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Citrix Founder and Key OS/2 Player Ed Iacobucci Dead At 59

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the if-it's-not-something-else-it's-cancer dept.

Cloud 98

alphadogg writes "Ed Iacobucci, whose work on OS/2 at IBM helped fuel the PC craze and whose efforts at Citrix and VirtualWorks aimed to bring computing back under control, has died at the age of 59 from pancreatic cancer. Born in Argentina and schooled in systems engineering at Georgia Tech, Iacobucci got his career start in 1979 at IBM, where he held architecture and design leadership roles involving PC operating systems OS/2 and DOS, working closely with Microsoft in doing so (and later turned down a job there). Iacobucci left 10 years later to start thin-client/virtualization company Citrix, followed by creation of on-demand jet company DayJet, and most recently VirtualWorks, a company dedicated to managing big data sprawl. He stepped down as CEO of VirtualWorks in May because of his health."

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Frosty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44076753)

inb4 the usual mental-illness Linux Advocates/M$H8ers come up with bizarre theories about how Citrix got screwed while making a gazillion dollars.

Re:Frosty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44076777)

what about the mycleanpc hordes?

Re:Frosty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44076945)

How's the job going? Doesn't sound like a geat place to work, frankly...

Microsoft Employee Review
There are newer reviews for this employer.
See the most recent Microsoft Reviews
Jan 14, 2011

8 people found this helpful
“Toxic, toxic environment. Backstabbing individuals that are not that great at their jobs.”
Senior Marketing Manager (Former Employee)
Redmond, WA

I worked at Microsoft

Pros – Exposure to exciting projects and some great clients. Can be fun to be part of a large organization that is well-known.

Cons – There are a lot of people that have been employed there for years and are not good at their jobs. The company does not think about the long term impact of decisions that it makes and each fiscal year, each team has to shift their energy to satisfy what is on Ballmer's agenda. This leads to dissatisfied partners and clients and wasted time and money by teams that have spent a year building up a program just to have it all thrown away. Just think what MS could do if they had a vision and stuck to it. Overall - an extremely toxic environment with unethical people that will do what ever they need to in order to move up in the organization and get recognition.

Advice to Senior Management – You have created an environment that breeds negativity. Your employees are clawing and scratching at eachother to get ahead. You promote dumb people into positions they have no business being in. You need to get back to the core of Microsoft and try to be innovative - you have done nothing "amazing" in a long time. Wake Up!

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

Re:Frosty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44077013)

Let's apply some some minimal intelligence to your post .

  Obviously any paid shills are commenting on current controversies (Xbox? Windows8? um, idonno?), and probably not weird compu-trivia arguments about remote access software from 1994.

Therefore we can conclude once again verify there's a strong "Paranoid Schizophrenic" element in the Linux Advocate/MS-Hater group. Of course, this is well-known, at least outside the group. But inside their club, apparently they feel that calling someone a "1993 Citrix Shill" is acceptable rhetoric, despite the fact that they themselves personally repel potential users from GNU/Linux.

Re:Frosty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44077097)

Why are you ranting on about Linux?

It's got fuck-all to do with this.

Re:Frosty (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#44080269)

Can we just quit with the "shills trolls vampires" [tmrepository.com] trope already?

A REAL SHILL is frankly as easy to spot as a goth kid in a bible camp, that is because corporate makes them "stay on message" so it never fails you end up with "buzzword bingo" that no normal human actually uses in a day to day conversation. we have seen such gems as "vertical synergy" "enhanced user experience" and so on and so forth. Seriously guys they are REALLY not hard to spot, a real shill is as subtle as old Twitter was when it came to Linux, corporate just won't let them deviate too far from script.

So can we please stop with the whole "Shills trolls vampires" thing already? All it does is derail the conversations which if you truly believe they are there to insure positive feedback for a product YOU JUST HELPED THEM by totally killing any discussion of the product in question. if a person is really shilling any discussion will quickly take apart their position, and as i said they can't help but slip in marketing speak so it will quickly become self evident, why fuck up the conversation for everybody else? Its as pointless as being in the middle of a discussion of chip designs and having somebody scream "NIGGER!" at the top of their lungs...thanks for sharing, please go away now.

The same goes for throwing the "troll" word around, if you think they are full of shit? Then you should be able to produce multiple counter examples and citations to blow away their position. We are SUPPOSED to be geeks here, use your brain and come up with a counter argument. Screaming troll or just answering a post with nothing but mindless insults with nothing to back it up reminds me of those 14 year old CoD players screaming "FAGGOT!" and claiming someone HAS to be cheating to be able to pop a cap in their snot nosed ass. If you think they are wrong? PROVE IT, provide an intelligent counter argument with multiple examples that picks apart any position they had and let everyone see and judge the evidence for themselves.

Personally i think its sad how far this site has fallen, I really do. We used to have 300 post threads where various positions would be argued, pros and cons weighed, even when it was heated you LEARNED and would leave the site better informed than when you left. Now it seems to be all about group think and name calling, one must join the herd and bleat the same talking points endlessly with nothing to back it up, else it quickly turns into "shill troll vampire" name calling. Kinda sad really, and I wonder if that isn't why more and more of the old guard are just walking away.

Re:Frosty (1, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#44080141)

Citrix didn't get screwed and neither did OS/2, in fact I'd say we'd be using OS/2 right now if it had been put out by any other company than IBM.

I know many will say OS/2 was done in by the "big bad M$" but in reality it actually fits well with my theory that every major success at MSFT is preceded by "And then the other guy did something REALLY dumb" only in the case of OS/2 it wasn't one really dumb thing, it was TWO really REALLY dumb things that did it in.

For those that don't know IBM at the time was royally pissed because the courts ruled there was nothing illegal about taking COTS parts and making an "IBM compatible" as long as they didn't copy the IBM BIOS. So to try to take control of the market back IBM tried to ram through a replacement for the aging ISA bus called MCA that was proprietary as hell and required assraping fees be paid to IBM. Needless to say the other OEMs weren't putting up with that crap and instead what came to be known as the "gang of nine" came up with EISA and had it licensed under RAND. So you can just imagine how little trust the OEMs had for anything coming from IBM, most looked at OS/2 like an offer of plague blankets and avoided it.

But that wasn't the end to the stupidity, nope, if you are gonna go stupid you might as well go full retard and boy did IBM go full retard with their next move. You see Intel around that time had gotten pissed at being required to allow others to make their designs, so called "second sources" that the old guard like IBM demanded, so they flat out refused to let their 386 and later to be second sourced. Now IBM had a license to make the 286 but NOT the 386 or later...can you guess where this is going? Yep while the other OEMs were offering 386 and 486 units for MUCH cheaper prices IBM was demanding premium money for 286 units which considering how fast software was progressing at the time quickly became dinosaurs.

