Feeds

Fans petition to open source OS/2

Please release us, let OS go

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
'People have forgotten just how late the first iPhone arrived ...'
Plus: 'Google's IDEALISM is an injudicious justification for inappropriate biz practices'
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.