OS/2 Warp Connect vs Windows 95
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==================================== ! OS/2 WARP CONNECT vs WINDOWS 95 ! ==================================== FOR OPERATING SYSTEM EVALUATION BY IBM MARKETING PERSONNEL, BUSINESS PARTNERS AND CUSTOMERS PREPARED BY IBM CORPORATION WORLDWIDE MARKET STRATEGIES FAX (407) 982-8888 SEPTEMBER 28, 1995 OS/2 Warp Connect vs. Windows 95 ====================================== Introduction ++++++++++++ OS/2 Warp has generated renewed excitement and heightened momentum for OS/2 in all areas of the marketplace since its release . This has led to over 60 independent software vendors (ISV) announcing more than 100 new applications for OS/2 Warp in 1995 alone. In addition to the IBM PC Company, OS/2 Warp is a preload option on PCs from over 200 OEMs worldwide. Now almost a year and nearly 3 million OS/2 Warp sales later, the release of Windows 95 in August 1995 will lead to some degree of evaluation of computer hardware and software needs in homes and businesses, both large and small. Whether you are running through a mental checklist or performing a full pilot evaluation, here are some basic points to consider as you decide the best way to meet your needs today and in the future. Executive Summary +++++++++++++++++ Microsoft's $200 million+ marketing campaign surrounding the August 24, 1995 availability of Windows 95 created a media blitz that reached a fever pitch and blurred the realistic expectations for the product. The good news is that Windows 95 is now a product and the reality can be separated from the hype. Many media commentators, reviewers, and writers as diverse as Rush Limbaugh,1 Howard Stern 2 and Garry Trudeau in the Doonesbury3 comic strip observed that Windows 95 is offering features and functions that OS/2 and Apple Mac users have enjoyed for years. James Fallows, in his National Public Radio (NPR) commentary, pointed out that Windows 95 is " . . . an achievement of commerce and promotion rather than technology." What makes OS/2 Warp important to businesses, where stability and productivity are crucial, was summed up by Eric Grevstad in the September 1995 Computer Shopper, "A time-tested, bargain-priced, elegantly-interfaced, Internet-savvy, rock-solid, 32-bit operating system." OS/2 Warp Connect is designed for today's networked business environment. Its true multitasking, multithreading capabilities handle mission-critical tasks more quickly and efficiently. OS/2's Crash ProtectionTM keeps problems with individual applications from crashing your entire system. Combining OS/2 Warp's architectural and networking strengths with the investment protection afforded by compatibility with existing DOS and Windows 3.x applications creates an environment with advantages that Windows 95 does not provide. Only OS/2 Warp provides personal computer users with: * A full 32-bit operating system with true multitasking and multithreading * Preemptive multitasking with 16-bit Windows 3.x applications as well as native 32-bit applications * Memory and data protection * Crash Protection * Internet access graphical tools * Consistent user interface across entire family of scaleable products * Lotus Notes synergy * BonusPak of full-function productivity applications. Companies that migrate to OS/2 Warp Connect today may recover their migration cost by the time Microsoft makes a second, more stable release of Windows 95 available with native 32-bit applications (currently named Nashville and planned for next year). OS/2 Warp Advantages -------------------- OS/2 was designed as a 32-bit multitasking, multithreaded operating system from the ground up. OS/2 Warp is the third major release of 32-bit OS/2 and the seventh release with preemptive multitasking and multithreading capabilities. It is a stable, industrial-strength operating system that has proven its ability to handle mission-critical applications. OS/2 has been introducing and evolving leading edge technology over its 8-year history. The results of that technology have been to exploit the capabilities of today's hardware fully, while maximizing usability and protecting investment in current technology. OS/2 has won over 70 awards since April 1992. The recognition OS/2 has received for its technical excellence along with its widespread usage in major corporations worldwide has raised the bar, creating a new level of expectation in operating system function. Windows 95 is now beginning to introduce many of the features and functions that OS/2 users have been accustomed to for some time now. Many of OS/2 Warp's functions, listed below, are now claimed by Microsoft for Windows 95 but are present to varying degrees, some with additional purchases required. * Full 32-bit multitasking, multithreaded operating system -- but Windows 95 has semi-preemptive multitasking * Crash Protection -- but Windows 95 has compromised crash protection in favor of compatibility * Internet access with graphical browsers -- but no graphical tools, for example Web Browser or Gopher, are included with Windows 95 * Graphical utility for accessing a commercial on-line provider (CompuServe) -- but Windows 95 only offers the Microsoft Network connecting software * Support for multiple clients and multiple network transports out of the box * Object-oriented technology through IBM's System Object