Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Linux in a World Where Windows 3.0 Never Happened

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the drink-the-magic-time-drink dept.

Microsoft 574

covertbadger writes "Larry Osterman said farewell yesterday to David Weise, the developer he credits with getting applications to run in protected mode on Windows 3.0, which led directly to Microsoft choosing to push Windows instead of OS/2. Today he speculates on what the IT world would be like if Weise had never completed this work. Windows 95 would never have existed, OS/2 would be the de facto standard, and IBM would never have put weight behind Linux because it had its own operating system to push."

cancel ×

574 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Who is to say someone else wouldn't have (5, Insightful)

Shnizzzle (652228) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572371)

put weight behind Linux? Maybe Apple goes that route instead of using Darwin.

Re:Who is to say someone else wouldn't have (4, Interesting)

justforaday (560408) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572444)

Apple did briefly explore that route (mkLinux - linux on the mach kernel). Instead, they used their experience there, along with that little bit of technology they acquired known as NeXTSTEP to make OSX...

Re:Who is to say someone else wouldn't have (4, Insightful)

bombadillo (706765) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572456)

OS X ( DARWIN ) is based off of NEXT OS. Steve Jobs was head of NEXT after he left Apple. When Steve came back to Apple he basically brought NEXT OS back with him. Apple would not have chosen Linux when they already had another solid *nix alternative.

Ever notice that the home directory icon on OS X resembles the NEXT home icon.

Re:Who is to say someone else wouldn't have (1)

FuzzzyLogik (592766) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572596)

well when steve went back to apple.. not particularly that simple.. next was bought by apple and they put steve back in his old position and used nextstep for os x... if i recall correctly... there's a book that has all this info in it.. i've been meaning to buy it

Re:Who is to say someone else wouldn't have (2, Interesting)

LoRdTAW (99712) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572470)

Or even microsoft if they still existed.

Re:Who is to say someone else wouldn't have (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11572500)

dream on

If Windows had never existed on the home desktop (-1, Flamebait)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572378)

Then Linux types would have had to shamelessly rip off the MacOS interface instead of the Windows one.

Re:If Windows had never existed on the home deskto (4, Interesting)

justforaday (560408) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572409)

And then they would've been slapped with a "look and feel" lawsuit that they wouldn't have had the resources to fight off...

Re:If Windows had never existed on the home deskto (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11572418)

<RIMSHOT/>

Two Borg Bill stories in a row... thanks Slashdot.

Re:If Windows had never existed on the home deskto (4, Interesting)

dave1791 (315728) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572422)

Nah, they would have been ripping off WPS, which would have made a better Linux. I used to run OS/2 back in the early 90's and the win95 interface was a step backwards.

Re:If Windows had never existed on the home deskto (0)

Document (520405) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572446)

Not flamebait, just ignorance. Use an alternative desktop that doesn't look like Windows. For example, take a look at XFCE.

Perhaps even Lycoris or Lindows....wait, bad example.

OS/2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11572584)

they should rip the os/2 interface instead

10 years ago it was better than either is now (at least in usability)

Re:If Windows had never existed on the home deskto (5, Funny)

datadriven (699893) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572604)

Then Linux types would have had to shamelessly rip off the MacOS interface instead of the Windows one.


Maybe they'd call it Gnome, or something like that.

GAY MARRIAGE WOULD PROBABLY BE LEGAL. YUO FAGORTS. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11572393)

Re:GAY MARRIAGE WOULD PROBABLY BE LEGAL. YUO FAGOR (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11572452)

I don't see what this has to do with ANYTHING.

LINUX = GHEY. THEREFORE, LESS WINDOWS = MORE GHEY (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11572480)

Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11572400)

If Microsoft had pushed OS/2 instead of windows, Apple would have been the monopoly instead of Microsoft...IMHO.

Re:Hmm (4, Funny)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572419)

And we would still be on OS 8 right now, waiting until 2006 for OS 9.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11572548)

Exactly my point :)

I think in some ways it's kind of good that microsoft is the monopoly... We get some real gems like Apple.