So as someone who actually ran an OS/2 Warp system back in the day YES it was a great OS, YES it was more advanced than Windows but NO it never had a chance because not only did the OEMs not trust IBM any farther than they could chunk a mainframe but right up until the last couple of years, when every store had so much Windows software on shelves it wasn't funny, the ONLY place you were getting OS/2 was on outdated and overpriced IBM hardware.

As I said MSFT won because "and then the other guy did something REALLY dumb" but we have seen that time and time again, where a system that was technically nicer lost because of stupid moves...betamax anyone?

good (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44076783)

I find citrix to be a useless platform mired in the past and unable to step forward into the future. Weird inconsistencies poor implementation it could all be replaced by a small shell script.

Re:good (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year and a half ago | (#44077203)

I find citrix to be a useless platform mired in the past and unable to step forward into the future. Weird inconsistencies poor implementation it could all be replaced by a small shell script.

I couldn't agree more, but for secure remote desktop access on a large scale its the best there is. It could be a lot better but the others are worse or unproven in enterprise settings

Re:good (1)

jgrahn (181062) | about a year and a half ago | (#44078625)

I couldn't agree more, but for secure remote desktop access on a large scale its the best there is.

I still prefer ssh access to a nicely configured Unix box though ...

Citrix was a major victim of the OS/2 2.0 fiasco (2, Interesting)

yuhong (1378501) | about a year and a half ago | (#44076805)

I didn't mention it in my blog post, but yes Citrix was a major victim of the MS OS/2 2.0 fiasco. It is hardly the worse of it though. Look up "OS/2 Microsoft Munchkins", and remember that wasn't the only unethical attack MS tried against OS/2 later on, which got worse as Chicago (Windows 95) was delayed. Not to mention DR-DOS too (remember OS/2 never depended on DOS).

Re:Citrix was a major victim of the OS/2 2.0 fiasc (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44076911)

^ The above post demonstrates something important.

One of the biggest errors of the Linux Advocacy movement is when they allowed themselves to be subverted by "Team IBM OS/2". These corporate bitches hated Microsoft with all their guts but they have absolutely no love for Unix or the ethics of the Free Software Movement. They just wanted someone to take out "Micro$loth"

I have looked up "OS/2 Microsoft Munchkins", and the key evidence is THREE fake posts that some MS employee posted on *Compuserve* in NINETEEN-FUCKING-NINTY!!

Yes, that is correct, these losers are still goatse-level butthurt about some 3-hour troll from TWENTY YEARS AGO. Despite how obviously pathetic that is, they have somehow taken over key aspects of the Linux Advocacy movement, including pretty much all the commentary on sites like GrokLaw.

In any case, MICROSOFT VERSUS LINUX is all rhetorical. The two barely compete on a direct level. Microsoft failed to get Windows into the handheld markets, and Linux had dominated there. Meanwhile, Microsoft hold corporate group servers and desktops. The only reason this gets brought up is so middle-age losers can relive their mistakes and anal pains.

MS unethical attack against OS/2 .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44077085)

billg: "should [SmartSuite] become an issue in our global relationship with IBM"

Kempin:"I am willing to do whatever it takes to kick them out." link [theregister.co.uk]

'The demos of OS/2 were excellent, crashing the system had the intended effect -- to FUD OS/2 2.0. People paid attention to the demo and were often supprised to our favor.

Steve positioned it as --OS/2 not "bad" but that from a performance and "robustness" standpoint, it is NOT better than Windows. We know the design point, we know what's in it'. link [edge-op.org]

"We all believe that fundamentally OS/2 with PM really is a better platform for a superior business applications .. making OS/2 the next generation operating system" link [edge-op.org]

"This market also contains many companies that will give us their total support in establishing OS/2 as the next standard in personal computing" Sincerely, Wiliam H. Gates [edge-op.org]

OS/2 "Crush" Plan - Draft [edge-op.org]

"Microsoft abandoned their OS/2 customers and developers prior to us making OS/2 successful." link [edge-op.org]

Compaq will not license OS/2 [edge-op.org]

Re:MS unethical attack against OS/2 .. (1)

yuhong (1378501) | about a year and a half ago | (#44077379)

Also see the original MS OS/2 2.0 SDK announcement from 1989:
http://www.os2museum.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/1989-12-29-m3974.html [os2museum.com]
And my blog post on is at here (notice the mention of DR-DOS and PX00307, which is another exhibit that don't seem to be well known:
http://yuhongbao.blogspot.ca/2012/12/about-ms-os2-20-fiasco-px00307-and-dr.html [blogspot.ca]

Re:Citrix was a major victim of the OS/2 2.0 fiasc (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year and a half ago | (#44077525)

Speaking of Chicago . . .

Team OS/2 went external that spring, when the first Team OS/2 Party was held in Chicago. The IBM Marketing Office in Chicago created a huge banner visible from the streets. Microsoft reacted when Steve Ballmer roamed the floor with an application on diskette that had been specially programmed to crash OS/2; and OS/2 enthusiasts gathered for an evening of excitement at the first Team OS/2 party.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Team_OS/2 [wikipedia.org]

After hearing that story, soon after it happened, I was never surprised by anything else that he has done since then. It just showed me the "content of his character", as MLK used to say.

Re:Citrix was a major victim of the OS/2 2.0 fiasc (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#44077843)

After hearing that story, soon after it happened, I was never surprised by anything else that he has done since then. It just showed me the "content of his character", as MLK used to say.

Ballmer is the G. Gordon Liddy of computing. He makes about as much sense when they let him talk, too.

Re:Citrix was a major victim of the OS/2 2.0 fiasc (1)

kermidge (2221646) | about a year and a half ago | (#44089005)

Well, I've met Liddy, sat with him and Tim Leary over a couple of pitchers (Lizard's Underground, East Lansing, ~1982). He talks just fine, or did, back then. As for Ballmer? I dunno, never met him. Don't care much for what I see of him, tho.

Re:Citrix was a major victim of the OS/2 2.0 fiasc (2)

readingaccount (2909349) | about a year and a half ago | (#44077593)

Bah. I hate history when retold by those who lost. MS battled against OS/2 and won, yes, but unethical? No. MS just had the resources and will to play dirty, and evidently IBM did not. That's just modern business and honestly I think most companies nowadays, whether they be MS, Apple or the open-source fan's champion Google, would do exactly the same "unethical" actions necessary to win against the competition.

Re:Citrix was a major victim of the OS/2 2.0 fiasc (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year and a half ago | (#44077797)

MS was unethical because they were paid to develop OS/2 in the first place and used that position to, against the terms of the agreement they signed, copy the best features into their own OS AND to write the original OS/2 so as to make it work less well than it could have.

That being said, ultimately the failure of OS/2 resulted from IBM's original attempt to keep PCs from advancing beyond the 80286 chip. While they abandoned that position, it left them with a major PR hurdle that they were never able to overcome.

