As a user of OS/2 since version 1.1, and as a beta tester and
developer of the Microsoft OS/2 effort, and as an employee of IBM from
1992 - 1994, I can assure you that Dvorak was and is correct in most
of what he stated. Akers was going to split the company apart, and in
hindsight I think that would have been the best thing for OS/2.
However Microsoft would never have allowed it.
With the exception of his parting remark about the advocates of OS2,
the article is right on the money. His parting remark is not so
wrong, but that the advocacy of the OS/2 users was unknown to most of
the Windows users. Lots of pressure from Microsoft to disparage OS/2
users and advocates, and lots of "private conversations from Microsoft
reps" to diss OS/2. Besides.... the advocates only did enough to get
barely noticed. Certainly the advocates of OS/2 did nothing to harm
OS/2 at the time, and in reality, were only able to do a very small
I was present at Team OS/2 functions at ALL Las Vegas Comdex shows
from 1991- 1995. I have about 7 pink golf shirts from 7 different
expositions. I assure you that Teamos2 did nothing to harm OS/2's
acceptance in those days, and indeed they (Team OS/2) got a fair
amount of good press for the volunteer work they did. Microsoft
employed over 150 people a the Comdex shows to directly support
Windows 95 in the same way 100 volunteers did for OS/2. Microsoft was
very afraid of OS/2's success, and paid many hundreds of thousands of
dollars to "so called Windows advocates to spread the word".
Long before the Internets web based popularity, Microsoft disparaged
OS/2 among the bulletin board Operators as well. The Fidonet BBS
network was comprised of over 30% OS/2 based BBS hosts. Within 2
years of OS/2 2.0's arrival in the marketplace, 30% of all BBS hosts
were running OS/2. This scared the *out of Gates, as we all know
his plan to world domination started to manifest itself as his vision
of a huge BBS system (known today as MSN) and the amateur BBS network
of Fidonet was one technology he was keeping very aware of.
Remember that the only OS Microsoft had during that time was Windows
3.1 and DOS. There was no comparison for technical supremacy between
Windows 3.1 and OS/2. The problem was in trying to teach the "so
called expert press like Dvorak" how to use OS/2. They all reacted
like they knew everything they needed to know about Windows and had no
need for OS/2. In a nutshell, at the time OS/2 was too hard for most
of the press to learn. Why do I know this?
I Tried to teach a number of the press at the Comdex show, and I
assure you most of them had no idea how to use and or understand the
WPS and the fundamentals of OS/2. It was far beyond them at the time,
as well as most of the other members of the press. The one member of
the press that actually did learn how to use OS/2 was Jerry Pournell.
He loved it and quickly adopted it for a year or so. Jerry was an
admitted end user type of user and had no preconceptions like Dvorak
Once Team OS/2 advocates were able to demonstrate OS/2 to Windows
users there was a very high rate of acceptance. I admit though that
OS/2 was too much for the average computer user. I remember
discussing the Teamos2 efforts after the show and remarking that the
popular press everyone held in such high esteem were really no better
than average end users in knowledge of computers. It sure surprised
me how dense some of them were about the industry they wrote about.
BTW Dvorak in my opinion was a bit better than the average user, but
in my opinion he was not anywhere as well versed in computer skills as
were the majority of the members of Team OS/2.
> > The next IBM chairman shud take advantage of the anti-trust decisions and
> > press MS for a waiver of any licensing enfringements in regard to IBM's
> > current working with 3rd party win32 api development AND SETTLE any
> > remaining MS OS/2 ownership issues, by proposing they AND Microsoft launch
> > new company called OS2, transferring all IBM/MS interest/ownership in
> > selling stock via a IPO where each has 25% and the public has 50%
> > This would probably sweeten the pot enuf for MS's future cooperation
> > windows <--> OS/2
> > Note that MS seems to be launching initiatives right now to alleviate the
> > situation as it stands now, they might like this one as it would indicate
> > willingness to cooperate with a windows os. competitor..
> I came across this old article which had amazingly insight for period just
> prior to Win95's 1995 release..
> Dvorak wasnt visionary enuf (or knowledgeable) to realize that MS has A LOT
> TO SAY what IBM does with "its" OS/2 system... He shud have proposed
> something similiar to my proposal above...
> BTW, I ran this up the flagpole a week ago and not even one warp'ee has
> tried to lower the flag, hmmmmmm...
> This MUST mean you warp'ees like it..