OS/2 Warp Version 3 on Floppy Disk
Operating System/2 (OS/2 Warp) was originally developed as a joint project between IBM and Microsoft. It's intention was to replace the antiquated Disk Operating System (DOS) as the operating system of choice. At the time, DOS was at version 3.x, and IBM and Microsoft both realized that with the advent of the Intel 80286 in the mid-1980's, it was quickly becoming obsolete. Thus, OS/2 was born, initially as a 16-bit, command-line based operating system. Microsoft worked closely with IBM up to version 1.3. While IBM worked on the "guts," they worked on the new graphical user interface that was due for later versions. OS/2's kernel was developed by IBM from the ground up as the Personal Computer (PC) version of a mainframe operating system, with all of the time-slicing, stability, and other features previously existing solely on those high-end machines.
Around this time (circa 1990), Microsoft's other project, Windows, now at version 3.0, was starting to gain popularity with some users. Previously, Windows had been little more than a task-swapping shell for DOS applications, and was intended to compete with QuarterDeck's DesqView. Users found it appealing becaused it contained some of the GUI elements that were being developed for OS/2. A decision was made to drop all support for OS/2, and go strictly with Windows. However, because of the history they had with IBM, and because they still used so much of their technology (Object Linking and Embedding [OLE] aka ActiveX and Component Object Model [COM] are derived from Dynamic Data Exchange [DDE]), Microsoft to this day maintains a broad-ranging cross-licensing agreement with them. Windows NT was partially based on the OS/2 work that they did for IBM, and Windows 95 also borrows heavily from this code.
With Microsoft no longer doing development on the user interface, IBM was faced with creating this themselves. In this timeframe, a deal was made with Commodore. Commodore licensed IBM's REXX scripting language for inclusion in their AmigaOS, and IBM took many GUI design ideas from the AmigaOS for their new GUI. With the release of OS/2 2.0, the WorkPlace Shell (WPS) user interface was born. OS/2 was now a 32-bit operating system, with a fully object-oriented graphical user interface. Based on IBM's System Object Model (SOM), the WorkPlace Shell is still the model for all graphical user interfaces, since nothing else has come even close to providing the same functionality. OS/2 2.1 and 2.11 followed, including a version of 2.11 with full Symmetric Multi-Processing (SMP) support. OS/2 2.x won over many Windows 3.x users because of it's ability to run Windows programs seamlessly, while maintaining a stable system, something that Windows had trouble doing. IBM even went so far as to trademark the term "Crash-Proof."
Our boxed set with manuals and the BonusPak which includes Internet, Fax, IBM Works, Multimedia and more was kindly donated by Morcum Lund
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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH12539. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.
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