Gosh, I never thought I'd say that...

Re:Hmm (5, Interesting)

mirko (198274) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572490)

Apple, or Be ?
In 1996 BeOS stood as the most promising environment around.
There was also RiscOS [riscos.com] , BTW. which could have gone very far (it's actually present in loads of set top boxen).

warning (5, Funny)

X43B (577258) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572401)

IBM evil (again) and no Linux? I think you're going to blow a lot of /.'s minds.

Happy Friday everyone. (-1, Offtopic)

numbski (515011) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572413)

1. It appears to be Natalie Portman Day [penny-arcade.com] at Penny Arcade.

2. IBM Would be the monopoly?
3. Apple would be the monopoly?
4. AT&T would be hte monopoly?
5. Due to 4, Linux might not have existed? Perhaps *BSD would have a larger foothold?

bs (2, Interesting)

essreenim (647659) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572515)

Nothing much would be that different. Everyone would hate IBM because they are where MS are (in the real world ; ) ever here of it?). Some othere big corp would have funded early Linux work...

Instead of using Slackware Linux I'd be using FreeBSD or even OpenSolaris or something, big deeeeeeeeeeeeeel....

Move along now, get back to reality...

Natalie Portman Day? (-1, Offtopic)

mattcoz (856085) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572573)

I don't get it.

Re:Natalie Portman Day? (0)

b1t r0t (216468) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572616)

That's because your slashdot user ID is > 250000.

"What if?" can be fun (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11572415)

Yeah, "What if?" can be fun, especially when you apply it to wars. What if Hitler had never invaded Russia? What if he had invaded Britian earlier in the war? Fun, if you're in that mind set.

This one is a little bit too "If" for my liking; it goes back a little too far and tries to extrapolate too much. None the less, it's an interesting read.

So heres some more:
  • What if AT&T never sued and BSD386 had been completed?
  • What if MULTICS hadn't been cancelled?
  • What if Dave Cutler didn't join the NT group at Microsoft?
  • What if Ed Roberts laughed Paul Allan out of MITS with their BASIC interpreter?
  • What if the Lisp Machines/Symbolics split had never happened and the hacker stayed at the MIT lab?

Re:"What if?" can be fun (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572460)

What If the industry had switched to GaAs microprocessors?

Re:"What if?" can be fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11572479)

Seymour Cray would have made even more money?

Re:"What if?" can be fun (1)

955301 (209856) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572491)


Hitler? What are you trying to kill the conversation [faqs.org] ?

Re:"What if?" can be fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11572512)

I wondered how long it would be for someone to mention Godwin. Sorry to disapoint though; merely mentioning Hitler or the Nazis is not nearly enough to invoke Godwin.

Re:"What if?" can be fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11572514)

"Q: What if my mother had a moustache?"
"A: Then I would have two fathers."

The point is that "What if" questions can be applied to anything, thus it is not that funny.

Re:"What if?" can be fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11572542)

What if Gates and Allen had been dragged into the Gents' for a Damn Good Kicking after writing that letter, and the world came to the conclusion that sharing was not at all the same thing as stealing?

Re:"What if?" can be fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11572583)

"What if [Hitler] had invaded Britian earlier in the war?"

He didn't invade Britain at all. He had plans, but never executed them. The German Navy didn't have the means to get his armies there. He needed air superiority so that he could suppress the Royal Navy, so he stumbled at the first hurdle. Of course, if you're American you won't remember any of this because it was you guys who were the reason we survived.

Re:"What if?" can be fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11572631)

Being British, I'm well aware. Actually the Channel islands were invaded and captured by the Nazis, as I believe was Gibralter. So technically although Hitler never invaded mainland Britian, he did invade and capture some British teritory.

It was a simple thinko. I originally wrote "What if he had planed to invade Britian earlier in the war?" but that didn't have quite the same impact, so I changed it. I just forgot to change the "earlier in the war" to "early in the war" E.g. "What if he had invaded Britian early in the war?"

