By: Walter Metcalf
About 15 months ago, IBM began talking about
and going after just the server market, and not releasing a successor to Warp 4.
However, Brad Wardell, President of Stardock Corporation
Inc. saw the need for a new Warp client. He began discussions with IBM about
the possibility of licensing Aurora from IBM and turning that into a client.
For the past 6 months, Stardock and IBM have been working closely together in
hammering out the details of an OS/2 client. Everything from potential names to
minute components that would or would not be included were discussed.
According to Brad things looked quite hopeful as recently as June 1999. Finally
an agreement in principal was reached, and the last major hurdle was a meeting between
the IBM'ers in favour of the Stardock proposal and IBM as a whole. That meeting
was set for this week. IBM's decision, announced yesterday, was, "No!"
The part that's especially hard to take is that IBM wouldn't let Stardock, which
they admitted had the best proposal of several they had seen, do anything with Aurora
The real puzzle is why. As I state in my editorial,
the real reasons may never be known outside IBM's executive suite. IBM is quoted
as saying, "it is currently not in IBM's or their customer's interests to license
any current OS/2 technology on an OEM-basis." Not only does that statement
fly in the face of the truth,
the Warp client issue was never about licensing "technology on an OEM-basis".
The only way that statement might be true is if the "customer's interest"
IBM is speaking of is Microsoft's interest! Has IBM once again bent to Microsoft's
Does this mean OS/2 is finally dead? Of course not. Even IBM is still marketing
OS/2 for the server, and as a recent article
on ZDNet stated, OS/2 is even selling in client
form far better than IBM had expected. OS/2 will continue to do well in desktop
or client form simply because it is still the best operating system available.
See my editorial response to IBM's decision.