Model (SOM) -- but Windows 95 utilizes proprietary Object-Linking and Embedding (OLE), which is object-based rather than object-oriented. * Ease-of-use features which include: - A full object-oriented desktop -- but Windows 95 is a partial object implementation. - Folder work areas -- but Windows 95 folders lack OS/2 Warp's unique work-area capabilities of closing the folder and having all objects within the folder close. Then when the folder is reopened, all objects reopen just as they were before the folder was closed. - Shadow duplicate icons -- but Windows 95 lacks the ability to dynamically track the linkage and can lose the target. - Drag-and-drop -- but Windows 95 has inconsistent drag-and-drop. - Toolbar completely customizable for one-click application access -- but the Windows 95 task bar has minimal customization capability. - Long file names -- but Windows 95 is only the most recent operating system to break the 8.3-character file name barrier. - Right mouse-button support for context menu, including setting properties -- but Windows 95 is supporting a feature OS/2 Warp users have benefited from for years. Ease of Use +++++++++++ User Interface -------------- OS/2 Warp Staying at the forefront of the technology curve, OS/2 began exploiting object-oriented technology on the OS/2 2.0 desktop that was introduced in April 1992. The OS/2 desktop has evolved into the user-friendly desktop currently available in OS/2 Warp. The beauty of this clean, efficient desktop is much more than skin deep. Each icon, whether on the desktop, toolbar, or in a folder, is a graphic representation of the actual object. This provides consistent drag-and-drop usage across all areas of the desktop. Any action on the icon applies to the object. Therefore when an icon is dragged to the shredder it shreds, to the printer it prints, and to the fax it faxes. Shadow icons can easily be created to represent an original object and its contents. Because this is a true object-oriented implementation, any action done to the original (for example, a name change) occurs in the shadow as well. Object locations are dynamically maintained so that when the original files are moved within or between directories, or local/network disk drives the shadows are not lost. Windows 95 Microsoft has promised a full object-oriented implementation in Cairo, a future NT release, but the current partial object-based implementation of Windows 95 causes inconsistent results with drag-and-drop operations. Some areas, among them the My Computer and Control Panel folders, are considered special areas, off limits for drag-and-drop activity. This inconsistency is very confusing for a new user. The lack of a drag-and-drop deletion capability adds to the confusion, since drag-and-drop on the Recycle Bin requires an additional step that may not be apparent to complete the deletion. Pressing the Start button to get to the system shutdown is not very intuitive either. The partial object-oriented implementation is also evident in the Windows 95 feature for creating shortcuts, which are alternative names or nicknames that refer to an object and can be placed at convenient places on the desktop. Since the shortcut and its related files are linked by static pathnames and .ini file entries, moving the target file within the directory structure can break the connection, causing the shortcut to be lost. Windows 95 does search, often successfully, to find the wayward file, but the search can be lengthy and can result in targeting the wrong file. Referring to the inconsistency of the drag-and-drop, the InfoWorld Test Center Product Review, August 1995, warns, "Another inconsistency -- which is serious enough to cause you to accidentally dump a document if you're not careful -- has to do with Win95's capability to help you create shortcuts. You create a shortcut to an executable ŞfileÝ by dragging and dropping it onto the desktop with the left mouse button. If you use the same procedure on a document, you get a different result -- the document gets moved rather than a shortcut created. If you don't realize you are not working with a shortcut, you can easily delete the document file when moving it to the Recycle Bin." When an entire window is moved across the desktop, the contents of that window are temporarily blanked out. The remedy for that is in Microsoft Plus], a $49.95 add-on to Windows 95 that raises the minimum system requirement to a 486 processor, 256-color graphics, and 25 to 50MB of additional hard disk space. Long File Names --------------- OS/2 Warp Breaking free of the cryptic 8.3-character file name constraints that have frustrated a generation of DOS and Windows users occurred 8 years ago for OS/2 users. User-assigned names for folders are examples of where long file names can be conveniently used. Windows 95 Windows 95 has garnered significant press over the support of long file names. While this function is nothing new to users of other personal computer operating systems, it is another example of where Windows 95 users can encounter problems unless all of the applications on their system and any system with which they plan to exchange data files are upgraded to Windows 95 versions. Here's a frightening example. You create an expense report, titled 'Expenses for Aug', with a new Windows 95 spreadsheet program in your office. Next