Re:"What if?" can be fun (2, Informative)

Otter (3800) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572649)

  • What if Gary Kildall hadn't been too busy to negotiate with IBM about licensing CP/M for the PC?

Re:"What if?" can be fun (1)

bsd4me (759597) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572737)

What if the initial release of 386bsd had been before the initial linux release?

Doom only ran on DOS (4, Funny)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572427)

So all those college-age kids with their DOS computers would still be using DOS.

Microsoft would have ruled the roost.

Nothing is different than it is now.

Re:Doom only ran on DOS (4, Insightful)

edwdig (47888) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572505)

Doom ran on practically anything. I remember playing it on SparcStations and SGI Indy Workstations back in 95. Doom would've just been written for whatever was the dominant platform at the time.

Games go where the users are. Not the other way around. Gamers are too small a percentage of computer users to dictate platforms to everyone else.

Re:Doom only ran on DOS (1)

angelfly (746018) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572508)

I disagree, considering the fact that dos is uses a command I doubt we'd have all the lazy users we have now that ache and crave a gui to do every single task. "non-lazy users"="users willing to learn new things" and not users who stick with windows because they don't want to learn something new. And besides the doom code is open source so the same people who play it now on linux, bsd, etc would still be playing it.

Re:Doom only ran on DOS (2, Informative)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572544)

It ran fine on OS/2. And the (illegal) port of quake I to OS/2 ran far better than it did on dos. The only reason I bought Quake was because I had a native OS/2 version, and I let Id know this.

Re:Doom only ran on DOS (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572599)

Nah. There would be OS/2 95.

History repeats.

In soviet russia (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11572430)

Linux puts weight behind you! /obligatory

What the fsck is going on? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11572434)

Why are there so many microsoft "news" items here lately? As /. is funded by ms, do they have to keep them on the front page every day now?

News for Nerds. Stuff that matters.

Yeah, riiiiiight.

What if? (3, Insightful)

Malc (1751) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572437)

If "ifs" and "ands" per pots and pans then tinkers would be rich men.

Who says Microsoft wouldn't have embraced and extended OS/2 and shut IBM out, leading to the same conclusion?

What a waste of space stories like these are.

Per? Were! (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572469)

If "ifs" and "ands" *were* pots and pans then tinkers would be rich men.

Engineer? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11572459)


FTA: The title of Distinguished Engineer is the title to which all Microsoft developers aspire

I thought "Engineer" was a term applied to people with degrees in actual engineering not something to be passed around like a gold watch or a fancy pen.

Re:Engineer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11572507)

Rule #1 of language: It evolves.

Deal with it. ;)

Re:Engineer? (1)

grub (11606) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572562)


Actually I think that there was an Engineering group in the US that had a problem with MS' naming of "engineer" in the MCSE designation. You don't call people "Doctor" that don't have an MD.

Re:Engineer? (3, Insightful)

budcub (92165) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572603)

People with a Phd can be called doctor too.

Besides, not all engineers design bridges.

Re:Engineer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11572632)

Sure, there are all types of Engineers but you aren't one until an acredited Engineering group bestows that title on you. As Tyler Durdan said "Sticking feathers up your ass doesn't make you a chicken."

Re:Engineer? (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572682)

"Besides, not all engineers design bridges."

But just because you gradudated the AM class of some MCSE money-gouging center doesn't mean you're any more qualified than a hampster to design and implement software.

Tom

Re:Engineer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11572673)

phD?
Dsc?
engD?

you can have a doctrate in things other than medicine you know.

I can though really see how real engineers get upset at microsofts use of the term though.

Re:Engineer? (0)

gowen (141411) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572614)

Rule #2 of language : Whenever a pseudo-intellectual misuses a word, they will make a spurious appeal to Rule #1 in an attempt to get out of it.

Re:Engineer? (4, Funny)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572570)

Actually, just having a degree doesn't make you an engineer. Passing your EIT is the first step to that path. "MSCE" is a disgusting use of the word engineer to anybody who is a real engineer.

