nay, 1/1000th of what he has gotten away with.

Take your time.

Waste your time.

You aren't going to find one.

Within the confines of what I described above, he is in a league of his own. This cannot happen on the merits of any genius regardless of magnitude, and certainly not on the merits of someone with highly, dubious brain power. He was backed by powerful forces, right from the start. And those powerful forces worship the same god as these incredibly smart and well-positioned IBM executives, if you "spotted my allegory"... or "catch my drift."  ;)

Those at the top of IBM made Bill Gates and they made Small n' Limp too! M$ was a "must be" as they say in psychiatry. Think "windows", (as in a pain/pane), NSA, (any backdoor contracts come to mind?), and ask yourself what the Gates family and the High Priests, ( or "Bab"s... as in Babel), have in common and you'll see a connection. Hint: it's green and lightweight and something that no one that runs OS/2 has, (the exception not breaking the rule).

The answer as to why the IBM Babs opened the doors wide for the BGees, (the priests of Billy Gates' M$), is clear and shining in the open. Blinkers can reduce the glare, but it also can, albeit inadvertently, hide the obvious. And sometimes hidden in plain sight means lost to the mind, (that's my version of the cliched "out of sight out of mind").

And look who BG is associated with now for chrissake. And look at his latest videos and what he's talking about. What in the name of cankerous crotch-rot is Bastard Billie doing pushing "vaccinations" down everyone's throats? What business is it of his? And what the hell is he doing talking about big-bred mosquitoes being developed as a delivery system for these shots? Coot-throw-at, (say it), Gates is as far from a philanthropist as Mao Zedong was from a seamstress.

That may be a soft segue from the top, topic, but it is past time that somebody threw away that now ancient story of the IBM execs being idiots for they are anything but!

I'm not saying that I liked or agree with what they did and once you ponder the obvious implications of "why" they did it, it has to go a lot deeper than someone not "liking" what they did as anyone that thinks can understand, for the roots of it go as deep as the Tree of Life... if you understand the duality of that. (If not, it's nothing that a little research won't fix).

Now this is no reflection on you, Doug, I think that you're a welcomed plus to the OS/2 community, but I just had to shatter the glass on that one and you just happened to be the latest --in a looong string-- to say it. 8)

Now if you have gotten this far dear readers, and you have a headache, then I have caused a cascade reaction in your mind. That means that new brain cells are about to be created and in a few days you'll be every so slightly smarter than you were before you read this... and I will have done my job... at least in as much as is possible in this miniscule, micro'd, message, maker where four lines make a flood! and "Preview" a two-tiered ship!

 ;D

PS.

Now if any of this needs clarification, that is what Private Messaging and E-mail is for. But read this message through a few times in totality, before sending...

PAUL555

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Re: OS/2 Preloaded On IBM Personal Computer Hardware
« Reply #6 on: 2011.02.08, 06:02:21 »
From what I have read on the internet, it was the failure of OS/2 Warp on the Power PC which caused Lou Gerstner to pull the plug on the continuation of the OS/2 development effort. Several billions were supposed to have been invested on the OS/2 Warp for Power PC development.

Also the problem of the single input queue in OS/2 Warp must have caused dissatisfied customers in applications and / or desktop hanging. I find it really strange that a problem like the single input queue should have come up in the design of an operating system which was expected to run preemtive multitasking, multithreaded mission critical applications.        

Paul
« Last Edit: 2011.02.08, 14:52:28 by PAUL555 »

PAUL555

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Re: OS/2 Preloaded On IBM Personal Computer Hardware
« Reply #7 on: 2011.02.08, 15:03:35 »

I also read somewhere that wherever IBM was holding demonstations of OS/2 Warp 3.0 / 4.0, some guy from Microsoft would walk in with a program on a floppy disk to prove that he could crash Warp and thereby prove that it was not the crash protected OS that IBM claimed that it was. If this story is true, it clearly proves that Microsoft was dead scared that Warp would take over the desktop business. I have also heard from an IBM executive that development tools for Warp were much more expensive than the development tools on Windows.

Inspite of all this, I would state that Warp's Preemptive Multitasking and smooth response and the ability to run OS/2, Windows 3.1 and Dos applications is still unrivalled even by Windows 7, Linux and Mac. Not sure, how many of you would agree with me on this. 

Regards

Paul

PAUL555

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Re: OS/2 Preloaded On IBM Personal Computer Hardware
« Reply #8 on: 2011.02.08, 15:13:48 »
Anyway, thanks to Serenity for keeping the OS/2 dream alive......