month you create 'Expenses for Sept' and decide to take it home and complete it over the weekend. Windows 95 has assigned 'Expens˝1' and 'Expens˝2' as short aliases for your two files, but when you copy the September report onto a new floppy diskette to take it home, it is titled 'Expens˝1' on the diskette. Monday morning you return to the office and copy the September report that you completed on your Windows 3.x spreadsheet at home back onto your office system. Since the August report had previously been assigned the 'Expens˝1' alias, the September report will overwrite it. The August report is gone, replaced by the September file. This type of confusion can only be avoided by using short (8.3) file names solely, and therefore any perceived advantage is lost. Architecture ++++++++++++ Crash Protection and Multitasking --------------------------------- We are constantly multitasking in every aspect of our lives, with much of the activity so natural that we don't even think about it. From the simplest walk-and-chew-gum-joke to the evenings spent cooking dinner while the laundry runs and the kids are reporting on their day, this natural flow of activity maximizes productivity in our lives. Our work lives should be no less efficient. Being able to open multiple Web Browsers allows the Internet user to maximize the on-line time for which he is billed. Downloading a file while reading e-mail has the same cost savings. Continuing to edit a file while a previous version is faxed to a co-worker increases productivity. OS/2 Warp Doing these tasks concurrently is the true preemptive multitasking that OS/2 was designed from the ground up to provide. The strength of OS/2 Warp's multitasking, coupled with its superb Crash Protection, has led to its widespread adoption in major worldwide corporations where productivity and stability are paramount. Even though earlier versions of OS/2 did contain 16-bit elements, IBM was able to trademark OS/2 Crash Protection because no 16-bit parts were ever shared with Windows applications. Windows 95 An article titled "A Grab Bag of Gotchas and Goodies for Programming in Windows 95" in the May 1995 issue of the Microsoft System Journal stated: "Windows 95 is based on Windows for Workgroups 3.11 code. Yes, the code has been significantly modified to provide process and thread management . . . but there are still some occasional 16-bit issues to deal with." The ramifications of newer 32-bit code having to call 16-bit operating system parts compromise both the stability of the system and the multitasking capabilities. * Two important portions of legacy code are GDI, the Graphics Device Interface, and USER.EXE, which controls the user interface. Being 16-bit code, it is non-reentrant and can only be accessed by one application at a time. That one application makes a call and locks that portion of code until it is finished with it. The danger lies in the potential for USER.EXE to be grabbed and locked by a crashed application. When that happens the Windows 95 user interface remains inaccessible and needs a <Ctrl><Alt><Del> action to free it, which also terminates any real-time applications running in the background, such as a file transfer or FAX. * All Windows 3.x applications are executed in one shared address space. There is no option as in OS/2 Warp to execute Windows 3.x applications in separate protected address spaces where the inter-application protection isolates each Windows 3.x application from the idiosyncrasies of the others. * The introduction of even one 16-bit Windows 3.x application causes the entire environment to revert to a cooperative multitasking model where the application, rather than the operating system, is in control of critical system resources such as the CPU. * Only 32-bit applications are memory protected. Unless additional money is spent to acquire all new Windows 95 32-bit applications, General Protection Faults (GPFs) are not history. Multithreading adds efficiency by allowing concurrent operation of more than one path of execution within a task. Addressing a developers conference recently, Jeff Richter, a Microsoft software engineer, discussed various aspects of Windows 95 architecture and cautioned the developers, "In Windows 95, the threads are a nightmare." He warned the developers that threads could be used for background tasks, but could never be used to simultaneously print and edit a document because Windows 95 would not know which version of the file to print. He also alerted the developers that high-priority threads, which should be reserved for system functions, could inadvertently be created by application developers, potentially crashing the system. Connecting ++++++++++ Connectivity was once thought of as strictly a corporate need, but that paradigm has changed. Modems have become standard equipment in consumer systems, simplifying connecting to commercial on-line services and the Internet. The teamwork approach of workgroup or collaborative computing is growing as the productivity gains are realized. The client/server model of computing is becoming more prevalent in corporations. The importance of connected computers in our lives will keep growing exponentially. Our need to be connected, everywhere from the office to the plane to the lounge chair in the backyard, is becoming a way of life. Internet Access --------------- OS/2 Warp The Internet Access Kit provided in the OS/2 Warp BonusPak includes a Web Browser, News Reader, Gopher, Telnet and FTP client, all with the same graphical look and feel as OS/2 Warp. With OS/2 Warp's one-button registration, it is unnecessary for users to understand or even see the underlying SLIP protocol. The October 10, 1995 PC Magazine feature article, "The Internet: Make It Work For You" gives a comparison of Internet access tools and states, " . . . only OS/2 Warp Connect can boast a fully developed TCP/IP anatomy. Its multifaceted stack, voluminous suite of tools, and integrated installation process provide Internet options that will appease both the on-line novice and the demanding power user." Windows 95 The OS/2 Warp Internet Access Kit, available since October 1994, has received much acclaim and has been a compelling sales factor. Shortly after its release, Microsoft announced changes in their planned Internet access tools for Windows 95. Windows 95's main focus is the Microsoft Network (MSN) where Microsoft controls the content and collects the revenue. So that Internet access can be claimed, Windows 95 provides the Internet Protocol stack along with Telnet and FTP as command-line entries only. To use the Internet, the user must first subscribe to the MSN or another commercial on-line service where a Web Browser and a Gopher can be downloaded. The Microsoft Plus] add-on to Windows 95 also provides a Web Browser and Gopher along with the Internet mail client. Peer Networks ------------- OS/2 Warp Cost containment is a major factor in businesses today. The need to minimize the expenditures for expensive peripherals (for example, laser printers) coupled with the need for multiple employees to access the same files led to the growth of peer-to-peer networking. By not requiring a dedicated server, peer networking achieves savings but should not compromise security. Not everyone attached to the peer network should be able to read, much less write, to certain files such as the payroll record. OS/2 Warp Connect's peer networking capabilities provide user-level access rights. For simplicity, initial access rights of read, read/write, and none are presented. For completeness, the options for read, read/write, execute, create, delete, attributes, permissions and none are presented (when you click on the Customize button) and can be assigned for individual users or groups of users. An OS/2 Warp peer network can connect PCs seamlessly and share resources among co-workers using OS/2 Warp Connect, Windows for Workgroups, Windows 95, Windows NT and LANTastic. OS/2 Warp Connect's ability to have a peer connection and attach to a server simultaneously over the same network card is a breakthrough for companies who will no longer have to choose between peer and server connections that each require unique connectivity mechanisms. Windows 95 By contrast, Windows 95 uses the old share-level security carried over from Windows for Workgroups. In this scheme a password is assigned to the sharable resource. Once a user logs on to the peer network, if he knows the password associated with the resource, he can control the resource. Windows 95 share-level security can only be implemented in a network that consists entirely of Windows 95 PCs or in a network that includes other Microsoft networks. The only way to provide additional levels of access rights is to use the Windows 95 peer server in conjunction with an NT Server or Novell NetWare server with the peer services linked directly to the domain-based user accounts. Client / Server --------------- IBM's "Networking the World" vision means that whenever anyone connects electronically to anyone else, anywhere, it is IBM's networking software that enables it, manages it and makes it safe. OS/2 Warp Connect is the cornerstone of IBM's software strategy. Lotus Notes ----------- The Information Technology industry is becoming increasingly network centric. Personal computer users have moved from a standalone personal productivity environment to a LAN network-based environment. Momentum is building toward a collaborative, shared work environment. This is the groupware environment. Groupware provides an integration of the total work environment that encompasses all aspects of personal productivity, collaborations, and line-of-business applications. All of this is simplified by having the same solution at work, on the road, and at home. Lotus Notes is the market leader in integrated messaging and workgroup computing. Notes along with cc:Mail, have over 10 million users in 6 thousand companies. Currently 10 thousand business partners are writing applications for Lotus Notes across a broad range of platforms. Lotus Notes Express is already integrated into OS/2 Warp Connect providing an easy entry into the Lotus Notes environment. The synergy between OS/2 Warp and Lotus Notes will contribute to increased productivity, which is a direct contributor to the bottom line in any business. Value +++++ Productivity and Investment Protection -------------------------------------- OS/2 Warp The BonusPak of applications included with OS/2 Warp allows a user to be productive immediately out of the box. The need to purchase additional applications prior to doing anything meaningful is eliminated. The object-oriented technology used in the BonusPak