March 31, 1997 (Vol. 19, Issue 13)


Readers were impressed by IBM's introduction of PS/2

(April 6, 1987) "I wish it had taken off, because despite IBM's heavy-handed and suicidal marketing, the Micro Channel Architecture is a darn good technology."

That is one Remember When forum participant's view of IBM's announcement of the PS/2 and OS/2 on April 2, 1987. And although this participant wasn't reading the trade papers at the time, observers all hailed IBM's technical achievements.

The new bus brought 32 bits to the desktop and eliminated the need to set jumpers and hand-tweak systems. In the era of promised plug-and-play support, such an innovation may seem modest, but for IS managers who were having to administer hundreds of PCs in an organization, the hardware advances in PS/2s were impressive.

Yet the PS/2s weren't without their problems. The new bus meant that no add-on cards could support the new systems -- not even network or memory cards worked.

And another forum participant recalls the expensive IBM-branded memory. Adopting the PS/2 meant -- to many long-time IS managers -- going with a proprietary architecture, a route they'd rather not take again.

As for OS/2, the benefits of multitasking and reliability won a few converts. IBM promised a full graphic user interface in its Presentation Manager, network support in the Communications Manager, and database support in the Database Manager -- they would all be released later.

Copyright © InfoWorld Publishing Company 1997

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