Paul
« Last Edit: 2011.02.08, 15:20:57 by PAUL555 »

DougB

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Re: OS/2 Preloaded On IBM Personal Computer Hardware
« Reply #9 on: 2011.02.08, 18:03:27 »
Quote
but if you think that the IBM executives didn't know what they were doing in putting Windows ahead of OS/2, I think a bit more pondering is in order; They certainly did know and the results of that is insultingly obvious... especially to OS/2 users.

Actually, that isn't right. The top IBM executives, at the time, didn't even know what a personal computer was, and when they were told about it, they thought about the old game machines that were just beginning to actually show up. Somebody (I don't remember the name at the moment) managed to get the project past those guys, and it became a reality. Of course, they needed software, and happened to have some connection to Bill Gates (totally unknown, at that time). He managed to cobble together something that came to be known as DOS. After about 3 attempts to get it right, IBM decided to port the VM operating system to work on a PC. Well, the 286 was current at that time, and it wasn't quite capable of running such a system (which was running on the medium size mainframes of the day - MVS was mostly used on the large mainframes), so IBM told Intel how to build the 386 so that it would work properly. Of course, IBM wanted no part of the overhead required to do the project, so they had Microsoft do it for them. After it got royally screwed up, IBM took it back, and put some resources behind it, and produced OS/2 1.2. By that time, MS realized that the old DOS (which IBM also took, and fixed, with the IBM DOS versions) had a limited life. They also realized that they didn't have the expertise to be able to do a proper OS/2, so they took what they could, took out a lot of the safeguards, which made it faster, added a fancy GUI (idea stolen from Mac), and pushed windows out the door. Fortunately for MS, IBM took their time, and produced OS/2 2.0, so MS had time to get windows updated to something that the public thought was pretty neat, and they got the manufacturers sucked into preloading it. Meanwhile, IBM, knowing nothing at all about selling to the public, managed to sell OS/2 to the government, and the large corporations (their only customers at the time).
Then, some bright sales guy got the idea that they should sell PCs, and OS/2, to the public. Well, that didn't work out to well, and then there was an economic downturn, that left IBM in a bit of trouble. That was about the time that Gerstner took over, and he knew next to nothing about computers. He did know, however, that the PC division (which included the OS/2 group) wasn't making any money. Being your typical head office "make money, or else" type, he pulled the plug. It was easy to get OS/2 shut down, although it lasted longer than they had thought, simply because large business, and government, insisted that they keep it alive, but it took a long time to sell off the rest of the PC business. By this time, MS was a completely separate company, and we all know that story. IBM executives, to this day, still believe that the PC is a toy, that will never be used seriously.

The bottom line is, that Bill Gates, and Microsoft, took full advantage of what they could, and did well. IBM blew it big time and missed out. IBM today, is surviving on the research that they did in the 70s, but there is little new being developed. 

Ben

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Re: OS/2 Preloaded On IBM Personal Computer Hardware
« Reply #10 on: 2011.02.08, 22:38:10 »
Quote
but if you think that the IBM executives didn't know what they were doing in putting Windows ahead of OS/2, I think a bit more pondering is in order; They certainly did know and the results of that is insultingly obvious... especially to OS/2 users.

Actually, that isn't right. The top IBM executives, at the time, didn't even know what a personal computer was, and when they were told about it, they thought about the old game machines that were just beginning to actually show up.

That was the SPIN at the time... which is always designed to keep us ignorant of what they're actually up to. Knowledgeable masses get in the way of higher executive decisions. And they know that we'll readily believe any SPIN, regardless of how ridiculous.

Remember that actions speak louder than words and by the fruits of their labour we shall recognize them. Their labours, not their words. And when you look at it from the "observation" perspective, (laying aside the read/listen perspective), it is clear what was happening.

Of course the IBM executives knew what a personal computer was. There is no way that they could not. The thing is, in lack of other information, most of the mass have no choice, but to accept the proffered SPIN.  What I was offering was insight into what goes on behind the SPIN. Some readers have interest in that. Others LOVE their dogma and would eat it by the cold can if they could. 8( It is up to each person to decide, down which path they will walk through the arc of their life.

Media means "middle" as in middle man. The rich own the media. It is their construct. It is not healthy to believe that they would keep us informed as to what they are up to. It is in the their interest to keep us in the dark... and they do.

As old John D. Rockefeller said, "I don't want a nation of thinkers, I want a nation of workers!" And when someone with the power to make that come true says that is his intent, you'd be unwise to think that a) he doesn't mean it and, b) that he cannot pull it off.