Re:Engineer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11572587)

It's easy to be an engineer in Great Britain. Just ask any (what we would call) engine mechanic or garbage man.

Re:Engineer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11572620)

The guy has a PhD from MIT in molecular biophysics.

I don't know how else to say this, but:

He's about a million times smarter than me (or you).

Shut up.

Re:Engineer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11572658)

That doesn't matter. A PhD or MD is a "Doctor" not an "Engineer" and even then, MS can't be bestowing the title of "Engineer" on people.

Re:Engineer? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11572636)

I thought Engineer was a term applied to people who ran trains, not something to be passed around like a slide rule or a mechanical pencil.

Damn you pointyheaded nerds for stealing our label! =)

Re:Engineer? (1)

mzwaterski (802371) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572663)

They are probably using this part of the definition of engineer

a person who carries through an enterprise by skillful or artful contrivance (Webster's)

While I'm an engineer and find it annoying that they use this term, I'm not so certain that it's incorrect. People with engineering degrees are not the only ones that can engineer things...

Sales Engineer! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11572679)

I was a "Sales Engineer" at Computer City back in '97. Straight out of High School! I upgraded/repaired computers and sold crap to the clueless masses. So, the only degree you need to be an engineer, is a HS Diploma! :)

Re:Engineer? (3, Insightful)

Evil W1zard (832703) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572691)

Degree's don't mean crap. If you have the experience and skillsets and not the degree you still can be an engineer.

Re:Engineer? (4, Insightful)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572736)

Having a degree doesn't make you engineer, solving problems does.

hrm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11572463)

What's with BeOS?

Fallacy of the Never Happened (5, Insightful)

Speare (84249) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572467)

There's a fallacy in imagining a world where a particular person never completed a particular invention. In short, it skips the notion that someone else would have invented it instead.

If Ungh Blungh didn't invent the wheel, some other proto-Sapiens halfwit would have invented it in the following year. It's not like there was a shortage of halfwits in the golden crescent.

If Henry Ford didn't invent the assembly-line production model, someone else would have invented it in the following decade. It's not like there was a shortage of development in the industrial arena.

If this developer at Microsoft didn't fix "enhanced mode" Windows, then some other developer at Microsoft would have. It's not like Microsoft was aching for cash to hire smart developers to tinker with 80386 instruction sets.

The size and complexity of an invention AND its environment are also key: If Linus never wrote a whole and usable kernel and published it, chances are that no other homebrew kernel would have grown with the same fervor. The complexity of the task, and the complexity of the eco-political forces at work, helped to spur the adoption in a unique way.

Re:Fallacy of the Never Happened (1)

mrm677 (456727) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572586)

I agree. If you haven't already read "Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies" [amazon.com] , I highly recommend it. Everything happens for a reason and because the chips were in place...

Re:Fallacy of the Never Happened (4, Insightful)

ghoti (60903) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572588)

Good point, but you ignore the importance of timing here. If protected mode stuff running on Windows would have been done half a year later, Microsoft may already have made a decision to go with OS/2 - and enhanced Windows would have just been another nice demo.

Re:Fallacy of the Never Happened (4, Insightful)

Zarhan (415465) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572606)

There's a fallacy in imagining a world where a particular person never completed a particular invention. In short, it skips the notion that someone else would have invented it instead.

Wheel and rest of your examples are valid. However, I think that there *are* certain things that wouldn't have been invented by someone else.

Consider Einstein. In 1905, he published his special relativity theory. Now, for this, all the pieces were pretty much there - somebody else would have come up with that sooner or later.

However, general relativity, in 1915, is something that probably would have not been realized even by today if it were not for Albert. Even if we had gravity probe B [stanford.edu] I think scientists would be pretty dumbfounded by results - there is not really any "reasonable" explanation. You need to think outside the box - and I think that even though Newton's "standing on the shoulder of giants" applies to lots of things, there were no shoulders to stand upon regarding general relativity.