Re:Citrix was a major victim of the OS/2 2.0 fiasc (1)

readingaccount (2909349) | about a year and a half ago | (#44077861)

See, I can accept that. At least you see OS/2's failure as being more than just due to Microsoft's actions. Same thing with Internet Explorer vs Netscape really. People say MS muscled Netscape out with IE being free and bundled with new computers/Windows. But by the time IE 4 came around it WAS better (in performance at least) compared to Netscape Communicator at the time. Heck, I use Firefox now but I distinctly remember using IE by choice because of how much better it was at the time. Netscape just didn't take the threat of competition seriously.

Re:Citrix was a major victim of the OS/2 2.0 fiasc (1)

dryeo (100693) | about a year and a half ago | (#44079339)

That was the the thing with Microsoft, they could have behaved fairly ethically and between IBM shooting themselves and the luck of ram prices staying high they would have won the desktop but they still behaved very unethically.
With IE vs Netscape, Microsoft making IE free meant that Netscape couldn't sell their browser and with no income coming in they obviously couldn't compete and fell behind the company that could afford to spend lots of money on a freebie.

Re:Citrix was a major victim of the OS/2 2.0 fiasc (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44082581)

You don't really have any concept of what business ethics are, but I'm fascinated by your Netscrape comment. Today we have Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. I don't remember paying anything for those 3 browsers, no have I given their parent organizations any money despite the fact that Internet Explorer was freely available on Windows since each of their respective release dates. Hmm.... conclusion: FUCK NETSCRAPE. It was a gay company run by faggots.

Re:Citrix was a major victim of the OS/2 2.0 fiasc (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#44082113)

The problem with the ethics behind IE is that they fused it into the OS and repeatedly claimed it could not be separated out.

Re:Citrix was a major victim of the OS/2 2.0 fiasc (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#44082087)

No, that's just unethical behavior enshrined. If most businesses would do that then most businesses are unethical and should have their charters revoked.

Re:Citrix was a major victim of the OS/2 2.0 fiasc (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44077877)

In the spirit of full disclosure, it's important to note that Yuhong was once in close affiliation with Roy Schestowitz, a FOSS extremist and the mastermind behind Boycott Novell/Techrights. Remember that those who lie down with pigs usually end up getting dirty.

Re:Citrix was a major victim of the OS/2 2.0 fiasc (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year and a half ago | (#44080319)

Bullshit, as somebody in the trenches MSFT didn't do anything but capitalize on some seriously DUMB SHIT moves by IBM.

IBM tried to fuck the OEMs over with MCA bus and then followed that with crazy prices for copies of OS/2 to try to force themselves back into the market leader position, the OEMs rightly looked at OS/2 like an STD and stayed the hell away from it. Intel refused to allow second sources for 386 and later (which is why Intel and AMD ended up in court and why the AMD 386 and 486 didn't come out until around the time of the Pentium I, and why Intel started using names instead of numbers) and since IBM had a license to produce 286 chips while the gang of nine were selling 386 and 486 systems by as much as 50% cheaper than IBM old big blue was trying to get premium money for 286 chip based machines and that naturally didn't go over well.

MSFT ended up getting the business because...well nobody else bothered even showing up. BeOS started with the failed AT&T Hobbit chip and went from that to PPC, by the time they got around to offering an X86 version the boat had sailed, and after IBM tried to fuck them multiple times the OEMs wasn't gonna take shit from IBM because naturally you aren't gonna trust the company that fucked them.

Downfall (1)

Vlijmen Fileer (120268) | about a year and a half ago | (#44076849)

Let's hope this starts the downfall of all Centralised Desktop Terror Computing (CDTC, t/m); too many people have been forced into utter frustration and unproductiveness for far too long already by SuckTricks and like products.

Re:Downfall (1)

Z34107 (925136) | about a year and a half ago | (#44077031)

It's great for what it is. The healthcare industry uses it heavily because 1) it's cheaper to deploy a thousand thin clients than a thousand Dell boxxen 2) the thin clients are more likely to fit into a cramped nurses' station, and 3) running the application remotely means no PHI is sitting on a public-facing terminal, and 4) it's easier to manage and update a handful of Citrix servers.

But, the man's dead, and you're posting shit like "SuckTricks." If you're the age your UID implies and that's the full extent of your mental capacity, you might be clinically retarded.

Re:Downfall (1)

Vlijmen Fileer (120268) | about a year and a half ago | (#44077483)

Aha, a karma whore. Well, I might be mentally retarded in your view, but that mostly just gives good insight on your own mental capacities ...
You are probably too young and unexperienced to have seen the fallout of the first ten years of centralised computing on Windows platforms, it was hell, outright hell.
Properly implemented centralised computing can be good for a few scenarios, like the one you mentioned. Problem is that Citrix has taken around 10 years to come anywhere close to maturity, but has been forced long before that already upon troves of unsuspecting and understandably unwilling clients. Further it really is outright unfit for quite a number of use cases. And finally, maybe most importantly though rarely touched upon, is that to properly manage (not technically, but "IT manage") such an environment, really big changes have to be made in IT departments, which rarely happened. And still rarely happens.
Maybe things have dramatically changed in the last few years, but at least until a few years ago, SuckTricks was indeed, as you say so colourfully, "shit".

Sad loss. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44076901)

He did many good works; but by no measure did OS/2 "fuel the PC craze"... (Unless you're defining "craze" as "insane mass-market failures.")

Re:Sad loss. (2, Interesting)

Zedrick (764028) | about a year and a half ago | (#44077053)

Oh yes it did. I'm guessing you're just too young to remember. Thanks to massive os/2 tv campaigns, "normal" people suddenly wanted a computer, not just a console to play games on

Re:Sad loss. (3, Informative)

perpenso (1613749) | about a year and a half ago | (#44077163)

Oh yes it did. I'm guessing you're just too young to remember. Thanks to massive os/2 tv campaigns, "normal" people suddenly wanted a computer, not just a console to play games on

Perhaps you are thinking of PS/2, the computer, a followup to the IBM PC?

OS/2 was an operating system and few people used its 16-bit 1.x incarnation. Microsoft was IBM's partner is OS/2 development. Microsoft tried to get people to move from MS-DOS to OS/2 1.x and failed. They then thought what the hell lets deliver that OS/2 1.x Presentation Manager GUI as a layer on top of MS-DOS. We'll call it MS Windows. OK, that was a little simplified yet basically accurate.

MS Windows was meant to be a stop gap, something temporary until users could be migrated to OS/2 from MS-DOS. Microsoft touted how compatible the APIs were, how easy it would be to port your Windows code to OS/2. It actually kind of was. However MS Windows really took off in popularity and MS rethought things, thought they might go it alone. IBM was working on the 32-bit Intel specific OS/2 2.0 and in parallel MS was working on the cross platforms successor version of OS/2, OS/2 NT. OS/2 NT got renamed Windows NT when MS and IBM "divorced".