The IBM personal computer was created to do a job, just as ARPA net was... just as Windows was. IBM did it's job in creating and releasing into public domain, the IBM Personal PC specifications. Isn't it a lovely little coincidence that this trinity of events all happened at the right time and against all odds And if you really sit and think about it you'll find that It could not have been otherwise given the forces pushing it... in turn, in one synchronous direction. There is no problem finding the necessaries to confirm it through a little research. As many things in this world, it's simply a matter of choice; Bulb on. Bulb off. For in ignorance there is a comfort, but illumination reveals a path.

Also, keep in mind that they always play out the dialectic, meaning create the illusion of competition in order to make things look like a natural developing standard albeit, through a series of ridiculously, preposterous and extraordinarily unlikely events. Beria, (Lavrenti Pavlovich), made that clear many years ago as the head of the NKVD and later the better known incarnation of it, the KGB. He said openly, and I paraphrase, that the course of events of humanity can go in many thousands of ways, but the one that we are creating, must appear to be the only, naturally developing one... that is, before they knocked him off for shooting his mouth off.

IBM was the biggest corporation on the face of the earth, even in its shattered state, and it could do anything that it wanted to do as is evidenced by their setting up and running the computers that bar-coded and tracked via serialized tattoos, the prisoners in all of Hitler's NAZI concentration camps... as all came out in the open at the Nuremberg Trials and is heavily documented.

However, how is it that they got away with it? Well, I have answered that already.

However, I seek to inform, not to lecture, so I'll leave it there.


Somebody (I don't remember the name at the moment) managed to get the project past those guys, and it became a reality. Of course, they needed software, and happened to have some connection to Bill Gates (totally unknown, at that time). He managed to cobble together something that came to be known as DOS. After about 3 attempts to get it right, IBM decided to port the VM operating system to work on a PC. Well, the 286 was current at that time, and it wasn't quite capable of running such a system (which was running on the medium size mainframes of the day - MVS was mostly used on the large mainframes), so IBM told Intel how to build the 386 so that it would work properly. Of course, IBM wanted no part of the overhead required to do the project, so they had Microsoft do it for them. After it got royally screwed up, IBM took it back, and put some resources behind it, and produced OS/2 1.2. By that time, MS realized that the old DOS (which IBM also took, and fixed, with the IBM DOS versions) had a limited life. They also realized that they didn't have the expertise to be able to do a proper OS/2, so they took what they could, took out a lot of the safeguards, which made it faster, added a fancy GUI (idea stolen from Mac), and pushed windows out the door. Fortunately for MS, IBM took their time, and produced OS/2 2.0, so MS had time to get windows updated to something that the public thought was pretty neat, and they got the manufacturers sucked into preloading it. Meanwhile, IBM, knowing nothing at all about selling to the public, managed to sell OS/2 to the government, and the large corporations (their only customers at the time).
Then, some bright sales guy got the idea that they should sell PCs, and OS/2, to the public. Well, that didn't work out to well, and then there was an economic downturn, that left IBM in a bit of trouble. That was about the time that Gerstner took over, and he knew next to nothing about computers. He did know, however, that the PC division (which included the OS/2 group) wasn't making any money. Being your typical head office "make money, or else" type, he pulled the plug. It was easy to get OS/2 shut down, although it lasted longer than they had thought, simply because large business, and government, insisted that they keep it alive, but it took a long time to sell off the rest of the PC business. By this time, MS was a completely separate company, and we all know that story. IBM executives, to this day, still believe that the PC is a toy, that will never be used seriously.

I am familiar with how it was "played out" on the "world stage", (for it is... or was... an act), and you worded it nicely. Take the two now and merge them together and you'll get a glimpse behind the veil of what goes on hidden, behind the scenes, at the higher levels.

The bottom line is, that Bill Gates, and Microsoft, took full advantage of what they could, and did well. IBM blew it big time and missed out. IBM today, is surviving on the research that they did in the 70s, but there is little new being developed. 

It could not have worked out any other way. From start to finish it was planned, (mostly between the 1st and 2nd World Wars), and executed thereafter. It's well documented. Research it some time... it will be a real eye-opener for you.

