Feeds

Fans petition to open source OS/2

Please release us, let OS go

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Die-hard OS/2 supporters are calling for IBM to release the source code of the venerable operating system so that it might prosper after it's put out to pasture. Earlier this month, IBM reaffirmed its decision to cease marketing OS/2 at the end of next year. Free - but not paid - support of OS/2 from IBM will also cease at the end of 2006.

The announcement comes as no particular surprise. OS/2 never made it on the desktop, in large part because of Microsoft's exclusionary tactics, and has been relegated to a role in the embedded networking systems market for some time. Its niche spot in ATMs means it continues to be used by a number of banks. Also German vendor Serenity Systems continues to provide extended support for server managed workstations, called eComStation, based on OS/2.

OS/2's small, but enthusiastic support community, are in no mood to take things lying down. More than 10,000 people have signed a petition on community site OS/2 World urging IBM to make OS/2, or at least part of its components, open source. IBM has been a long-term supporter of Linux, and it might prefer customers to migrate. The petition argues that releasing OS/2 would make this process easier as well as benefiting customers that want to stick with the platform.

OS/2 was forged in a joint development project between IBM and Microsoft with contributions from other third-party developers such as Corel. The petitioners acknowledge the third-party work poses an obstacle to releasing OS/2 source code.

"We know that IBM faces a problem of making OS/2 Open Source because of the private sources from third party companies. What we ask of IBM is to release as much of the source as possible and list the OS/2 components that need an Open Source replacement," the petition argues. The petition is yet to be filed and is open to further signups here. IBM's stance on the issue remains unclear. ®

Related stories

OS/2: dead again
Microsoft uses $850m to kiss and make up with IBM
Sun can't afford to market Linux desktop

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
That dreaded syncing feeling: Will Microsoft EVER fix OneDrive?
Microsoft's long history of broken Windows sync
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
Mozilla, EFF, Cisco back free-as-in-FREE-BEER SSL cert authority
Let’s Encrypt to give HTTPS-everywhere a boost in 2015
SLURP! Flick your TONGUE around our LOLLIPOP – Google
Android 5 is coming – IF you're lucky enough to have the right gadget
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.