Of course, this point is rather irrelevant because we are talking about developing an OS..

Re:Fallacy of the Never Happened (1)

KiltedKnight (171132) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572638)

If this developer at Microsoft didn't fix "enhanced mode" Windows, then some other developer at Microsoft would have. It's not like Microsoft was aching for cash to hire smart developers to tinker with 80386 instruction sets.

It's also possible that some developer at IBM, Apple, or SomeOtherSoftwareCompany might have gotten it to work, in which case Microsoft itself would've only been a licensee of the technology, not the copyright holder. Microsoft wouldn't necessarily be the dominant desktop player it is, unless it decided to devote all of its energy into other kinds of software, like MS Office.

If we're playing the "What if?" game, we could also ask the question, "What if Steve Jobs didn't hold that lawsuit threat over everyone else when it came to building something with the 'look and feel' of a Mac?" Would Mac be the dominant desktop now? Would OS/2? Would Windows? I know for certain that Jobs is probably kicking himself in the butt over this one all the time.

Re:Fallacy of the Never Happened (1)

NutscrapeSucks (446616) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572646)

Right, it wasn't the "invention" of Windows386, it was the business decision to push this over OS/2. Similar to how IBM had all the resources to write OS/2 version 1 as 32-bit native, but chose create a 16-bit OS instead.

History hinges on the fact that IBM chose not to buy out Microsoft and/or Windows when they had a chance. The proper applicaiton of $$$$ would have made Windows disappear, and eventualy users would have come around to dumping DOS for OS/2.

As for how this would affect Linux -- probably not that much. The main market driver for Linux was people who wanted UNIX on Intel, cheap. OS/2 was less applicable than Windows.

Ford didn't develop it (3, Informative)

madaxe42 (690151) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572652)

Colt developed the first production line model, for making their famous 6 shooters, 30 years before Ford applied the model to car manufacture.

Re:Fallacy of the Never Happened (1)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572707)

There's a fallacy in imagining a world where a particular person never completed a particular invention. In short, it skips the notion that someone else would have invented it instead.

Yeah, that's why I quit watching "Sliders". After they end up in a universe where all else is exactly the same as ours, except medecine has not been discovered/invented! I think more people need to read "Connections" by James Burke (or at least watch the TV show!) before they start imagining "a world without [X]". Nothing exists on its own. What I think is humorous is that these people are usually also capable of imagining the "Simpsons butterfly effect" as well. So how does that work? Killing a prehistoric butterfly changes EVERYTHING, yet removing Windows from the face of history only makes changes in the immediate vicinity of OS adoption? Pah!

Wow (4, Funny)

tdemark (512406) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572471)

Rube Goldberg [rubegoldberg.com] would have been proud of that article.

- Tony

Obvious (2, Funny)

tubbtubb (781286) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572484)

Clearly, in this scenario,
over time OpenVMS would become the defacto standard
on all macs, and BSD would still be dead, of course.

OS/2? (-1, Offtopic)

Doooh_head (765623) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572518)

OS/2 All the WAY! YAAAAAAAA! (I miss my OS/2...)

The tyranny of a great idea (2, Insightful)

ajnsue (773317) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572528)

Genius is a dangerous thing you have to be very careful where you point it. When somebody does something great we so desperately want to apply it. That we forget to think about where it should be applied.

Would this have been so bad? (4, Interesting)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572530)

While the PM interface did have some shortcomings, the OS was rock stable by 94. Heck, the PM shortcomings were minor compared to those of any other OS of the time. Multi-threaded applications, flat memory model, inherently non-fragging file system, the concept of shadows (closest weak analogies are symbolic links or shortcuts) that dissappeared when the root file was deleted, and the addition of extended file attributes that let a file name be anything and still tied to a particular application. A truly great OS with features yet unmatched by any other system, including, dare I say it, Mac OS X. (FYI: I'm about to purchase a Mac, so put the flame throwers away;)

If anyone wants to flame the 2MB cache cache limitation of the file system, do realize that the HPFS386 file system used in the server did not have that restraint. Also recall the time period that this OS came out in. 2MB was a significant portion of 16 or 32 MB of RAM. (Yeah, that's right, OS/2 would run just fine in 32 MB of RAM. Heck, it'd run on 4MB machines if you wanted it to, with the smallest system I recall hearing about was a 2MB system minus the PM.)