DougB

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Re: OS/2 Preloaded On IBM Personal Computer Hardware
« Reply #11 on: 2011.02.08, 23:56:24 »
Ben, you are falling for the conspiracy theory of IBM, and what they did, or didn't do, over the years (virtually all "spin", produced by those who don't like big business). Most of that is manufactured information. Sure IBM was involved in the German side of the second world war. IBM had manufacturing in Germany (which they lost when the war started), and sure, the Germans knew how to use the equipment they had, and were able to produce in those plants, but there were no computers. They came later. Thomas J. Watson Sr. was not too happy about what was going on, but there was nothing that he, or the rest of the IBM board, could do about it, at that time, other than support the war effort on the "good" side (which didn't really kick into high gear until Pearl harbor was attacked). When T.J. Watson Sr. was in charge, IBM was the driving force in the tabulating business (pre computer). He was still in charge when the first commercial computers were produce (early 50's), but it was his son T. J. Watson Jr. who was instrumental in producing the mainframes that made IBM what they were in the 60s and 70s. As with all great leaders, they both came to the end of the road, and IBM continued, for a while, to create advances in the computer business, but by the time that the IBM PC came along  (about 1978, for release in 1980), that forward looking leadership was gone. The board of directors, and much of the upper management,  was mostly elderly (they still are), and few of them even knew what a computer was, never mind understand how something like the PC could be used in business, and (something very new) in the home. They somewhat understood the economics of producing very large computers, but they had no concept of a home appliance (and still don't). The lack of vision is what killed OS/2, and caused IBM to sell their PC business to Lenovo. There was very little thought, either way, put into the PC business (including OS/2), and that was the main problem. However, when IBM did produce the first PC, it did get the attention of the world, and it opened up a whole new set of opportunities for those who were willing to take advantage of it. Meanwhile, IBM was totally amazed that they were able to sell more than about 100 of the machines ("toys" in their eyes). Unfortunately, that amazement did not impress them enough to look closer at the new "toy", and it was only sheer determination (and a very small profit) on the part of a few managers in IBM that allowed the whole project to advance as far as it did. Then, came the clone makers, and, of course, they didn't have the overhead that IBM had, so they were able to develop faster, and cheaper, than IBM could. Eventually that cut into the bottom line, and the PC (including DOS, and OS/2) became overhead to IBM. From there, it was all downhill, except for Microsoft, and they took full advantage of the situation. IBM has still not recovered, even though they are still making a profit (mostly fixing windows problems, or helping customers get off of windows, and move to Linux), so I guess they did the right thing for their business, but I think it was more good luck, than good management, that caused that to happen.

Ben

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Re: OS/2 Preloaded On IBM Personal Computer Hardware
« Reply #12 on: 2011.02.09, 14:44:48 »
....conspiracy theory of IBM, ..

"Conspiracy Theory?"

You watch way too much TV Doug. Turn it off. It isn't doing your brain any good.

I would suggest reading a book, (non-fiction), or two, it will serve you much better.

For those who would like to understand that whole debacle and who IBM really is, I would suggest the "Crime And Punishment of IG Farben" by Joseph Borken and "IBM and the Holocaust" by Edwin Black and any good book on the Nuremberg Trials. The latter will open your eyes on a lot of things. Any good professor, (or student), of history worth his salt already knows this, but it's mostly hidden from the public in general.

However, from those two alone you can "understand" rather than recite TV articles and propaganda and try to pawn it off as knowledge. In supplement I recommend any history book written by someone who was actually involved in what happened and not those that are pushed by the media and written by SPIN doctors.

Twenty years ago everyone knew that TV was bullsh*t and laughed at most of what was on it in ridicule. Today people think that it is an extension of their brains. Like any real knowledge would ever be handed to you while you sit in your chair in a trance.

Good lord. Next thing you know people will be thinking that soap operas represent the real world and that "reality" TV is distilled life.

And I would suggest, Doug, that you stop pushing that the board of directors of the largest computer company that has ever existed, didn't know what a computer was... PC or no. It doesn't do anything good for your credibility but tells of your naivety. It's about as believable as the Innu, (Eskimos to some), not knowing what ice is.
« Last Edit: 2011.02.09, 14:59:21 by Ben »

DougB

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Re: OS/2 Preloaded On IBM Personal Computer Hardware
« Reply #13 on: 2011.02.10, 22:54:48 »
Quote
You watch way too much TV Doug

As a matter of fact, about all that I watch on TV, is the evening news. True, that can be detrimental to mental health.