OS/2 2.0 shipped, did a little better than 1.x but still it was a very minor player. MS successfully FUD'd OS/2 2.0 and got most users to wait just a little bit longer for Windows 95. Failing to deliver OS/2 development tools helped as well, delaying the availability of native apps.

So, no. No matter how many OS/2 TV commercials IBM ran it did not drive many people to OS/2.

Re:Sad loss. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44077251)

OS/2 Ruled!
Do't you remember the ads? "OS/2 Explodes my software!" Just what users want!

On a serious note, I programmed OS/2 for a while and it really did rock. SOLID multitasking when Windows 3.11 truly sucked. I did all of my Windows development on an OS/2 box running Windows under OS/2. When Windows barfed you closed it and re-opened it. It saved a lot of time on reboots.
The OS/2 APIs were orthogonal and made sense, you can see how Microsoft stole most of the ideas then did the lazy implementation that made your life difficult.

Re:Sad loss. (2)

perpenso (1613749) | about a year and a half ago | (#44077289)

I'm with you on OS/2 2.0's technical superiority over Win 3.1 and Win 9x. A true 32-bit OS, real multitasking, real multithreading, real memory protection, etc.

My employer at the time had Windows and Macintosh versions of our app. We considered an OS/2 2.0 port. However the Windows version ran so damn well on OS/2 that there was really no point. Even a few customers who were interested in an OS/2 version conceded that and understood.

Re:Sad loss. (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year and a half ago | (#44077443)

I'm with you on OS/2 2.0's technical superiority over Win 3.1 and Win 9x. A true 32-bit OS, real multitasking, real multithreading, real memory protection, etc.

Except for the fact that OS/2 2.0 was still 16-bit, sure.

OS/2 2.0 and OS/2 3.0 were being developed side-by-side before the MS/IBM split, with 2.0 remaining 16-bit while 3.0 being a full 32-bit OS (remember that there was a 16-bit protected mode available starting with the 80286, which is what OS/2 2.0 used)

A key factor that younger people dont realize and many older people don't know is that IBM always viewed OS/2 as a way to sell hardware. It was named OS/2 because it was meant for IBM's PS/2 hardware. IBM wanted OS/2 to help defend them against the clones. For instance they originally wanted OS/2 2.0 to only support their proprietary PS/2 ports, and they also didnt want it to support EGA or VGA graphics (PS/2' hardware didnt support EGA or VGA graphics, instead they only supported Monochrome, CGA, and IBM's proprietary MCGA.)

It is not a coincidence that after the split Microsoft walked away with the multi-platform NT OS/2 3.0 codebase while IBM retained the single-platform 2.0 codebase.

It is certainly the case that Microsoft dragged its feet with OS/2 2.0, but its not the case that IBM wasn't also at fault for its eventual failure. IBM to this day continues to view software as a means of selling hardware. They undoubtedly remain the second most successful computer hardware company in the world, only overtaken by Apple and then only recently. Their mistake was severely under-estimating Microsoft's position, not expecting a lowly software company to be able to simply cut them out of the loop.

Re:Sad loss. (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about a year and a half ago | (#44078973)

I'm with you on OS/2 2.0's technical superiority over Win 3.1 and Win 9x. A true 32-bit OS, real multitasking, real multithreading, real memory protection, etc.

Except for the fact that OS/2 2.0 was still 16-bit, sure. OS/2 2.0 and OS/2 3.0 were being developed side-by-side before the MS/IBM split, with 2.0 remaining 16-bit while 3.0 being a full 32-bit OS (remember that there was a 16-bit protected mode available starting with the 80286, which is what OS/2 2.0 used)

Parts of the internal graphics engine were 16-bit, some drivers, and it did after all have full 16-bit Windows support. The graphics engine was 32-bit by OS/2 2.1. 16-bit code was temporary, just something to let them ship earlier, something fixed in an update, it was not inherently part of the design as in the Win 9x case. In any case this was irrelevant to the programmer. From the programmer's and user's perspective it was a 32-bit OS. Multitasking, multithreading, memory protections were are using 386 functionality. Only 1.x used 286 functionality in this sense.

Re:Sad loss. (1)

yuhong (1378501) | about a year and a half ago | (#44079671)

For instance they originally wanted OS/2 2.0 to only support their proprietary PS/2 ports, and they also didnt want it to support EGA or VGA graphics (PS/2' hardware didnt support EGA or VGA graphics, instead they only supported Monochrome, CGA, and IBM's proprietary MCGA.)

False, VGA was standard on PS/2 model 50 and higher.

Re:Sad loss. (1)

afidel (530433) | about a year and a half ago | (#44080815)

IBM doesn't care about hardware sales, they've sold the desktop business to Lonovo and were recently shopping the server unit as well. IBM is and always has been a services company, they used hardware as a way to do it from the beginning but now most of the engagements come from software. These days hardware is just a way to sell software which sells services.

Re:Sad loss. (1)

zoward (188110) | about a year and a half ago | (#44077459)

Ah, the memories ... OS/2. It had a lot of great features, but it was a PITA to install, and they spent too much time trying to get it to run windows programs and not enough smoothing out some of the rough edges. I did prefer it to Win 3.11 at the time, though. IBM's WebExplorer become the first web browser I ever used. I still prefer the mutli-document interface from their NR/2 newsreader to anything I've used since. It also had the first multiboot launcher I've used, Boot Manager, which I had running DOS 6.2, Windows 3.11, OS/2 3.0 and slackware linux all on the same drive. LOL, it was fun trying to keep them all running and updated but I had no room for applications!

Re:Sad loss. (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | about a year and a half ago | (#44077505)

Yep, that boot manager was great, even though it needed its own partition and didn't work with large hard drives.

Re:Sad loss. (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#44077857)

Yep, that boot manager was great, even though it needed its own partition and didn't work with large hard drives.

Just like WinNT 3.51 was great, even though it didn't support PCI or partitions over 2GB. Wait, what? It was great once, but then it sucked. Time moves goalposts.

Re:Sad loss. (1)

dunkelfalke (91624) | about a year and a half ago | (#44078981)

Of course. Still, that tool was very helpful for a few years. Also OS/2 Warp boot disks were great as a quick RAM test - they crashed with bad RAM, which was a plague back then.

Re:Sad loss. (1)

dryeo (100693) | about a year and a half ago | (#44079419)

Still doesn't work with disks bigger then 2 TB (and OS/2 needs special partitioning to see over 500 GB) and doesn't work with Win 7s default of using 2 primaries.
Bootmanager showed the difference in philosophies between MS and IBM. IBM made inter-operation easy while MS did every thing they could to lock you in.