I still recall being able to run C&C in a window with sound while running Word 6, and several OS/2 apps with nary a problem. (Pentium Pro in 97).

A trip down Nostalgia Lane once more. Would I run it again? Sure, if it had the applications needed today.

Re:Would this have been so bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11572623)

OS/2 would run just fine in 32 MB of RAM. Heck, it'd run on 4MB


As I recall, with 4MB it was more like "walk" than run, and installation was extremely stressful.

2MB? Only for posing, no earthly use (the system would "run", but no apps could be loaded).

Re:Would this have been so bad? (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572681)

I agree - the full system would "walk", but you could pare it down quite easily just by removing the PM interface.

Btw, as for <2MB systems, what do you think all your ATMs used until at least 96 or so? I'd call them quite useful.

Re:Would this have been so bad? (2, Informative)

ashSlash (96551) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572711)

I loved the OS/2 WPS & PM. Drag & drop colours or fonts to any OS/2 windowed app and they are remembered by the app. Maybe too O-O for some ppl but I liked it a lot myself - I found it quite consistent.

Pity 2.0 didn't ship with a TCP/IP stack, nor multi-user capability (or even logins/passwords for that matter)!

But I still miss the WPS... know it exists on Linux tho.

Re:Would this have been so bad? (4, Interesting)

NutscrapeSucks (446616) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572728)

Funny how you fail to mention Windows NT, which was superior to OS/2 in every way execept the graphical shell.

The fact is that OS/2 was "gimped" in certain ways -- no integrated networking, no file permissions, no multiple users, various 16-bit legacy limitations in the kernel. This was done on purpose because IBM had no intention of letting Intel-based OSes intrude on it's midrange AS/400 and RS/6000 server business.

When NT hit the market, it immediately started taking over server applicaitons. Something that OS/2 never would or could do. At least for servers, NT has always been the hardware driver, pushing the x86 platform upwards, and Linux has benefited hugely from that.

If Windows never existed, the entire proprietary server market (DEC, SGI, HP, Sun, and IBM) would be very much richer and happier today.

Remember Back To The Future 2? (5, Funny)

Xpilot (117961) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572540)

Where Old Biff steals the DeLorean and gives the Sports Almanac to young Biff? Then Doc and Marty come back to a hellish timeline where Biff is a billionaire.

I think something like that happened, where old Bill goes back in time and gives young Bill some tips on how to get lucky in the IT world, plus some source code for Windows 3.0. And we're living in the nightmarish timeline that was created.

Only Doc and Marty can save us now. Or Linux. Whichever does it first :)

Re:Remember Back To The Future 2? (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572694)

I love a few Microsoft apps (Excel, Entourage) and grudgingly cope with being forced to use XP and IE at work.

But there is absolutely no freaking way I'd be getting in a Microsoft time machine. (Or a Linux one, for that matter.)

Umm, no (2, Interesting)

kuwan (443684) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572552)

I don't believe that Microsoft ever intended to push OS/2 even if apps couldn't run in protected mode. Microsoft was going to push Windows no matter how crappie or inferior it was to OS/2. Their flirtation with OS/2 (telling people that it was the future and that they should support it) only made other large developers of the time, namely Wordperfect, spend their time on creating OS/2 versions of their software instead of Windows versions.

When Microsoft put their full push into Windows they were able to put MS Word (along with their other apps) out ahead of everyone else and drive Wordperfect into obscurity. That's not to say that Wordperfect didn't expect this. I used to work with a former Wordperfect executive and they knew full well what Microsoft was up to but they thought that the combination of Wordperfect and IBM would be able to beat Microsoft and so they put pretty much everything into OS/2. By the time they realized that OS/2 wasn't going to catch on it was too late, and the rest is history.

