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Amazing 1993 Video of Windows NT 3.1

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#16 PGHammer

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 08:52

From what I've read, IBM and Microsoft were opposites, especially in code design. IBM wrote long, bloated code and paid by lines of code. Microsoft went for small, faster code. The documentary "Triumph of the Nerds" had an interview with Steve Ballmer about how IBM didn't seem to follow the mentality of paying a developer more if they were able to write a program in fewer lines, making it smaller and faster.

That, among other technical differences, was a big reason why OS/2 eventually become IBM only. I've never actually played with the Warp releases, but they sure look interesting, from what I've seen demoed.


IBM was (and still is) heavily enterprise-oriented - a legacy of their mainframe business. They didn't even market LAN Server (the server side of OS/2) very hard. Ordinary consumers and SMBs? They willingly - practically gleefully - steered those to Microsoft and LAN Manager (and eventually NT) before, during, and after the split - they wanted no part of such a plebian customer base. (I had, in fact, personally told IBM Mid-Atlantic's marketing mavens that if they didn't get their act together, Microsoft and Windows 95 would eat their lunch - in June of 1995.) OS/2 - as far back as 2.1 - was a squandered opportunity; OS/2 3.x - and even Warp (OS/2 4.x) were simply more obvious. (Look at eComStation - it is, in fact, OS/2 4.52 at the core. It's as least as viable as any Linux distribution, and supports more hardware than quite a few of them. However, even Ubuntu has a bigger word-of-mouth push then eCS does.)


#17 +Frank B.

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 09:04

IBM's problem wasn't OS/2, but letting OS/2 flounder while Windows 95 was in development (after the OS/2-NT split).

OS/2 in general, and OS/2 2.x in particular, had an opportunity, even after Microsoft started replacing Windows 3.1 with Windows for Workgroups in shipments to OEMs (starting with Gateway, then followed quickly by Dell and HP) - IBM's OS/2 business had even admitted as such, and released OS/2 for Windows, which let customers add an existing Windows 3.x - even Windows for Workgroups - to OS/2. However, IBM's Systems Group - primarily their mainframe and nascent services business - wanted no part of ordinary consumers, or even SMBs, and starved the OS/2 unit of marketing funds. OS/2 required no more, in terms of hardware than Windows 95 - which itself required little more than Windows for Workgroups. (I would know - I dual-booted the two while Windows 95 was in beta.) True - Windows 95 had an ace in the hole that would not become evident until after it launched; it could run not merely Win32s applications, but even full-fledged Win32 (as in normally targeting NT) applications. That was something OS/2 could NOT counter without hefty royalty payments to Microsoft - and heaping helpings of crow. IBM under Trammel, and then Gerstner, was very prideful - could you see them going back to Microsoft, hat in hand and with a fat royalty check?

IBM did try to market OS/2 to consumers. The older ones of us will remember the Warp 3-era commercials. Here in .de two of the biggest OEMs at the time - Vobis and Escom - even pre-installed OS/2 Warp 3 instead of DOS/Windows for a while in 1994/early 1995.

One reason which killed OS/2 was the lack of good native applications for it. Ironically you could say Win-OS2 (the Windows 3.x sub-system built in to OS/2 from version 2.0 on) was one cause for this - why would 3rd party developers port applications to OS/2 when you can simply run the Windows version on it?

#18 MFH

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 09:54

Funny how they mention Cairo as the next version of NT...

#19 PGHammer

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 21:57

IBM did try to market OS/2 to consumers. The older ones of us will remember the Warp 3-era commercials. Here in .de two of the biggest OEMs at the time - Vobis and Escom - even pre-installed OS/2 Warp 3 instead of DOS/Windows for a while in 1994/early 1995.

One reason which killed OS/2 was the lack of good native applications for it. Ironically you could say Win-OS2 (the Windows 3.x sub-system built in to OS/2 from version 2.0 on) was one cause for this - why would 3rd party developers port applications to OS/2 when you can simply run the Windows version on it?


Europe in general, and Germany/the Low Countries in particular, were the exceptions that, unfortunately, proved the rule. IBM didn't have a big Systems Group business in Europe - however, they DID have a solid relationship with NIXDORF (a major wheel in the PC business in Europe) which was responsible for a major part of the German OS/2 push.

There was no mirror to NIXDORF in North America, however.

#20 ShadowMajestic

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Posted 29 April 2013 - 22:33

Nice, love that this was _just_ 20 years ago.

Also Sega's Kinect at the end lol.