PCGH Retro: The (assumed) future of the operating system
Once again PCGH takes a look at the short but eventful history of the computer. Today: What happened on December 4?
...1987: On December 4 in 1987 the future of the PC operating system begins - according to the plans of Intel and Microsoft at least: The first version of the new system OS/2, which had been developed by the two companies, was introduced to the market. It is supposed to replace the out-dated DOS and the still unsuccessful Windows in the long run. OS/2 1.0, intended for Intel's 16 bit processors of the 80286 series, doesn't have a graphic user interface and thus can be controlled in text mode only. Color comes about twelve months later with version 1.1.
But technically the system is up-to-date for its time: It offers preemptive multitasking and multithreading, memory protection, support for 16 MiByte RAM as well as virtual memory of up to one GiByte - but the most important feature is the DOS compatibility. Because of the popularity of the old system, the new one has to be able to deal with DOS software - downward compatibility is top priority on the market. But it's no use, OS/2 isn't fully accepted; a few years later Microsoft drops out of the project and focuses on windows instead - with the commonly known result.