OS/2 - The Sadness Of It All
Now running at the OS2Guy Blog:
OS/2 -The Sadness Of It All
OS/2 is dead and for years I worked diligently and with devotion to
help the OS/2 user move forward. From Wikipedia: "Although IBM began
indicating shortly after the release of Warp 4 that OS/2 would
eventually be withdrawn, the company did not end support until
2006-12-31. Sales of OS/2 stopped on 2005-12-23."
The reality of OS/2 is that IBM owns it lock, stock and barrel and
their decision to cease development and to stop selling it means that
no matter who or what promises you they can extend the life and keep
your OS/2 system viable, it simply isn't true.
Those few people using OS/2 today (2008) are now so far behind the
"computing norm" that they are considered relics. OS/2 users were once
ahead of the pack and today, if they exist, are tottering along far
back over the horizon it isn't funny.
They are going to have to move on. To believe a third party one-man
company is going to save their operating system is not only foolish
but downright stupid - and I know OS/2 users are not innately stupid.
The longer they wait to move forward the harder it is going to be.
For me, I had to look at the options. There was Windows which was the
natural enemy of the OS/2 user. Linux, with no corporate support to
speak of and entirely dependent on cranks and geeks (we have enough of
them here, MI5 is a fine example as well as Marty), and OS X. The
latter is not only a fully certified Unix OS but it has an assured
future and is currently beyond the scope of any other operating system
out there and available today.
Apple's move to Intel made OS X even more important and viable for the
OS/2 user because it meant, with a little help from the VPC
developers, I could still run my OS/2 apps until they either failed to
work for me or I found an OS X equivalent. So my investment inn OS/2
was not lost, it was carried forward with me to OS X. I also knew that
OS X was an object oriented operating system, just like OS/2, so that
transition over was going to be very easy whereas a Windows- centric
user would find the transition very frustrating. Microsoft has implied
repeatedly that Windows was object oriented but it is not by any
means. What Windows does is fake the object oriented features.
Within two weeks of buying a Mac the only application that I missed
under OS/2 was a handy little program called PMView. I wrote to author
to encourage development of a universal version of PMView for the Mac
community because I felt it would be a profitable project and
application. Today I don't feel that way at all. OS X comes with so
many built-in graphical programs that edit, adjust, convert, etc., and
does all those things so easily and intuitively that I doubt PMView
for the Mac would be profitable.
The future: The optical drive is on the path of the floppy. This year
(2008) we're going to see laptops and desktops released without built-
in DVDRW/CDRW hardware. Impossible! Can't happen! But remember -
people said the same thing about the floppy drive and today you don't
give floppies a second thought. The iPhone is already one such device.
And Apple is about to announce (and compete head on with NetFlix) a
new iTunes Movie rental business with such heavy hitters as 20th
Century Fox, Disney, Paramount, Sony, Miramax and a slew of
independent movie distributors. The same day a movie is released to
theaters you'll be able to download it directly to your computing
device (iPod, iPhone, iMac, Mac Book, Mac Pro, AppleTV) and watch it
as many times as you want over a 24 hour period.
Apple will probably announce an "ultra" thin laptop on January 15th at
MacWorld. It won't have an optical drive per se but they'll offer the
option of adding an external that can be connected via USB. The hard
drive will be replaced with a flash drive(s). Replace the standard
hard drive and remove the internal optical drive and you're going to
see a very thin laptop more powerful then anything on the market
today, equipped with Penryn dual core Intel chips, 802.11n (high
speed) WiFi, BlueTooth, paper thin-backlit displays and more. You
won't stick a stack of DVDs in your luggage when you travel, you'll
load up your keychain ThumbDrive with all of your favorite programs,
TV Shows, and movies and plug them into your Ultra-Thin MacBook's USB
So do you see where computing is going? OS/2 will never be able to go
there no matter what a minor one-man company tells you. The longer the
OS/2 users keep their heads buried the more frustrated and
disillusioned they are going to be.
The best advice I can give to *all* former and current OS/2 users is
to accept the fate of OS/2 and commit yourself to another OS.
Preferably OS X.
Dr. Tim Martin, The OS/2 Guy
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