Re:Sad loss. (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year and a half ago | (#44077617)

it was a PITA to install

This was a serious problem, and IBM knew it. I had a talk about this with Paul Giangarra, who was later the chief architect of OS/2. The OS/2 service group had to get volunteers from other IBM organizations to work their RETAIN queues; their customer support system. The normal crew was totally overwhelmed.

Paul told me that one customer called, and said that he dropped the diskettes, and they were now out of order, and did not know what to do. During that conversation, someone came into the office and told Paul that the IBM-Microsoft shared source server link had been cut. Great moments in history.

The IBM group that did OS/2 later went on to develop an IBM Microkernel, or Workplace Operating System. That was supposed to run on all their systems, even their mainframes. So that was also a part of Ed Iacobucci's legacy.

It never saw the light of day, though. When Lou Gerstner came to IBM, he brought in Jerome York to be the CFO. When York saw that IBM was $2 billion in the red with OS/2, he wanted to scrap it immediately. However, the IBMers who said that IBM would lose face by walking away from it won out.

Re:Sad loss. (1)

peetm (781139) | about a year and a half ago | (#44143271)

>>and they spent too much time trying to get it to run windows programs

Who did?

I worked on the Windows Libraries for OS/2 (WLO) and it was a pure Microsoft effort, and it worked just fine thank you very much - in fact, thanks to some of the features we could take advantage of, like PM's graphics paths, we could out perform Win 3.1 too.

Re:Sad loss. (1)

Kjella (173770) | about a year and a half ago | (#44077595)

And higher machine specs, sure today you laugh at it but as I remember OS/2 required double as much RAM as Windows 3.1 to run well (I think 4MB and 8MB, but don't quote me on that), I used both but for the time the OS stole way too many resources on boot. This was still a time where if you ran anything "demanding" it usually ran barebones in DOS and fiddling with XMS, EMS to give it more than 1MB of memory. Not to mention OS/2 was the personification of the "unpersonal" office computer in a time where we were mostly using it for fun and tinkering, IBMs only real understanding of the personal computer was that one person was using it. Particularly that Microsoft bet big on DirectX was a huge boon for Windows 95+, it's something IBM would never do.

Re:Sad loss. (1)

dryeo (100693) | about a year and a half ago | (#44079483)

It was IBMs bad luck that ram prices stayed so high as it did really need 8MB. I ran it in 4MBs by not loading the WPS and it worked very well. It was easier to run those DOS apps that needed more then 1MB of memory and due to a better file system, they ran faster.
Warp V3 shipped with DIVE and DART for game support, Microsoft copied the idea and called it DirectX. IBM was interested in supporting games for a while.

Re:Sad loss. (1)

yuhong (1378501) | about a year and a half ago | (#44079757)

The early MS OS/2 2.0 SDKs shipped with the old 1.2 shell that was much less bloated.

Re:Sad loss. (1)

dryeo (100693) | about a year and a half ago | (#44082921)

When I first was using OS/2 (v3), I didn't use the WPS, instead using alternate shells such as filebar or mdesk and it was fine with 4 MBs. Now I have a Gigabyte of ram and yesterday it crashed with a swap file is full error, actually the swap file can only grow to 2 GBs which was huge in 1990.

Re:Sad loss. (1)

Xenna (37238) | about a year and a half ago | (#44077461)

You got the time frame wrong.
When OS/2 appeared Windows was already in use.
So OS/2 was competing with Windows from the start.

Re:Sad loss. (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about a year and a half ago | (#44078993)

You got the time frame wrong. When OS/2 appeared Windows was already in use. So OS/2 was competing with Windows from the start.

16-bit OS/2 1.x predated Windows (well Win 3.0, not sure about the Win 1.0 or 2.0 that no one used). 32-bit OS/2 2.0 was a contemporary of 16-bit Win 3.1 and predated 32-bit Win 95.

Re:Sad loss. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#44077783)

os/2 provided a "pro" operating system on the hardware.

so you could buy the hardware.. and often end up noticing that it's fine enough with windows. that's why os/2 tanked.

Re:Sad loss. (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year and a half ago | (#44077811)

Microsoft never had any intention of migrating people to OS/2 because IBM controlled the IP rights to OS/2 in a way that they did not with DOS. From the beginning Windows was intended to compete with OS/2. There were two sides to the story of what led to the break up between MS and IBM. On one hand, IBM insisted that the first version of OS/2 be written so as to limit its ability to be ported beyond the 80286 (I believe there were a few other strategic decisions made by IBM in the development of OS/2 that MS disagreed with, but I do not remember the specifics). On the other hand, MS deliberately executed IBM's strategy decisions so as to maximize the failure of OS/2 so as to leave the market open for the successor OS they were developing (which at the time was Win95).

Re:Sad loss. (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about a year and a half ago | (#44078819)

Microsoft never had any intention of migrating people to OS/2 because IBM controlled the IP rights to OS/2 in a way that they did not with DOS. From the beginning Windows was intended to compete with OS/2.

That is not what Microsoft was telling developers in the early days. I got to watch some Microsoft OS/2 developer training videos at work. They clearly told us that Windows was a temporary bridge to ease/facilitate the ultimate transition to OS/2.

which at the time was Win95

I am referring to things way before Win95. In the earliest days of Win 3, maybe even a little before the commercial release of Win 3.

Re:Sad loss. (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year and a half ago | (#44078867)

You are correct about the OS dates. However, the key factor in the failure of OS/2 was IBM's decision to attempt to limit it to the 80286 chip and keep PC development from adopting 80386 chips and later. From the time of that decision, MS began to subvert development of OS/2 and plan to release its own OS based on the same ideas.

Re:Sad loss. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44079293)

Ah the 80386... I remember when it came out and Compaq said it was bringing minicomputer speeds to the desktop :). http://articles.latimes.com/1986-09-10/business/fi-13177_1_personal-computer [latimes.com]

Things were changing quite fast back then. There were plenty of "superior" products which never made it as big somehow. Who really knows why OS/2 didn't succeed? Perhaps if we asked enough of the prospective customers back then we'd know the real reason why.

Re:Sad loss. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44078481)

>>...However MS Windows really took off in popularity and...

Windows "popularity" was helped along by aggressive MS marketing (!).
It was hard for a manufacturer not to pre-load Windows on their PC clone when MS contracts were per computer, whether it had Windows or not (example: pay MS $35 per computer loaded with Windows, or $7 for each PC you sold regardless of OS).
This practice was found illegal, but they kept doing it.

Re:Sad loss. (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about a year and a half ago | (#44079039)

>>...However MS Windows really took off in popularity and...

Windows "popularity" was helped along by aggressive MS marketing (!). It was hard for a manufacturer not to pre-load Windows on their PC clone when MS contracts were per computer, whether it had Windows or not (example: pay MS $35 per computer loaded with Windows, or $7 for each PC you sold regardless of OS). This practice was found illegal, but they kept doing it.

