Zealots, Apologists and Netscape

Put on your parkas and cover your heads, Hell has frozen over and the sky is falling. At times it seemed it would never happen, but it is now official: Netscape is coming to OS/2. But more about that in a minute. First, some other news:

Steven Den Beste is back.

I'm sure that makes a few people unhappy. While the overwhelming majority of readers sending us feedback were quite pleased with The View from Outside: Notes from an Infidel, a few were adamantly opposed to its inclusion in OS/2 e-Zine!. So why invite Steven to continue his column? Simple: he writes well and he makes sense.

Now before you get all bent out of shape and call me a Windows lover, please remain calm and read on. I am not a Windows lover (although I'm not as devout a Windows detractor as some are, by any means), in fact I am a devout and faithful OS/2 lover. My only infidelities with that "other operating system" come when my loving OS just can't provide me with the utilities I need. Even then, I discreetly take my sordid little affairs to the Boot Manager Motel. Just like keeping a mistress in the guest house would surely insult and anger the human love of my life, I assume that keeping WIN-OS/2 support around would offend my devoted computer sweetheart. No, I'm an OS/2 man to the bone.

So why, you ask again, give a forum to what some call an unashamed Windows apologist? Isn't there enough FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) in the mainstream media with the likes of William Zachmann and others shouting the bi-monthly calls of, "OS/2 is dead!"? Well, why not give a forum to an unashamed Windows apologist?

OS/2 is a superior operating system. I believe that regardless of past marketing mistakes or any other problems that OS/2 has, it is here forever. It will no more go away than the Macintosh OS or Windows 95 or NT. It will survive, if not based solely on its technical merits, then on the sheer numbers using it.

That's the situation as I see it. I believe that so strongly that I see no reason to fear hearing differing opinions. Steven thinks logically and makes his point interestingly so he qualifies for inclusion in these pages as far as merit goes. But having a dissenting opinion sometimes does something much more important than just fill pages. Sometimes it makes us think. My conviction that OS/2 is here to stay is based on my fundamental belief that people will continue to make intelligent decisions about their OS. Not all people will make intelligent decisions of course, but many will. If we stop discussing, arguing, thinking or considering the other guy's perspective though, then even us smart fellows (and ladies) risk becoming automatons. And we all know which OS automatons buy.

Why is the Infidel here? To challenge us, because no-one is right all the time.

But I guess I should stop before I risk becoming too much of an apologist for an unashamed Windows apologist.

So please, keep reading. And thinking.

Now, back to Netscape. Shortly before August 28th rumours began flying of an "official" announcement between IBM and Netscape communications and on the 28th, they were confirmed. In a joint teleconference press announcement, Wally Casey, VP of Client Product Management for PSP at IBM, and Bob Lisbonne, VP of Client Product Marketing at Netscape, announced to the world that Netscape is close to releasing the first beta of an OS/2 version of their flagship product, Netscape Navigator.

Some will rejoice, some will weep and some will disbelieve, but it is finally happening. After years of perseverance, OS/2 users will get their just reward -- whatever that may be.

For all the details from the teleconference, check out our special report this month.

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