/O S too/ IBM and Microsoft's successor to the MS-DOS operating system for Intel
80286 and Intel 80386-based microprocessors. It is proof that they couldn't get
it right the second time either. Often called "Half-an-OS". The design was so
baroque, and the implementation of 1.x so bad, that 3 years after introduction
you could still count the major application programs shipping for it on the
fingers of two hands, in unary. Later versions improved somewhat, and informed
hackers now rate them superior to Microsoft Windows, which isn't saying much.
See second-system effect.
On an Intel 80386 or better, OS/2 can multitask between existing MS-DOS
applications. OS/2 is strong on connectivity and the provision of robust virtual
machines. It can support Microsoft Windows programs in addition to its own
native applications. It also supports the Presentation Manager graphical user
OS/2 supports hybrid multiprocessing (HMP), which provides some elements of
symmetric multiprocessing (SMP), using add-on IBM software called MP/2. OS/2 SMP
was planned for release in late 1993.
After OS/2 1.x the IBM and Microsoft partnership split. IBM continued to develop
OS/2 2.0, while Microsoft developed what was originally intended to be OS/2 3.0
into Windows NT. In October 1994, IBM released version OS/2 3.0 (known as
"Warp") but it is only distantly related to Windows NT. This version raised the
limit on RAM from 16MB to 1GB (like Windows NT).
IBM introduced networking with "OS/2 Warp Connect", the first multi-user
version. OS/2 Warp 4.0 ("Merlin") is a network operating system.
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