--
It works. [wired.com]
Free Flat Screens [freeflatscreens.com] | Free Mini Macs [freeminimacs.com]

Re:Umm, no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11572690)

I strip sigs for a few reasons. One of these reasons is so I don't have to see all of those freewhatever.com links.

Just a polite request, please don't copy/paste your ads into each message like that. Just put it in your sig. Thanks.

I have to say... (4, Interesting)

angst7 (62954) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572554)

OS/2 Warp was goodness in the extreme. (Bugs aside). I ran it for a while trying to stay away from Windows and knowing that someting would drag me away from DOS eventually. The interface and capabilities of OS/2 made me a bit giddy I recall. I still have rather bizarre memories of decentered happieness while running it. Weird.

Of course my memories from around that same time of running early slackware linux are even better. It was on a 386 linux box with 5MB memory that I first saw the (then new) WWW in Mosaic on X. Windows couldn't grant me that pleasure at that time. (Trumpet winsock my ass)

Re:I have to say... (5, Interesting)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572657)

2.3 and 2.4 were pretty darn nice. I don't really recall too many issues with bugs. At least not in comparison to MS's bugs. I recall rebooting my machine 3 times in a year. I'd often hear colleagues scream in frustration as hours of work dissappeared in the all too familiar BSOD. (Well, familiar to them... ;)

Had IBM capitulated to MS Office's underhanded call for memory @ 2GB when starting, even though it'd never use it, we might still be running OS/2.
That manuever made Office95 incompatible with OS/2, and along with the then incompatible default file formats, the beginning of the end was near for OS/2.

My prediction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11572571)

What do you mean biblical?

Fire and brimstone raining down from the sky...

40 days of darkness...

Earthquakes,floods...

Cats and dogs living together, mass hysteria!

If it wasn't for IBM, Linux would be dead... (2, Insightful)

OwlWhacker (758974) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572585)

Sometimes, it's fun to play the "what if" game

Sometimes it's FUD to play the "what if" game.

IBM would never have put weight behind Linux because it had its own operating system to push.

That's like saying Linux is only where it is today because of IBM. Yes, IBM has put a lot into Linux, but I don't think that IBM alone has made Linux a major player.

And what about Sun (a lover of IP like Microsoft)? Sun has its own version of Linux, and has its own OS. Sun has given to the Open Source community too.

or maybe (2, Funny)

b17bmbr (608864) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572607)

maybe microsoft would have adopted linux, maybe we'd have to come up with clever icons for ibm, and be talking about the big blue screen of death. microsoft's control lay ints api's and doc formats. without that control, eventually, they'd have to split from ibm.

Linux would still be here. Here's the logic: (3, Insightful)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572629)

1. Linus Torvalds released the Linux kernel in 1991 because "he was unsatisfied with the operating systems of the time" (as I think the quote goes from "Just For Fun").

2. He wrote the Linux kernel on a 386 PC - yeah, i guess he could have been using SCO UNIX on it but I seem to recall he was using MS-DOS a bit also.

3. Richard Stallman started GNU during the 1980s, emacs, gcc, etc were already in widespread usage and being handed out as free source code.

Therefore, the catalyst that sparked off Linux doesn't appear to have been Windows 3.0 anyway.

Sure, with more OS/2 users, there may not have been so many people developing for Linux but it would still be here.

Microsoft & Skin Cancer (4, Funny)

Prince Vegeta SSJ4 (718736) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572635)

Why Global Warming may be the first question you ask, but think about it. Many of us know that the shorter the wavelength of light, the higher the energy [newi.ac.uk] . We also know that blue and ultraviolet light has a shorter wavelength than red and yellow.

Therefore, due to the increased number of blue radiation [dink.org] given off by windows machines, there has been an exponential increase in short wavelength, high energy electromagnetic radiation - which of course has been linked to skin cancer.