No, MS Windows 3.0 was genuinely popular with users. MS could play games to get it on the hard drive but it couldn't make users use it. People at the time generally agreed it was a great improvement over MS DOS, they overwhelmingly wanted a GUI based environment.

OS/2 was crap (1)

markhahn (122033) | about a year and a half ago | (#44079437)

well, you're reiterating the IBM retro-history a little there. Microsoft had a huge role in developing the 32b 2.0, but the main problem was that IBM wanted to take it in the direction of huge, ramified mini/mainframe OSs. to my way of thinking, Linux is actually the proving counterexample of what was bad about OS/2 2.0: modularity and conceptual layering, but without the sclerosis of insisting that modules/layering be reflected in explicit, static APIs.

I worked on OS/2 1.3 and 2.0 at Microsoft. It was very clear then that dealing with IBM was a huge agility problem. And there was no way to foresee that AMD would be the salvation of x86 (the NT stood for "new technology", and referred to both RISC and Mach-inspired microkernels.)

Re:OS/2 was crap (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about a year and a half ago | (#44079801)

Don't get me wrong. I thought OS/2 1.x was far better than DOS and OS/2 2.0 better than Win 3.1. OS/2 2.0's contemporary was Win 3.1 not Win NT. However I preferred Windows NT to OS/2 2.0.

I loved how the retail Windows NT 4 CD shipped with Intel, MIPS, Alpha and PowerPC binaries. In grad school the architecture class was focusing on Alpha. Personally I was looking forward to CHRP systems (PowerPC) that would boot either Windows NT or Mac OS. Strange how both operating systems came to eventually exists on a single system (x86, Apple's Boot Camp).

I only booted to Win 9x to test code or play games. I could also boot into OS/2, but until there was a market it was just fooling around and compatibility testing. At work our Win 3.1 binaries ran so well under OS/2 we saw little point in doing a native OS/2 port.

That said I have a faint recollection of an NT 3.1 beta reporting that OS/2 had a problem. Given Win NT's start as OS/2 NT its a bit hard not to give OS/2 some credit for that cross platform goodness.

I also have no illusions about IBM being a pain in the ass to work with. I agree that OS/2 1.x should have had a 32-bit version.

alternate universe (1)

epine (68316) | about a year and a half ago | (#44081333)

Oh yes it did. I'm guessing you're just too young to remember. Thanks to massive os/2 tv campaigns, "normal" people suddenly wanted a computer, not just a console to play games on

I'm certainly not "too young to remember". I wish.

It was a different world then. There wasn't an internet to immediately find out that some marketing term was full of shit. If five percent of the population at the time could distinguish OS/2 from PS/2 I'd be shocked. The one thing people knew for certain is that IBM never went hungry. IBM was attempting to run the entire information technology industry as a centrally planned economy, with some success. When the PC division was finally cut loose from the rest of the Blue Machine, it was mainly to free it from the IBM culture of seven layers of internal review on every decision about capability, volume, or price.

The only reason IBM entered the PC business in the first place was to drain away the nimbleness of young legs. If IBM had allowed the PC industry to cannibalize the mid-range sooner and more aggressively, all their employees clinging to incentive clauses in their mid-range operations would have started to circulate their resumes, both within IBM and without. As my brother never ceases to repeat: the first rats off a sinking ship are the best swimmers. Loss of talent off the top would have been horrendous in some of their existing cash-cow business lines. Quarterly earnings reports would have ceased to glow and executives would spending more quality time with family.

Businesses really do paint themselves into a corner with their internal incentive structures. Tearing up all those employment contracts is disruptive. Clinging to the past is dangerous. Operating a company with different rules in different divisions can quickly gut your workforce at the high end, as the best swimmers stampede to opportunity unleashed. It's extraordinarily rare to gut the cash cow, no matter how rabid the skinny upstart across the street.

What IBM underestimated was the acceleration term: how much more quickly a person armed with a crappy PC was able to figure out they had been saddled with an over-built and over-priced tank capriciously constrained to lumber along with an insufficient engine for a decade or more.

Intel 80286 had 134,000 transistors. Cortex M0 can be implemented in 12K gates. Based on logic functions [wikipedia.org] which shows 12 transistors for a general purpose flip flop these designs are at about the same level of complexity. 80286 runs 2.66 MIPS at 12.5 MHz. The M0 runs 0.9 MIPS/MHz (wider MIPS to boot). Now it might be the case that exploiting the Cortex instruction set back in the eighties was a beyond the compiler technology of the day, but somehow I have my doubts that IBM was incapable of crossing that bridge had they chosen to do so.

I'd be very curious to see someone figure out how well a Cortex M0 could have been implemented in the 80286 process technology. Three to one margin? It's certainly possible on the surface numbers. The downside of the Cortex is increasing memory pressure with wider native memory cycles and a more severe performance trade-off when byte-packing or bit-packing every important data structure. The wider off-chip memory path is a significant PCB fabrication cost.

As I correct one myopic IBM decision after another I wind up in an alternate universe where AT&T sues IBM instead of suing BSD/Cortex. Those of us who lived through this era spent a lot of time day-dreaming about alternate universes.

Re:Sad loss. (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#44082157)

The ps/2 inspired mostly laughter amongst the masses when they saw how it's price compared to a better clone. They only managed to sell them through under the table deals and having a non-standard length power cord that could be required in an RFQ.

Re:Sad loss. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#44077847)

Thanks to massive os/2 tv campaigns, "normal" people suddenly wanted a computer, not just a console to play games on

I *cared* about OS/2 and I never saw a single commercial. And I was an avid TV watcher back then. How massive were these TV campaigns supposed to be?

I have never, ever heard "OS/2" on the lips of anyone but total nerds, usually total nerds who should have known better than to fuck with OS/2 and are still bitter about it.

Re:Sad loss. (1)

tchdab1 (164848) | about a year and a half ago | (#44078539)

I second that. I read the above regarding "massive OS/2 TV campaigns" and wondered what planet that was on because I never saw any.

Re:Sad loss. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44079331)

Yeah. And I saw Netware in "real" use more than OS/2.

Re:Sad loss. (1)

dryeo (100693) | about a year and a half ago | (#44079537)

For a while around the release of Warp v3 there was quite a few commercials. Better DOS then DOS, better Windows then Windows type of ads are what I remember. The local drugstore even had a bin of Warp CDs for $50 apiece.
Unluckily they screwed up by claiming it would work decently with 4MBs of ram.

Awesome Quotes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44076969)

Gets More Awesome Quotes @ www.quotesfb.com

Truly (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44077047)

An American icon.

Stuff You Learn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44077275)

I didn't know this great guy was from my very own country.

Well, at least if he had to die, he died seeing his country grow and prosper. Wait.. oh... we're in the shitter and have been for the last 40 years. My bad.

Well, cancer sucks.

