IBM Responds to Spencer Katt Rumor- by John Soyring January 24, 1996

Because there has been so much discussion on various networks about the January 8 Spencer Katt rumor column in PC Week, I decided that I would post a copy of a note that I mailed electronically within IBM to our sales teams around the world.

I hope this information helps assure PC users and buyers that IBM remains strongly committed to the long-term market success of OS/2 Warp.


Once again, rumors in the press about IBM's commitment to OS/2 have the boards full of speculation and worry. The latest such rumor in PC Week's January 8 Spencer Katt column asserts that John M. Thompson is lobbying Lou Gerstner to throw in the towel on OS/2. First of all, allow me to remind you that rumors are exactly what Spencer Katt is all about. If this story had any substance to it, you would have read it on another page, complete with IBM's official response.

OS/2 is, and will continue to be, IBM's strategic personal operating system. This is the view held by IBM executives, including IBM's senior vice president John M. Thompson, and -- as importantly -- by IBM's chairman Lou Gerstner, as Spencer Katt even pointed out.

Given OS/2's recent successes, why would Thompson want to get rid of it? Even with the unprecedented marketing hype for Windows 95, last year proved to be a very successful year for OS/2. About five million copies of OS/2 Warp were sold in 1995, bringing the total number of Warp sales to more than six million, and the number of all OS/2 customers to more than 12 million. And we have just come off our most successful sales month ever with more than one million copies of OS/2 Warp being sold in December alone!

During the time it took Microsoft to ship Windows 95, our development team delivered OS/2 Warp Connect, an operating system with connectivity features ideal for PC users whether they work in small workgroups or in large enterprises, and the beta of OS/2 Warp Server, which has received widespread approval from the industry and is right on track for a first quarter '96 shipment. On the heels of that beta announcement came the introduction of our Directory and Security Server (DSS) beta program, which, when combined with OS/2 Warp Server, offers customers a solution that no other server OS vender provides.

Last, but certainly not least, we announced that development was well under way for the next generation of OS/2 Warp, code-named Merlin, which will also arrive during 1996.

We intend to continue to gain market share with OS/2 Warp -- both as a desktop or mobile client operating system as well as a server operating system. I assure you that you will see OS/2 Warp move in a positive direction this year. Remember that actions speak louder than words, especially when those words come from a rumor columnist.

Please share this note with your clients if they have a concern generated by the subject rumor column.

John Soyring
Vice President
Personal Software Products

please note: While Mr. Soyring originally posted this message to Usenet newsgroups, the amount of e-mail he received regarding it was overwhelming. In the interest allowing Mr. Soyring to continue to work on OS/2's future, we have removed his e-mail address from this letter and would encourage all readers to post congratulations, thank-you's and comments to the comp.os.os2.advocacy newsgroup where Mr. Soyring will surely see them, rather than swamping him with e-mail.

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