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Best Buy-Operating System: OS/2 2.1


Who says you can’t teach old dog new tricks? For years, IBM stayed out of the direct market and was beaten at every turn by Microsoft in the operating systems wars. Not anymore. IBM has entered the direct market with a flourish and OS/2 2.1 leads the way with our Best Buy award for operating systems.

In a year flooded with new operating systems, UnixWare, Windows NT, Solaris and NeXTStep, OS/2 emerged victorious. OS/2 has done more then just beaten the new-comers though, it has broken Microsoft’s iron grip on today’s computers.

It doesn’t take a genius to see why OS/2 emerged triumphant. OS/2 liberated the power in today’s 32-bit processors. Finally, ordinary end-users could really put all their memory and the multitasking ability of 386s and 486s to work.

If that wasn’t enough, OS/2 lets you use your old Windows and MS-DOS programs. The only things users have to lose by switching to OS/2 are the chains of archaic operating systems. With OS/2 you can truly run multiple DOS, Windows and OS/2 programs with OS/2’s pre-emptive multitasking.

OS/2’s graphical user interface, Presentation Manager, is also a winner. Windows users will find it familiar enough so that they won’t suffer from operating system culture shock.

OS/2 is speedy as well. While some 32-bit operating systems put have so much overhead that even a Pentium feels like a 12Mhz 286, OS/2 is lean, mean and gets your jobs done in double-quick time.

Another plus for OS/2 is IBM’s legendary support. If your new program goes haywire under OS/2 at midnight on Friday night, you don’t have to wait for Monday morning to get help. IBM’s HelpCenter is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Some critics say that there’s not enough OS/2 programs and that OS/2 2.1 still lacks drivers. Neither argument held much water for Shopper’s readers. More OS/2 programs and drivers are emerging by the day.

Shopper’s readers have looked at the future, and what they see there is OS/2. The microcomputing world may never be the same.

A version of this story first appeared in Computer Shopper.

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