I am not going to argue with you any more. If you wish to believe the crap that you have been spouting, go ahead. I know better. I was flat out told that the IBM PC was only a "toy" by one of IBM's upper management, in about 1983 (long after the obvious potential was apparent to those who knew anything at all about them). That attitude has never changed, to this day. Gerstner (who admitted that he knows absolutely NOTHING about computers) killed off the PC division (including DOS, and OS/2), simply because they weren't showing a profit, and it was something that he could do to earn his wages. He knew that IBM would recover, no matter what he did, or didn't do, but he had to do something to show that he did do something, so it was the PC division that was chosen to go under the axe. At the time, he had no idea that large customers would insist that they keep it alive for as long as they did, but the die was cast, and eventually they did manage to pull the plug (long after the company was out of trouble, and Gerstner was gone). Gerstner was not the only director that knew nothing about computers. I doubt if any of the current board really knows much more than how to power on their laptop, and do e-mail. The Watsons were the last of the directors who had any real vision about where IBM was going. Since they were replaced, IBM has turned into a very ordinary company, with little direction from the board of directors, and it has been an uphill battle for anyone in the company to actually accomplish anything, but that is nothing new, it seems to be a problem in almost every publicly owned company on earth. Too bad, because there are a lot of talented people, who could do great things, if those idiots would just get out of the way.

RobertM

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Re: OS/2 Preloaded On IBM Personal Computer Hardware
« Reply #14 on: 2011.02.11, 00:26:37 »
Well, part of the situation is that IBM makes a lot of it's money in two areas. Patent licensing and global services. OS/2 was of little matter in the patent licensing scheme (the only one in a position to license the patents was Microsoft, who had a cross licensing agreement that they did not take advantage of (for the NT line)). And when it comes to IBM Global Services, just like the divisions who handled IBM's mainframe and minicomputer divisions, they were VERY displeased with OS/2 and wanted it to die. The problem there being that while IBM's big metal is generally very stable and doesn't require a ton of support, what support (or parts or software) it did/does require costs a small fortune. OS/2 on the other hand, required very little support, performed at "mini-computer" (such an outdated and no longer accurate term in this context) levels (ie: mid range server class between their RS/6000 line of the time and a PC - or inotherwords, AS/400), and did not support the support costs of their mid range or high end servers because it was running on a PC. Even with the very costly Netfinity (and subsequently eServer xSeries) lines, one still could not charge that same premium. IBM GS thus made a lot less money in such scenarios, and the RS/6000 and AS/400 groups saw OS/2 as a threat to a marketplace they'd been dominating for quite some time.

Keep in mind, back in those days, Windows was the most abysmal Internet server platform there was, bar none. OS/2 on the other hand, ran the patent database and ran it well (and much of the Nagano Olympics). Lotsa big metal NOT being used. And when it came to file, print and application serving, OS/2 crushed NT as well, meaning it was also competition (and the only such) for big metal. Then (well, before this actually) of course, it made it's way into a LOT of banks, into ATMs, into the country's largest insurance companies, into numerous mass transit systems (and guess what? it still runs in a few of them) and all sorts of other places that certain groups at IBM thought their big-metal should have been a choice for. As a for instance, every CompUSA was running at least one RS/6000... fortunately for IBM, CompUSA didn't realize they could have accomplished the same thing using OS/2 and for a lot cheaper (and at this time, Windows was in it's infancy when it came to networking - unlike OS/2 that already had Communications Manager/2 and then shortly afterwards, Warp 3 Connect and Warp 4). But a bunch of other networked stuff went towards OS/2 as already mentioned (like the banks) instead of towards the RS/6000 line. How much of a hit do you think the RS/6000 team took when they lost that business avenue/vertical market?

And back to IBM Global Services... back in 1996? 1997? I was on one of the IBM teams bidding for the OS/2 support contract for Bank of America and RIGGS bank. Sadly, our team lost to another IBM team. But, the fact was, I (as in *me* and... oh, no... just me) was supposed to be handling the northeastern seaboard for support. At (IBM's) rates (charged to BoA) that would have been a lot less than RS/6000 based support. And also FAR less than Windows support (which would have (ummm, currently does) needed hundreds more support people). Do you think IBM Global Services, which accounted for either the largest or second largest percent of IBM's income, was happy with the reduced revenue that OS/2 caused? Short answer, hell no.

There were a LOT of contributing factors to OS/2's demise. Some of it though, was not just a penchant for stupid business decisions. Why harm your biggest moneymakers in favor of something that makes you less money?

And as for IBM current day (back to patents), you all do realize, that it is VERY difficult to buy ANY piece of relatively sophisticated computer equipment without buying something based on (ie: licensed from) IBM patents. Blu-ray, CD-ROMs, numerous manufacturing and die making tech, hard drives (to this day), screen technology, you name it. Most people don't ever see the connection, because often (like in the case of optical disks of varying sorts), IBM makes/designs and patents the deep-down underlying technology, and then a company like Sony does something "really neat" with it, and patents that.

Global Services still accounts for much of their income- in Q42009, it was $9.6 BILLION of about $28 billion revenue.
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