Requiescat in pace (1)

Coeurderoy (717228) | about a year and a half ago | (#44077331)

I'm not a citrix user, I was only mildly interested in OS/2, but nevertheless both those things are interesting achievements, and should be recognised as such.
And 59 is way to young to die.

    RIP

I've come out of hiding just to say... (1, Funny)

gamorck (151734) | about a year and a half ago | (#44077547)

This guy created Citrix? Sounds like they'll need to build a whole new nastier level of hell to accommodate him. Citrix is one of the worst products ever made. Years later and it's still clearly nothing more than a nasty hack. Give me a Citrix box and I'll give you back a p0wned box. As for OS/2, well that just makes me sad.

Don't judge a company with one product .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44077863)

I've just set up Citrix Netscaler cluster for load balancing and it's not that all bad after all.

Sure it could still be better, some areas lot better like dropping client side from web gui, improving setup documentation especially with more complete and proper examples for larger installation etc, but hey it's FreeBSD underneath that's nice. And observing the features and configurability it's getting better all the time.

I've got no experience of Citrix windows side software, but this load balancing thing what they have is quite OK product. I've heard a lot that now as both Microsoft is closing shop of NLB and Cisco ACE they recommend to their customers to get Citrix Netscaler instead of F5 Big-IP.

You mean Shitrix? (1)

amanaplanacanalpanam (685672) | about a year and a half ago | (#44077909)

I dunno about other Citrix products, but in my experience Xenapp blows. Overly long application launch times, force quitting an ornery app causes a server disconnect (thereby force quitting all its apps), clipboard gets out of sync between local device and the server (or between servers)...and (though I imagine it's just a setting in which case I can blame my company for the policy) auto-disconnect after about 35 minutes of inactivity, which likewise closes all served apps - no saving your work.

In short, the cause of multiple headaches daily.

Re:You mean Shitrix? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44078815)

go back to the linux playpen of perfection ;)

Re:You mean Shitrix? (1)

afidel (530433) | about a year and a half ago | (#44080883)

Sounds like your admins are incompetent, my users have none of those problems (ok app load times are a bit long at 35-50 seconds average for the first app on a silo). The advantage is that the apps just work and that they can be used from anywhere, we recently had a power outage at our HQ campus, instead of sitting around doing nothing everyone was able to go home and work from there.

Re:I've come out of hiding just to say... (1)

Sloppy (14984) | about a year and a half ago | (#44079143)

Years later it's still clearly nothing more than a nasty hack.

Sometimes a hack is what you need, and it's the difference between being able to accomplish the goal, and not being able. But key is "years later." Now Citrix is irrelevant, but 20 years ago it let you do things which otherwise simply couldn't be done, and "p0wned" is largely a non-issue when talking about machines not connected to the Internet.

Let's say it's 1994 and you have a legacy MS-DOS application where porting it to Linux or whatever isn't an option. The application talks a lot to a database, and it's fast enough over 10M ethernet. But your medical practice has a satellite office a few miles away, and for a shitload of money, you can get a 56K link. (Yes, these numbers all sound so quaint today, but that's the whole point.) You're not going to have 8 users running that app doing its database queries sharing a 56k link. The patients will die of old age in the waiting room if you do that.

But you put a Citrix box at the main office, which is OS/2 2.0 plus Citrix's hacks, an 8-serial-port digiboard, plugging into a serial multiplexer which plugs into your synchronous mode USR Courier plugged into the 56k link. At the satellite office the other Courier plugs into the demultiplexer and serial lines go to the terminals, and there you go. You've got 8 users at dumb terminals running an MS-DOS legacy app which is really running at the main office where it can easily query the database fast enough. And it works.

Of course it's a hack. But it's a hack that lets you tell the client Yes, we'll take your money and make it work and you'll be able to see patients. That's better than telling them No, it can't be done. Don't you agree?

Ten years later, you might say "screw Citrix, just run dosbox on some Linux machine instead, and connect by ssh over an IP link (or the Internet itself)" and dude, I would totally agree with you. But no fair, you're in the wrong decade, unless you have dosbox working on Linux and talking to Netware servers in 1994 -- and you don't. Believe me, I know, I looked, and you just don't have that in 1994. Or forget dosbox, just port your shitty legacy app to Linux, right? *sigh* Once again, you have my agreeing with you in principle, but it's 1994 and you're trying to sell Linux and you've been pleading for years that we ought to work on getting our app no-longer-dependent on unportable proprietary libraries (and compilers!), and .. holy shit do I NOT miss those days. OMG do I love my new job. Sometimes I forget how much I love my new job and how much crap I'm not dealing with anymore. :-) Fuck you, 1990s. I don't ever want to see the fucking 1990s again. If I'm ever walking down the street and the 1990s are there .. I don't know if I can be held responsible for what happens.

Re:I've come out of hiding just to say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44082903)

Ermm...which product in particular? There is no such product as "Citrix".

Who's killing the Italians? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year and a half ago | (#44077737)

First Gandolfini and now Iacobucci.

I hope someone's looking into any connection. Pavarotti better watch his ass.

Re:Who's killing the Italians? (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about a year and a half ago | (#44077845)

Pavarotti is already dead. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Who's killing the Italians? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year and a half ago | (#44077989)

Pavarotti is already dead.

See?

Re:Who's killing the Italians? (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about a year and a half ago | (#44078007)

I think he died of asphyxiation from having a small dog stuck in his throat.

Re: Who's killing the Italians? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44078741)

You f.....n suck! This man was a friend if he families. His dare you disrespect someone who just passed. You will never come close to what he accomplished!!

Re:Who's killing the Italians? (1)

aled (228417) | about a year and a half ago | (#44079303)

From TFA:

Born in Argentina and schooled in systems engineering at Georgia Tech

Italian last names are pretty common in Argentina.
And as others pointed out Pavarotti has already died.
As a joke was pretty lame.

OS/2 was pretty good system software... (1)

dtjohnson (102237) | about a year and a half ago | (#44077799)

...and deserved to be successful. It never quite made it though...and it wasn't the Microsoft grassroots attacks that did it in, at least not directly. No, it was IBM and, more specifically, Lou Gerstner (the IBM CEO at the time), who publicly admitted that a few years later right before he retired. People have wondered for years about the WHY of that. Gerstner disdainfully referred to "desktop operating systems" as something that was detracting from IBM's image so perhaps the reason was simple corporate stupidity.

