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Revision Date Username Comment
603 Oct 2013 - 16:02norqu036? 
501 May 2013 - 11:12NicLewis 
415 Mar 2013 - 09:50NicLewis 
314 Mar 2013 - 15:58NicLewis 
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You are here: UMWiki>CBI_ComputerSecurity Web>Systems>SystemsOS2 (03 Oct 2013, norqu036)

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Beginning development in 1985, OS/2 was a personal computer operating system originally developed in a cooperative effort between IBM and Microsoft. Intended as a successor of PC-DOS, OS/2 was originally a text-based OS that featured compatibility with MS-DOS, if programs were written with intercompatibility in mind. With a text-based, 1.0 version of OS/2 released in 1987, IBM released a version with a graphical user interface, called Presentation Manager, in 1988. OS/2 featured an advanced API for video and user interface devices, so that programmers were not required to call the BIOS or hardware directly.(1) Although version 1.0 was a text-only interface, OS/2 was the first personal computer operating system to offer multitasking based on hardware support, with one application displayed at a time, but others capable of running in the background.(2) In 1990, the Microsoft and IBM partnership dissolved, partly due to the success of Windows 3.0, which came pre-bundled with most new IBM-compatible personal computers, while OS/2 was an expensive additional purchase. The partnership also suffered due to differences in bureaucracy between the two companies, with Microsoft programmers disliking IBM's use of lines of code as the measure of productivity. After the split, IBM continued developing OS/2 2.0 on its own, while Microsoft independently developed OS/2 3.0, which it recast as Windows NT.(3) IBM developed the "Workplace Shell" with OS/2 2.0, which was an object-oriented interface that treated everything on the system as an object. OS/2 2.0 was also capable of running DOS and Windows programs in virtual DOS machines. The added bonus was that each DOS program ran in its own virtual DOS machine, and one DOS program crash would not impact any others.(4) In 1994, IBM launched OS/2 Warp, which added Internet communications, including a competitor to the Netscape Navigator Web browser, called Web Explorer. OS/2 never became popular beyond a small group of enthusiasts. It did, however, find use in some specialized applications, such as automated teller machines. The fact that OS/2 occupied a limited marketshare meant that few viruses were ever written for the platform, offering greater security than the market leader, Microsoft Windows. While OS/2 is still found in a few highly specialized applications, but IBM officially ended support for the product in 2006.(5)


1 , 3 , 5 : Harry McCracken, "25 Years of IBM's OS/2: The Strange Days and Surprising Afterlife of a Legendary Operating System," Time (April 2, 2012).

2 , 4 : http://www.databook.bz/?page_id=223

Topic revision: r6 - 03 Oct 2013 - 16:02:59 - norqu036
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