IBM again declines to open source OS/2

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IBM again declines to open source OS/2

IBM has confirmed that it will ignore a second petition to open source the OS/2 operating system..

OS/2 community site OS2World.com organised the second petition in an attempt to reverse a 2005 decision by IBM not to open source the operating system.

Over 11,000 people signed the petition in 2005, and a further 4,000 have now called for the software to be opened up.

IBM said in a letter to OS2World.com: "We have considered the positioning of OS/2 and open source several times in the past and, for a variety of business, technical and legal reasons, we have decided to not pursue any OS/2 open source projects.

"IBM has service offerings that continue to be available for customers who need ongoing support for OS/2, although IBM has no plans for product enhancements.

"IBM has recommended that customers on OS/2 consider migration to alternative solution offerings, and has a broad array of software assets and services to help customers migrate."

OS/2 was originally developed by Microsoft and IBM as a successor to DOS and Windows-based operating systems. Microsoft pulled out of the project after two years of development in favour of Windows 3.0.

Some at IBM have accused Microsoft of deliberately sabotaging OS/2, but the operating system was never hugely popular since it did not come preloaded on the vast majority of computers and lacked crucial device drivers for non-IBM hardware.

IBM stopped supporting the operating system in 2006, but it still has a dedicated user base and is in use today at HSBC.

The software is still for sale under the name eComStation.

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