New OS/2 Client?

IBM is keeping everyone very confused about whether or not there will be a new OS/2 client based on Aurora.

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IBM assured us in no uncertain terms there would be no new OS/2 Client (desktop) operating system to accompany OS/2 Warp Server 5.0 - that Warp 4 would continue to be the client. This definitely upset individual, SOHO, and small business users of OS/2 who are already feeling plenty neglected by IBM. It is not that Warp 4 needs updating, it is still far ahead of Windows98, but it would be a symbolic gesture and make installation simpler. IBM was adamant, OS/2 is to be a WSOD (WorkSpace On Demand) and Java platform for large clients and no longer has any importance as a general purpose desktop.

Well, it appears IBM has been off its medication again - its schizophrenia has become even worse:

  • Sporadic reports continue to surface that users are being surveyed to find what features they would like to see in a new OS/2 client.
  • A leading OS/2 software vendor, Stardock, is reported to be working with IBM on the new client, Warp 2000. It is said to be Aurora (Warp Server 5.0) with specific server features removed.
  • An IBM internal memo surfaced on the Web outlining a future where OS/2 client users would be urged to move to another platform, such as Java NCs. IBM requested its removal, saying it was unauthorized and not correct, and replaced it with a new document offering a much brighter OS/2 future.
  • IBM's OS/2 Homepage has been completely redone. While Java is still prominent, links to OS/2 native applications are much more in evidence than they were.
One organization JMA Software Technologies is actually taking real orders for a new OS/2 Warp client to present to IBM as sales already made. Their preliminary efforts came up with over 10,000 pledged orders and they want to turn these into real orders IBM will have a hard time ignoring.
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