applications allows them to integrate fully into the OS/2 Warp desktop. This further extends the drag-and-drop functions seamlessly between the operating system and the productivity applications. An example of the ease of use achieved is when a document object is dragged to the printer or fax object without your having to open the word processor that created the document. Replacing and upgrading applications can be a very expensive under- taking for both consumers and business users. OS/2 Warp's downward compatibility is designed to protect your current investment in DOS and Windows applications. With OS/2 Warp, Windows 3.x applications can run in separate protected memory address spaces, providing robust inter-application protection. The OS/2 Warp advantages of Crash Protection in a multitasked, multithreaded environment make OS/2 Warp a more stable environment for your current Windows 3.x applications. Windows 95 To benefit from the advancements of Windows 95, all of your applications must be upgraded to Windows 95 versions. When recently retired Mike Maples was senior vice president of applications at Microsoft, he gave the industry a glimpse of the magnitude of Microsoft's unique position as both supplier and competitor when he reported, "My job is to get a fair share of the software applications market, and that is 100%." Since 61% of Microsoft's revenue in their last fiscal year was from the sale of applications, how much interest do you believe they have in protecting your current investment in those applications? Every major upgrade in the Windows environment has required corresponding upgrades in applications -- Windows 3.0 to Windows 3.1, Windows 3.1 to Windows NT, and now Windows 3.1 to Windows 95. The future release known as Cairo has a stated goal of being object-oriented, which would require another round of application upgrades. The IBM paradigm is downward compatibility combined with bundling OS/2 exploitative applications at no extra charge vs. the Microsoft paradigm of planned obsolescence. The minimal instruction manual that ships with Windows 95 suggests that users acquire the Windows 95 Resource Kit, a CDROM with more comprehensive documentation. This is an additional $49.95 cost for everyone who purchased a preloaded system or the diskette version of the shrink-wrapped product. Compatibility +++++++++++++ Software Compatibility ---------------------- The August 8, 1995 PC Week reported that "as many as one third of the 2500 DOS and Windows applications that Microsoft Corporation tested for compatibility with Windows 95 displayed some problem which either reduced functionality, required workarounds or prevented it from running." Microsoft officials stated that 200 applications, among the 2500, do not run under Windows 95 but these have not been broken out into a separate list. This list is available on Microsoft's home page at: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/thirdparty.htm Problems were encountered in most existing DOS and Windows utilities, including virus protectors, backups that don't support long file names, and those that access the disk directly. Microsoft directs users back to the manufacturers. Retrofitting existing versions of their software into the Windows 95 environment will not generate the revenue that many of these companies are counting on receiving from the Windows 95 versions they are releasing. Many Windows 3.x screen savers are compatible with Windows 95 but anyone considering using a Windows 3.1 screen saver on their Windows 95 system should be warned that the password protection is lost. Pressing <Ctrl><Alt><Del> brings up the close program dialog box which allows the screen saver task to end and the system to be accessible. Hardware Compatibility ---------------------- Windows 95 warns users of DOS device drivers that there will be performance penalties unless new 32-bit device drivers are obtained. Peripheral manufacturers are among those expecting a financial boon from the sale of new hardware generated by Windows 95 hardware requirements. As hardware peripheral manufacturers struggle to keep up with the latest technology, how many will be willing to go back and write new drivers for old hardware? Application Development +++++++++++++++++++++++ Today, hardware costs are declining as the cost of software development and testing continues to rise. The ever-escalating cost of software development can only be contained if the major dependencies of the software developers are provided. These dependencies are * A predictable set of APIs * Support for industry standards * Reliable service and support Application Programming Interface (API) --------------------------------------- OS/2 Warp IBM understands the dynamics of business economics today. We understand that businesses must leverage their investment, frequently many person years, in mission-critical applications and cannot cost-justify re-engineering. The single 32-bit OS/2 API set across the entire OS/2 Warp family simplifies development of applications that are scaleable from the laptop to the mission-critical corporate LAN server. All OS/2 and LAN Server releases have been upwardly compatible. In fact IBM's PCLP 1.0, which shipped in 1985, can run on LAN Server 4.0 today, 10 years later. This consistency is like a life insurance policy for your mission-critical