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IBM says no to Opensource OS/2

IBM has flatly refused (opens in new tab) to open source the once-potential competitor to Microsoft Windows - perhaps because Big Blue does not want yet another operating system to wreck its massive investments in Linux, partly also because any revival of OS2 would not only cause a rethink of its strategy, but also demonstrate the inefficiencies (some might say conspiracy theory) that cause OS/2 to fail.

In response to a short letter sent by OSWorld's (opens in new tab) Kim Haverblad to IBM, Yvonne M. Perkins, Vice President of Enterprise Platform Software said that "for a variety of business, technical, and legal reasons, we [IBM] have decided to not pursue any OS/2 open source projects."

OS World had managed to gather nearly 12,000 signatures to convince IBM to let OS/2 move to Open Source.

When IBM wants to stun a product (or a brand), it usually does two things, it normally sells the hardware (IBM storage division to HGST, IBM PC division to Lenovo) or it leaves it to die of natural causes - Lotus Smartsuite anyone?

Although mainstream support OS/2 has all but disappeared, eComstation (opens in new tab) is still selling the operating system and continuing its development.

eComStation 2.0 RC4 offers Bootable JFS and support for multi-core CPUs and still counts HSBC as one (opens in new tab) of its users.

Désiré Athow
Contributor

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.