IBM Introduces OS/2 2.1

IBM Introduces OS/2 2.1 With New Advanced Function, Improving The Industry’s Proven 32-Bit Operating System

May 18, 1993
Press Release


IBM’s Personal Software Products (PSP) division today introduced OS/2* Version 2.1, an enhanced version of the industry’s leading 32-bit operating system for Intel-based personal computers that offers customers new levels of function and performance while providing businesses with a proven and reliable client/server platform.

OS/2 2.1 has support for Windows** 3.1 applications, 32-bit graphics, built-in multimedia features and longer battery life for mobile PC platforms. It also is more powerful and faster than version 2.0. All the capabilities of this award-winning operating system — including the built-in ability to run DOS, Windows and OS/2 applications — are available for the first time on CD-ROM.

“OS/2 2.1 is a proven, tested operating system that provides the stability and application protection a business needs when its valuable information assets are implemented in client/server environments,” said Leland R. Reiswig Jr., president, Personal Software Products. “With today’s announcements for OS/2, the world’s best 32-bit PC operating system just got better. It offers the power of the future and offers it today.”

Reiswig added, “With IBM’s experience in managing and supporting enterprise computing, its industrial-strength technology and a portfolio of client/server products that run on OS/2, we are uniquely positioned to provide tested, stable solutions for a customer’s client/server needs.”

The Momentum Continues

OS/2 momentum continues to build. Since OS/2 2.0 became available 14 months ago, more than two million copies have been shipped. More than 1,200 industry applications have been developed, and major vendors such as Lotus, WordPerfect and Computer Associates are releasing new 32-bit OS/2 versions of their major products in response to customer demand. AST, Computer Associates, Information Builders Inc., Lotus and WordPerfect today joined IBM by making announcements in support of OS/2.

More than 100 OEMs are bundling, pre-loading or distributing OS/2. In addition, OS/2 has won 13 awards for technological excellence from industry trade publications.

“A large number of customers have invested in exciting new hardware that provides high performance and graphics capabilities,” said John Patrick, vice president, sales & marketing, PSP. “OS/2 provides a way for those users to step up to an operating system that can exploit this advanced technology and gain a seamless environment to run all of their DOS, Windows and OS/2 applications.”

Patrick added, “OS/2 is particularly attractive to users of Windows 3.1. They can continue to run these applications while gaining additional benefits not possible with DOS and Windows, such as pre-emptive multitasking.”

Product Enhancements

OS/2 2.1 runs DOS, Windows and OS/2 applications better than ever before, including support for Windows 3.1 applications with performance comparable to Windows 3.1 applications running natively. OS/2 2.1 also enables a user to start up other applications from within a Windows session running in OS/2.

In addition, Adobe Type Manager** Level 2.5 fonts are shipped with OS/2 2.1, as are the Windows 3.1 File Manager, True Type fonts, and selected applets.

The 32-bit graphics subsystem provides enhanced performance for 32-bit applications. Improved Palette Manager function provides developers with access to more than 256 colors to provide clearer and brighter images.

Seamless 32-bit display drivers improve the range of graphics support in OS/2 2.1 to include SVGA, 8514/A, XGA, XGA-2 , and VGA display adapters. The SVGA drivers support popular industry chipsets from ATI, Cirrus Logic, Headland, Trident, Tseng and Western Digital.

IBM’s Multimedia Presentation Manager/2 (MMPM/2) is included with OS/2 2.1, giving users unparalleled multimedia capability as part of the base operating system. MMPM/2 has been enhanced in OS/2 2.1 to play digital motion video in software at 30 frames per second, with no motion video hardware required. MMPM/2 provides system sounds on the Workplace Shell*, an audio recording and editing applet, and an easy-to-use applet for playing CD-ROMs.

MMPM/2 also provides a rich set of multimedia programming interfaces, enabling users to create a new breed of OS/2 multimedia applications. MMPM/2 supports MIDI, WAV and CD/XA industry standard file formats, and includes device drivers for Media Vision’s Pro Audio Spectrum** 16 card, Creative Lab’s Sound Blaster** family of cards, and IBM’s M-Audio card.

OS/2 2.1 contains enabling code to support industry-standard PCMCIA 2.0 service specifications for credit-card sized adapter cards. OS/2 is the first operating system to ship this new standard for mobile PC technology in the base product. With this support, users can dynamically hot-plug cards, meaning cards with drivers that support OS/2 2.1 can be inserted or removed while the computer is powered on. In addition, the industry-standard Advanced Power Management (APM) feature of OS/2 2.1 helps reduce power consumption and extend the battery life of portable PCs. This feature is enabled automatically when OS/2 2.1 is installed on a system that supports the APM standard.

OS/2 2.1 supports more than 260 printers, including the newest, highest-speed printers, such as the Hewlett-Packard LaserJet** 4 and DeskJet** 500 series; Epson and Epson compatible printers; LaserJet compatibles and postscript printers.

OS/2 2.1 supports SCSI CD-ROM drives, including drives from CD Technology, Hitachi, IBM, NEC, Panasonic, Sony, Texel, and Toshiba. These will work in combination with adapters from Adaptec, DPT, Future Domain and IBM.

Complete Client/Server Solutions

With products from PSP, other IBM lines of business, business partners and software vendors, customers are offered a complete client/server solution. Among the offerings are Lotus Notes** and cc:Mail for workgroup computing and electronic mail; DATABASE 2* for OS/2 (DB2/2)* for relational database management; Distributed Database Connection Services/2 for low-cost relational database connectivity; Communications Manager/2 for managing communications connectivity; Information
Management System (IMS)/2 and Customer Information Control System (CICS)/2* for client/server transaction processing, and PC Support/400 for file and print sharing with IBM AS/400* midrange systems.

All these IBM offerings bring robust, industrial strength large system technology — the integrity, security, and ability to backup and recover data — to the client/server environment running OS/2.

Pricing & Availability

OS/2 2.1 will be generally available June 14 at a list price of $249. A 90-day promotional offering of $99 for CD-ROM versions and $119 for diskette versions is available to users who order an upgrade through PSP’s toll free number — 1-800-3IBM-OS2 . In addition, OS/2 users who upgrade to 2.1 will receive a $30 rebate by filling out a coupon in the 2.1 box and mailing it with the first page of their 2.0 manual. Additional savings are available if OS/2 2.1 is purchased through IBM business partners.

* Indicates trademark or registered trademark of the International Business Machines Corp.

** Indicates trademark of the following companies: Microsoft Corp. (Windows); Adobe Systems, Inc. (Adobe Type Manager); Media Vision, Inc. (Pro Audio Spectrum); Creative Labs, Inc. (Sound Blaster); Hewlett-Packard (LaserJet, DeskJet); Lotus Development Corp. (Notes).

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