applications. As part of an ongoing campaign to reduce software developers' costs and give them an opportunity to capitalize on the rapidly growing OS/2 market, the Developers Application Extensions are being added to the tools available to application developers. The Developer Application Extensions enable developers to create a common code base for OS/2 Warp, Windows NT, and Windows 95 by including over 700 new APIs and 300 messages that are consistent with Windows APIs. These extensions allow application developers to write portions of their code to be common among the operating systems, then to add the portions that exploit OS/2 Warp's API set and advanced functions. Windows applications that use the APIs defined in the Developer Application Extensions can be recompiled to produce a functionally equivalent OS/2 Warp application. A major Independent Software Vendor (ISV) has estimated an 80% reduction in the porting cost of Windows applications to OS/2 can be achieved. Windows 95 The Windows API set has continued to change with each Windows release -- Windows, Windows for Workgroups, NT, and now Windows 95 -- supporting a different combination of 16- and 32-bit APIs. With Windows 95, Microsoft introduced their fourth set of Windows APIs. 1) Win16 - The original 16-bit Windows 3.x APIs. 2) Win32 - The 32-bit API set introduced with Windows NT. 3) Win32s - The expansion of Win16, the lowest common denominator for applications, to run on both NT and Windows for Workgroups. 4) Win32c - Introduced with Windows 95. This is an irregular subset of Win32. For an application to be logoed as "Windows 95 Ready," it must also run on Windows NT. This sounds innocuous enough until you look at the trade-offs of function that is in each one. Functions unique to each product include: Windows NT Windows 95 ---------- ---------- Security New User Interface Unicode TAPI, MAPI Event Logging Plug and Play NTFS VxD OpenGL Independent Color Matching Microsoft FAX, Unimodem Microsoft Network Connection Since each API set has unique features, an application that must run on both operating systems must be written to the lowest common denominator, which is a compromise optimizing neither environment. Microsoft has a history of churn in their API definitions as evident in the following examples: * Win16 / Win32S / Win32 /Win32c for operating systems. * VBX to OCX for application development. * OLE 1.0 to OLE 2.0, which caused a virtual rewrite of OLE 1.0 applications. * ODBC 1 to ODBC 2 to OLE-DB for database access APIs. The future migration to OLE-DB will be at least one more major rewrite. Can any business afford the development cost created by chasing a moving API set? Industry Standards ++++++++++++++++++ IBM is committed to open industry standards as a founding and active member of various industry alliances. Widely accepted industry standards are integrated into OS/2 Warp. * Common Object Broker Architecture (CORBA), on which IBM's System Object Model (SOM) is based, is a consortium of over 500 of the industry's leading developers. This provides the rich object-oriented foundation for OS/2 Warp products. * Desktop Management Taskforce (DMTF) has defined a Desktop Management Interface (DMI) for consistent asset management across hardware and software platforms. * OpenDoc, a cross-platform compound-document architecture. * Lotus Notes is a de facto industry standard for which over 12 thousand developers are writing applications. Notes is cross platform, not a Windows-only solution. In today's heterogeneous computer world, the acceptance of open industry standards is the best insurance against being locked into an implementation or architecture owned and controlled by one vendor. Support +++++++ With OS/2 Warp comes IBM's world-class, award-winning, worldwide support through a single point of contact. Contrast this with Microsoft's complex, multi-tiered program of (900) numbers, (800) numbers, and associated fees. Microsoft support policy for networking products, including the MSN, fax, and e-mail components of Windows 95, was changed July 1, 1995, eliminating the 30-day free support period. Priority desktop support for personal operating systems is $1.95 per minute. The per-incident cap was raised from $25 to $35. Microsoft expects Windows 95 to generate record numbers of calls to the support centers. OS/2 Warp Corrective Service Diskettes (CSDs) are made available for electronic downloading, or the diskettes may be ordered for the cost of manufacturing, shipping, and handling. The September 1995 issue of Windows Magazine relates that Windows 95 tune-up packs may be sold either quarterly or on an annual subscription basis. Many users resent paying Microsoft for bug fixes, particularly with Windows 95 being version 1.0 of a new operating system. In larger organizations the additional cost of purchasing these quarterly updates will be compounded by the administrative challenges involved with distribution, control, and end-user education. Windows 95 Past, Present, and Future ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ The Road to Chicago (The Past]) -------------------------------- After Windows NT was released in August 1992, Microsoft told customers who found the hardware requirements of NT unpalatable that the next year would bring Windows 4.0, described as providing preemptive