guy wrote:I recall OS/2 being expensive in the early days. It was pushed as a better Windows than Windows itself .. Towards the end, the price did drop in a desperate attempt to build some kind of viable user base.
Maybe those later days are what I remember. I came in at v2.0 and went through to v3 (Warp). Early on I approached IBM with a technical query and for some reason they assumed I was an OS/2 "Reseller". From then on I got free copies of all variants (except server). I sold them recently, some still shrink-wrapped, on eBay - to keen buyers. I also attended a free OS/2 course at IBM Warwick.
guy wrote:I can't recall if OS/2 actually contained MS code - it may well have done - but it certainly incorporated Microsoft IP at a very deep level.
Versions 1.x were written by an alliance of IBM and MS, so it was joint IP. Of course the code diverged after the break-up, and some of it went into Windows NT. Eg its file system, NTFS, was an evolution of OS/2's HPFS, and I believe the OS/2 printing system was still there at least into XP.
IBM somehow retained the right to distribute Windows 3.x with OS/2 (for a royalty). This was not Windows code in OS/2, it was a customised Windows itself running in a VM hosted by OS/2. In 1994 I found it awsome to see a Windows desktop [ie Program Manager] running in a window on the OS/2 desktop, as seen here :-
Of course you could not separate the Windows code out (or maybe a serious hacker could have). You could buy OS/2 with or without Windows in it (and if without you could then install a copy of Windows yourself). I had all these versions!
guy wrote:IBM were incompetent in some areas too, but it was the MS action that struck the lethal blow: after that, it was only a matter of time.
I was taking MS opposition and dirty tricks as read. It was the threat of OS/2 that started MS punishing PC makers if they did not pre-load Windows. I was highlighting the incompetance of IBM senior management in the face of that. Another example is that they wasted developers' time trying to get OS/2 to run on 286's, even after 386s were already on sale. At the time it was assumed that non-power users always be using 286s (enough for anybody) for years to come. But the processor arms race then took off and a very short while we were all on 486s and then Pentiums.