Re:OS/2 was pretty good system software... (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about a year and a half ago | (#44077997)

That and probably the fact that they priced it outrageously. OS/2 2.0 was great, OS 2 3.0 even better then ultimately WARP but by then Windows and Windows NT were eroding the marketplace. I've spent years writing software for Windows and OS/2 and technically in some areas, OS/2 was much better and in others, not so much. IBM didn't really push the home consumer market but they were big in the corporate world where they still sold a lot of mid-range and mainframe systems. That and a lot of Token Ring crap as well and that's where IBM pushed the O/S. They could have competed much better but IBM had been their hardware groups split up, PCs (PS/2 w/Microchannel), Midrange and Mainframe and the Software group was split from that. PS/2 systems were priced higher and had higher margin vs. COTS Clone PCs which were gaining in market share. I remember going to computer fairs in Southern California in the late 80s / early 90s and you could literally get bidding wars between vendors across the aisle for your business for a 386 or 486 based system. IBM didn't play in that arena and Windows 3.1 for example had an MSRP of $149 when it came out in 1992.. [computerhistory.org] and nobody really paid that in the wholesale market (I used to get legal copies for less than $100 and threw them in on PC hardware deals) OS/2 2.0 was originally started by Microsoft at the time they were partners with IBM but that became estranged when IBM saw their development money being funneled over to this Windows NT thingy. They broke up and IBM released OS/2 1.3, the first release completely done by IBM as well as OS/2 2.0 in 1992. From what I remember, OS/2 2.0 was about $500 for the software and at the time when you could get a screamer 486DX based system for less than $1000 with Windows 3.x in the early 90s a PS/2 loaded with OS/2 2.0 was well over $3000. [thefreelibrary.com] Businesses would pay that and get the nice IBM support along with it, but not the home consumer market. When Windows 95 came out it was lights out for IBM and OS/2 in the consumer market.

Microsoft and their tactics didn't help but rather than fight in the marketplace, IBM chose to keep pushing the higher margin business deals. Their cost structure was higher of course and that was also a big issue in their competitive edge. Yes, Microsoft was disreputable in their dealings with IBM around OS/2 and the PC market, that's now part of history. It should be pointed out that IBM's corporate history isn't exactly squeeky clean when it comes to some of their business dealings either. [amazon.com]
 

Re:OS/2 was pretty good system software... (1)

dryeo (100693) | about a year and a half ago | (#44082899)

They did eventually lower the price. Redbox Warp 3 was being sold at London drugs (Canadian store) for $50 around '95. No manual but it was a refreshed build so supported IDE CDROMs and PPP and was much more likely to install. At least here it installed with minimal problems (had to do it again to get sound support). Currently the price is comparable to Windows boxed, I paid about $100 for the upgrade.

Re:OS/2 was pretty good system software... (1)

Virtucon (127420) | about a year and a half ago | (#44084263)

Oh yeah they cut the prices but also 3 and 4 were great Operating Systems. I still have a Version 4 Warp VM for a few apps I still keep around but as history tells us now, it was too late at least in the Consumer world for OS/2. Windows had already won because IBM ceded that market to them even though they were vulnerable with products like Windows ME and nasty anti-trust legal woes.

A long time ago they demonstrated they didn't really want to be in the commodity PC business, an industry that they had leadership in and lost to all the clone makers in the 80s and even in contemporary hardware lines, they don't want to be in the business. Ginny is already unloading the XSeries Servers to Lenovo, [slashdot.org] much like her predecessor did with the Thinkpad line.

I suspect that they'll just continue on the WebSphere(splat*) naming conventions for all of their products, DB2 will become WebSphere DB the Mainframes will become WebSphere AppEngine Large and foist their wonderfully retarded Global Services Division on unsuspecting companies.

He May Be Dead (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about a year and a half ago | (#44078237)

But Citrix will probably last longer than the pyramids. It's impossible to ever kill an application that shitty. The only way to make it worse would be to run Lotus Notes on it. "Yeah, our corporate E-Mail system is Lotus Notes, run over Citrix..." *runs screaming from the building.*

Re:He May Be Dead (1)

Thyamine (531612) | about a year and a half ago | (#44078837)

I've actually have to do that, and even wrote it up at one point. I hate Lotus Notes, and not being designed for a multi-user environment you had to jump through hoops to get it to run right. Which unfortunately is where Citrix gets a lot of hate from. 'Admins' who don't know how to configure the environment, poor corporate policies, and forcing applications that shouldn't be run on it, to run on it. It's one of those platforms where people think 'well I have a hammer' and everything looks like a nail.

Re:He May Be Dead (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about a year and a half ago | (#44079435)

Citrix very much reminds me of using a desktop computer to connect via dialup to a 300bps machine. I'm using my fast, good computer as a dumb terminal to a slow crappy computer. Except that typically the manufacturer of the 300bps machine knew their interface was slow and would at least try to design the applications to make that as unobtrusive as possible.

Gordon Letwin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44078583)

Letwin was Microsoft's OS/2 architect and was at one point Bill Gates' highest profile technical architect. Then after IBM's PS/2 line flopped in the marketplace, Gates showed his ruthlessness by stabbing IBM (along with Lotus, WordPerfect, etc) in the back with Windows 3. Letwin apparently never did anything more of consequence at Microsoft; I think Bill Gates later hired him for some personally funded projects.

Craze and OS/2 in the same sentence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44078891)

Never thought I would see "craze" and "OS/2" in the same sentence. OS/2 was mainly used by big, stodgy banks who were (in Wang Chung's phrase) "cool on craze".

getting all sentimental (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | about a year and a half ago | (#44079359)

I still have a boxed copy of OS\2 Warp, and probably an old enough computer somewhere around here to run it. As recently (recently... yea right) as 2000 I worked for a company that maintained old IBM mainframes running system 390. It was always fun to watch engineers crack one open only to see that there was an OS/2 workstation crammed in the middle. I think I just might take it for a spin as a tribute.

Ed may be gone but OS/2 lives on (1)

RubberDogBone (851604) | about a year and a half ago | (#44080737)

OS/2 is still used in many ATMs, although flavors of Windows are finally making major inroads in that market.

The place where I work once had a US Gov issued "black box" server on our network, doing data compare tasks that are of no major import but the agency responsible mandated that this work had to happen on their PC. So they supplied the box. It had all the IO blocked and the case was sprayed with a bed liner material to seal the seams and cracks. The only open connections were power, ethernet, VGA and a keyboard they supplied which was also sealed. The bed liner spray made it a pain to fit in a rack.

Interestingly, the box had no way to communicate with the agency that owned it. It had LAN connectivity only. When they wanted to put something new on the box, they had to mail a stack of CDs and get somebody from our company to open drive, put in disc, wait. Put in next disc when prompted. Wait. Repeat. Sometimes it would reboot and we would see the Warp 4.0 logo before the monitor went blank again. The discs were encrypted. Yes we looked.

The point is, they used Warp 4.0 for a reason. It had to be totally reliable because the box was going to be on its own in what was essentially an environment out of their physical control.

Re:Ed may be gone but OS/2 lives on (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44087495)

OS/2 seemed to vanish from the landscape and off the retail shelves when the US Gov't. started using it to control the nukes... OS/2 had something that MS-NT never could quite get right: It was "bullet-proof!"

Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44082369)

Citrix is a large steaming pile of stinking cow shit.

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