multitasking, multithreading, crash protection, and all able to perform as fast as Windows 3.x in a system with only 4MB RAM. The only action 1993 saw was the code name "Chicago" publicly replace Windows 4.0 references. Then 1994 came and went with only a very limited beta test program made available late in the year. This was followed by Bill Gates announcing that the product, initially promised for 1993 then 1994, would be 5 months late, pushing availability out to April 1994. The name was then officially announced as Windows 95. A larger public beta in the first half of 1995 uncovered sufficient problems to delay the release once more, from early 1995 into August 1995. The scope of problems encountered in the preview program led to function shifting out of the base product in order to maintain the date. Microsoft Plus] became one of the catchers for functions falling out of the main product, including MPEG and the Internet mail driver. Microsoft Claims (The Present]) ------------------------------- Attempting to position Windows 95 head-to-head with OS/2 Warp, Microsoft has claimed that Windows 95 is a completely new 32-bit operating system, free of the constraints of DOS and Windows 3.x, along with many other claims and promises made over the course of the 3-year development cycle regarding what to expect in the final product. Now that all of the smoke has blown away, and the vaporware claims with it, the assertions can be mapped against the actual final product. There are significant differences, and the hype doesn't match the reality. The most dramatic of these claims are the ones which will impact the day-to-day operations of users, who need to fully understand the actual product and not base their expectations on media coverage. Perhaps Brad Silverberg, Microsoft senior vice president of Personal Systems, summed it up best in May 1995 when he said, "It is clear that the hype has gotten out of hand . . .We take our share of responsibility for creating unreasonable expectations." Architecturally, Windows 95 was promised to be a completely new, full 32-bit, totally integrated operating system. Now we know: * Critical pieces are carried over (not new) from Windows for Workgroups and DOS, creating a 16/32-bit hybrid operating system. * As explained in the "Architecture" section of this paper, fundamental portions of Windows 95 are legacy 16-bit code, including the Windows manager. * The absence of a 32-bit graphics subsystem is significant evidence of Microsoft's inability to achieve 32-bit technology due to compatibility issues. We recognize the difficulty of this challenge as it was not until OS/2's second major 32-bit release, OS/2 2.1, that we achieved integration of a full 32-bit graphics subsystem with superior compatibility. Windows developers who were expecting the memory management relief from a 32-bit graphics engine were surprised when they were informed at the December 1994 Microsoft Developers Conference that they would still have to deal with graphics in 64KB chunks in Windows 95 rather than the flat 32-bit memory model of OS/2 and NT. * While Windows 95 has added many features beyond Windows 3.x, in Unauthorized Windows 95, page 2, Andrew Schulman points out, "But there isn't much genuine integration at a technical level." Windows 95 was touted to provide preemptive multitasking in a crash-protected environment. * Windows 95 cannot preemptively multitask 16-bit Windows applications. * The presence of a single 16-bit Windows application causes Windows 95 to revert to cooperative multitasking. Windows 95 sales literature warns, "To get the full benefits of preemptive multitasking requires exclusive use of 32-bit Windows-based programs such as those bearing the Designed for Windows 95 logo." * 16-bit Windows 3.x applications all run in a single address space, exposing the stability of the entire system. * Key legacy, 16-bit portions of the Windows 95 operating system can only be accessed serially, creating a semi-preemptive multitasking environment. * Since the Windows 95 operating system code is not protected, errant memory operations in a Windows 95 32-bit application can overwrite critical areas, exposing the system to the possibility of a crash. As a follow-on to Windows 3.11, Windows 95 was promised to run with the same hardware with the same performance. * The reality is explained by PC Computing, April 1995, describing 386SX systems as not fully operational and saying 486 25MHz systems "run out of gas too quickly." * The same article reported 200MB of hard disk storage. * Microsoft recommends 8MB RAM minimally. * Only relatively new systems with Plug-and-Play (PnP) BIOS will be able to utilize PnP. Replacing adapters with PnP versions will be another major expense for those hoping to exploit the advantages of PnP. Where Does Microsoft See Windows 95 Fitting In? ----------------------------------------------- According to a Microsoft spec sheet, Windows 95 is "for computer users everywhere." However according to Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer and other Microsoft executives, Windows NT is a more appropriate operating system for corporate desktops. In the August 1995 Byte magazine, Jim Allchin, senior vice president of Microsoft Business Systems, is quoted as saying, "If you're in a corporate environment and you are thinking long-term, and hardware