What is OS/2 Warp's future?
If you've carefully read the Short OS/2 Introduction page, then you know that
IBM doesn't make a priority of OS/2 anymore. In fact, IBM wants to get rid of
all of its desktop operating systems. Of course, they won't just stop selling
OS/2, since a lot of companies that still use OS/2 today and refuse to use anything
else would be very angry, and would never sell IBM hardware again...
IBM's long-term objective is to enable customers to achieve platform independence via the Application Framework for e-Business, and it recommends that customers make the transition as soon as possible. That means two things:
So IBM really advices to migrate to another platform than IBM OS/2. Happily, a lot of OS/2-using companies like OS/2 that much (due to its performance, stability, easy of use, and manageability) that they will keep running it. Don't forget that many of these companies have their own OS/2-specific written software that has been worked on for years. They by now have very stable and complex applications that exactly suit their needs. IBM has officially stated that it estimates that it would take 500 person years to rewrite these applications and transform to non-OS/2, thereby requiring an investment of $ 100 million. IBM realizes that the large companies won't leave OS/2, and so e-Business with its platform independency is an answer to those companies.
e-Business Enabling Enhancements
Until now IBM has been providing tools to enable e-Business platform independency for OS/2 Warp product family (that means OS/2 Warp 4, OS/2 Warp Server for e-Business, WorkSpace on Demand R2, also called BlueBird). Thereto, they provided a robust TCP/IP package (see screenshots page) for data transmission and communication, a superb Java Virtual Machine for portability, an XML parser for data portability, a browser (IBM WebBrowser, based on Mozilla) for a neutral user interface, and Lotus Domino Application Server complemented with WebSphere Application Server for the hosting of applications. Thus, IBM clearly holds tight to the client-server strategy in their e-Business plans. These tools are now not further in development; IBM expects they work and will be compatible with later releases of WebSphere.
Hardware and Device Driver Enhancements and Defect Support
Take away drivers, and an operating system is dead, unusable and doesn't value anything. IBM will continue to develop OS/2 device drivers until the end of the year 2004. These drivers are mostly available via a SoftWare Choice or PassPort Advantage subscription. Some of them (as is the case with some IEEE208.11b drivers) will only be obtainable via IBM business contract. What will happen after 2004 is rather unclear: IBM has already said more than once that they would abandon OS/2, but again and again, they keep supporting it ;)
That still leaves open three of IBM's directions that will be offered until
the end of 2006, if not perhaps even longer. These services are only for companies,
not for individuals. If a company wants a logon client application that enables
it to log on to OS/2 via BeOS for example, then a company can get this software
via an IBM business contract, for which IBM charges fees.
So far, IBM's strategy. The annual official IBM reports on their famous "IBM OS/2 Warp Strategy" can be found at www.software.ibm.com/os/warp/strategy.
Serenity Systems International
This is a company independent from IBM that was funded some years ago by some
retired IBM employees that like OS/2 really much. For the first time ever, IBM
licensed its OS/2 to another company to develop it further. SSI continues to
develop and sell OS/2 under the name eComStation.
os2warp.be Corporate Support Services
os2warp.be, being the leading OS/2 and hardware related website gives an answers
to the current questions and demands from the corporate customer having either
deployed a complete OS/2 network, or companies migrating away from OS/2. To
this end, os2warp.be offers os2warp.be IT Business Solutions to prepare your
network for the future, while reducing costs to the minimum.
Last modified: 2004/08/30, 22:09 | This site is sponsored by Mensys B.V.