OS/2 is Not Only ALIVE, It is an Important Part of IBM'S Future!

[1998-10-23] - Jeff Smith in Stockholm

Jeff Smith, Director for OS/2 Business line management Network Computing Software, visited Stockholm, Sweden, October 14th, and an article on this showed up in a well reputated Swedish computer magazine - Computer Sweden - a few days later. This is a word to word translation.

Java extends the lifetime of OS/2

OS/2 is alive. OS/2 is not to be discontinued. That's the massage from IBM, when they tries to refute rumours and calm down worried customers. OS/2 is actually lucrative.

It started out with an internal memo of 12 pages which slipped out to Internet. During a few days it was possible to read, on a website for OS/2-users, that IBM is continuing cutting down further OS/2 development and 'customers in due time have to change platform or accept lessened functionality if they continue to use OS/2'.

Senior OS/2-boss Jeff Smith had to use all of his authority to get the troublesome document off the web, but by then it already had been picked up by the american business magazine Smart Reseller, and got a new circulation.

Note: A summary of the document was available on this site for just over 1 day. The actual document was posted for only a few hours. As for Jeff Smith, once he asked it to be removed I did, hardly the adventure this portrays. -- Loren

Ten days later Jeff Smith comes to Stockholm on a turn-out.

- It was a half-finished internal letter with a lot of faults and the part on changing platform was especially wrong, he assures Computer Sweden, when he got a cigarette and a cup of coffee after showing over-head pictures before journalists and a representative from the Swedish OS/2 User Group.

- It's like this, he says, my biggest item of expenditure is updating OS/2 drivers, we haven't stopped maintaining the system. We see no furthest time limit for it's lifetime. However, we don't plan to do as Microsoft do, trying to get one and the same operating system to manage everything. OS/2 will not grow upwards. If our customers need bigger systems we have AIX and OS400, he says.

He points at one of his over-head pictures, or foils as IBM says, and repeat what it states:

- The 1,500 biggest OS/2 customers stand for 40 percent of the IBM total turnover! Should we afford getting them into the jam? he asks.

In the unfortunate document, Java is portrayed as the only weapon against Microsoft dominance. And on that Jeff Smith agrees:

- We shall have Java everywhere. Our goal is that at least every second new application are built with Java within four years. OS/2 is the perfect server operating system for thin clients, all of them running Java applications. We are coming up both with thin, Intel based clients and the system addition WorkSpace on Demand, he told us.

The latter is expanding OS/2 so the clients will be started directly from the server. It will offer features to administrate both thin and fat clients from the server.

The article is available in Swedish.

Source: Simon Grönlund

© Copyright, Loren Bandiera, 1997-98. Reprinted with permission. Originally appeared in OS/2 News and Rumors.

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