isn't a limitation, you should be looking at Windows NT." In fact, whenever Microsoft is challenged on the stability or robustness of Windows 95, they revert back to Windows NT being the best choice for "serious business applications." Do you or your customers run non-serious business applications? Around the Bend toward Cairo (The Future]) ------------------------------------------- Microsoft only wants to support one operating system across all segments, from consumer to large enterprise, but that is not feasible today due to the high hardware requirements on NT. So, in order to stave off market share gains by OS/2 Warp, Microsoft is attempting to position Windows 95 as a full 32-bit operating system and the follow-on to Windows 3.x. In a recent interview, Bill Gates predicted a short lifespan for Windows 95, telling users to expect, "One more major round of Windows" to be built on Windows 95 prior to Microsoft refocusing "just on NT." In Computer Reseller News, 6/12/95, Bill Gates was quoted as saying, "We will focus on NT as our mainstream platform 2 to 4 years from now when 16MB Şof RAMÝ on the desktop is common." Eric Grevstad summed it up well in the April 28, 1995 Computer Shopper, "Face it; Microsoft's answer to its own ad slogan, 'Where do you want to go today?' is usually 'Great, we'll take you there next year.' " OS/2 has over 9 million licenses and an 8-year history in thousands of major corporations worldwide. How can questions concerning OS/2 Warp's longevity continue to get major press coverage when Windows 95 has been declared obsolete by its originator even before release? Microsoft appears to be incorporating a bait-and-switch strategy in the business segment as they continue to hype Windows 95 but in the background openly admit that Windows NT is the better choice. Their hope is that many customers will succumb to the multimillion dollar media blitz and purchase Windows 95, not realizing that Microsoft plans on replacing the product within a few years. For those who are savvy enough to realize that they want a full 32-bit operating system or that the specter of pain and expense generated by an interim migration is too severe, Microsoft recommends Windows NT today. PC Week's Jim Louderback summed it up well in his article titled, "Windows 95 or NT Decision Clear as Mud." He wrote, "Suddenly Windows 95 looks more like Bob 2.0 than a corporate solution. And, with that new holy-grail operating system going to beta very soon, could Windows 95 simply be a an NT Trojan Horse?" Personal Software magazine, September 1995, printed an article titled "OS/2 Warp Connect versus Windows Family" that details why OS/2 Warp Connect is a superior solution to Windows NT. Summary +++++++ Don't be bullied by marketing blitz. An operating system choice is not a fashion statement. Getting your work done as quickly as possible means that all of the applications you are dependent on run in the most productive and least intrusive manner. Do you want to trust your productivity to version 1.0 of an operating system that requires version 1.0 applications to exploit it? With OS/2 Warp, you receive the benefits of a full 32-bit, robust, preemptive multitasking operating system which has been trusted to run most of the banking industry's automatic cash machines, to control the cash registers in fast food chains and department stores, and to make reservations on the busiest airline systems. OS/2 runs major sporting events like the Olympics and Indianapolis 500. Judicial systems, police departments, and prisons all rely heavily on OS/2. As part of the world's business fabric, these are situations where downtime cannot be tolerated. Doesn't your own time and work warrant the same consideration? OS/2 Warp received InfoWorld's Readers Choice award; this was followed by PC Magazine's special edition of their annual readers survey in July 1995. The results, based on responses from users, showed, "Just as in last year's survey, OS/2 was the only operating system that scored for overall satisfaction significantly better than average." This is an assessment from the user community, many of whom depend on their personal computers to provide their livelihood. It is not the results of a $200 million advertising campaign. References ++++++++++ 01 August 9, 1995 show, Regular Windows with a better interface, "a Model T with a Corvette cover" 02 August 9, 1995 show, "It is still DOS." "If you want to multitask, get OS/2" 03 Syndicated Doonesbury comic strip August 21 through August 25, 1995 Disclaimer ++++++++++ The information contained in this document represents the current view of IBM Corporation on the issues discussed at the date of publication. Because IBM must respond to changing market conditions, it should not be interpreted to be a commitment on the part of IBM. All information, claims, references and comparisons related to Windows 95 in this document are based upon non-confidential information currently available as of the date of publication. This document is for informational purposes only. IBM makes NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, IN THIS DOCUMENT. Copyrights 1995 IBM Corporation, All Rights Reserved. OS/2 is a registered trademark and OS/2 Crash Protection is a trademark of International Business Machines Corporation. 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