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OS/2: dead again

IBM's issues annual end of life notice

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On Tuesday, IBM formally announced that it would cease marketing OS/2 at the end of next year.

This might cause wry amusement among the operating system's remaining enthusiasts, who maintain that IBM really never started marketing OS/2 in the first place.

These death notices are almost an annual occurrence now. IBM ceased serious development on OS/2 in 1996, told regular users to shove off five years ago, and we've already run our valedictory, which leaves little more to add.

IBM has told its customers they'll continue to receive support, provided they pay for it - unlike Windows NT 4.0, or Windows 2000, we might add. That's because IBM tries to stick by Thomas Watson's 1956 edict that the company will honor a promise to its customers "no matter what the cost" - and one global credit card company continues to rely on OS/2.

(Microsoft's equivalent promise seems to be "start a weblog about it, regardless of the cost". But that's touchy-feely modern marketing for you, where what you say is supposed to carry more weight than what you actually do.)

We tracked down one OS/2 developer today in the twilight world of embedded networking systems, where OS/2 has lived on. It's no big deal, he told us.

"I mean TCP/IP and SNA are not going to stop working, are they?," he told us. "Well, I bloody hope not."

German vendor eComStation continues to provide extended support.

IBM agreed damages with Microsoft over the latter's exclusionary tactics designed to keep OS/2 from being a success. ®

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