What if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11572653)

Bill Gate had never been born? Am I the only one who constantly fantasizes about this little gem? :)

I would expect this from a microsiftite (2, Insightful)

bahamat (187909) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572669)

IBM would never have put weight behind Linux because it had its own operating system to push.


FUD FUD FUD. IBM does have it's own operating system to push. It's called AIX, which IBM is swiftly moving away from and pushing Linux so much in favor over. I don't recall IBM making any suggestions that anyone should (or even could) run Linux as a desktop alternative. Even after proclaiming Linux "ready for the desktop" not a single IBM PC was ever sold with Linux as an option, let alone the default or only OS.

No, IBM is only interested in Linux as a replacemnt for AIX. If Windows 3.0 never existed IBM still would have found Linux and they still would have put it on their servers. The only difference is that OS/2 or NeXT would be the dominant desktop OS, and the world wouldn't be overrun with spyware, virii and other malware.

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11572734)

Then where is that DB/2 port for Linux on Power5?

IBM cares about Linux as a cheap route for x86, and low end RISC. They are never giving up AIX on heavy hardware, as long as their flagship DB product does not run on it, and there are no indications that IBM is porting DB/2 to Power5, or even Oracle porting to Power5.

Start as you mean to go on (2, Funny)

ioliver (698463) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572680)

>When David got in the next day (at around 8AM), >he saw that his machine had crashed, so he knew >that Steve had come by and seen it. Golly, the world's first ever UAE (what GPFs were called when Windows was young and people didn't even dare to dream of BSODs) and Steve got to see it personally. I hope he gets to personally see all the results from me hitting "Send Error Report" half a dozen times a day. Ian

If This Were Marvel Comics' "What If" (2, Funny)

vjmurphy (190266) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572683)

Then this would beget violent OS Wars, in which many many secondary heroes, like Ant Man, Scarlet Witch, Iron Man and Bruce Perens would be annihilated by enemies unknown.

In the end, only Captain America, Wolverine, Spider-Man and Dr. Strange would survive, only to discover their true enemy: a parallel universe Bill Gates, bringing with him Ultra Dimensional Windows Mega Super XP Hyperforce Go 5.4 with him.

Mwahahahahaha!

Linux never would have existed (2, Insightful)

mungtor (306258) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572708)

In a way Linux owes it's entire existence to Microsoft, and not just because of the anti-monopoly/anti-corporation backlash.

In reality, it has been the demands of Microsoft operating systems that have pushed the x86 architecture so hard that it is now possible to actually do some decent work with them. Solaris on Sparc, AIX on RISC, etc., all of them would still be the faster machines, and if you needed to run x86 BSD would have been fine.

Not to say that there wouldn't have been processor improvement, of course. But the whole industry was driven by the MS/Intel machine.

Impossible to say, impact of NT (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11572715)

There were other factors besides Windows 3.0/95 that caused the "divorce" between OS/2 and MS-Windows NT.

Even if David Weise did not complete his work then, someone would have within a year or two, unless OS/2 and/or NT took off so fast as to make it a moot point.

What would have happened if a protected-mode MS-sponsored GUI environment from DOS didn't ship until say, 1992?

Apple would've had 2 more years of dominance in certain markets.

Applications developers would've used their own GUIS and developed their own protected-mode interfaces, or used a third-party protected mode solution.

Microsoft might've shipped a non-protected-mode Windows anyways. Don't forget, MS-Windows 286 and 386 preceeded 3.0. The folks behind QEMM386 and similar products would've made a lot more money.

OS/2 and NT might've stayed together for awhile longer, but not much longer.

People would be using DOS on desktops for a couple more years.

The ill-fated OS/2 for PowerPC may never have happened.

15 years later though, the ripple effects of such a scenario would be far less visible than they would've been in the mid-1990s.

Been thanking the wrong guy! (3, Funny)

Mr. BS (788514) | more than 9 years ago | (#11572723)


And I've been thanking Linus Torvalds for all of these years???

Dave Weise... You 'da man!!!
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>