12/04/2022 at 00:01 by Henner Schröder – OS/2 – the (alleged) future of operating systems – is coming onto the market – that happened on December 4th. Every day, PC Games Hardware takes a look back at the young but eventful history of the computer.
…1987: The future of PC operating systems begins on December 4, 1987 – at least according to the plans of IBM and Microsoft: The first version of the new system OS/2, which both companies developed together for two years, comes onto the market . In the long term, this should replace the long outdated DOS as well as the still very unsuccessful Windows. OS/2 1.0, intended for Intel’s 16-bit processors of the 286 series, does not yet offer a graphical user interface and can therefore only be used in text mode. It only gets colorful the following year with version 1.1 and the presentation manager.
Technically, the system is up to date: It offers preemptive multitasking and multithreading, memory protection, support for 16 MiByte RAM and virtual memory of up to one GiByte – but the most important thing is DOS compatibility. Due to the popularity of the old system, the new one must also be able to handle DOS software, and backwards compatibility is a top priority in the PC market. But it doesn’t help, OS/2 doesn’t really catch on; a few years later, Microsoft dropped out of the joint project and instead concentrated on Windows – with well-known consequences.
• Windows 1.0
• The history of operating systems
• Xenix – Microsoft’s first operating system