Call me naive, call me stupid, but I have this dream.
Sometime in 1998, IBM PSP grants Stardock a license to remarket and enhance OS/2 in parallel with IBM. IBM continues to sell OS/2 with their own "vision" to Fortune 500 companies and the financial market. Workplace On Demand and Warp Server continue to be enhanced. Stardock gets this license since they agree to give a percentage of their 'remarketed OS' sales revenues to IBM PSP for further OS/2 base development.
At the same time, Stardock would be free to bundle/unbundle products from the Warp 4 base (like integrating some of OD's features into the base package, and removing the AS400/3270 emulators and other stuff which is of no real use for SOHO users). So, users would have "Warp 4 / OS/2 v5" from IBM and "OS/2 Desktop" from Stardock.
The end result is, like in the Linux world, an independent release of OS/2, on CD, featuring the latest Warp 4 base + OD integration, Java 1.1 / 1.3? + Acrobat Reader and Netscape for OS/2 (Communicator?/Navigator 4?), the latest Creative drivers and applets (as in Colin Hildinger's SBINSTALL package). ALL THIS ON A SEAMLESS SINGLE INSTALL.
With the users having the choice of purchasing it bundled with Lotus SmartSuite for OS/2 or StarOffice 4.0.
Then both Stardock, and StarDivision (even Lotus if they want, which I don't think so :) would co-market this bundle on their respective web sites for companies and individuals who want a "single-box" solution for their desktop OS office needs but don't want to use a Microsoft OS, or those who already have an investment on OS/2. (This could also help boost sales of IBM Warp Server!).
Oh, BTW: on my dream this dream CD had a price tag of $350 / $400 (not bad for a complete solution with a 32-bit OS, Web Browser and office suite!).
And to end this dream, David Barnes would join this venture and tour the country promoting this to OS/2 user groups.
OK, some the readers might be at this point suggesting a 'reality check': "Fighting Microsoft is impossible" ... "We could never do that" ... "There's no market for that" ... etc.
But I have to ask, has anyone tried? Anyone seen how Caldera is offering a bundle of Linux, StarOffice and Netscape on a box on the web? Who's purchasing that? Wouldn't they purchase an OS/2 version too? What about us OS/2 diehards?
All the companies in this venture would certainly have much to GAIN by doing this: IBM PSP: OS/2 market share, a better image of its OS, a boost in server sales; Lotus and StarDivision: recognition for their office suites and a high degree of the OS/2 market share; Stardock: increase of OS/2 user base, increased sales for all their other OS/2 products. Netscape: market share for its browser in its fight against Internet Explorer.
This wouldn't have to go 'against' IBM's Network Computing efforts. In fact, it can complement them. Those who want a thin client get it, those 'power users' who prefer a "fat" client get it. Those who prefer Notes can also run it, so Lotus gains from this too! All runs on OS/2. Warp Server gets more sales. Only Microsoft loses.
I certainly would love to have the power to have Mike Lawrie, Brad Wardell, Marco Borries and James Bakersdale get on a conference call, or better a plane to a meeting somewhere, and hear them discuss the ins and outs of this "dream".
What I'm 100% sure is that this couldn't HURT IBM or any of the involved parties in ANY way. (At least I couldn't imagine how this would)
Fernando Cassia lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina and is the author of the 'OS/2 Warp and (HP) CD-Writers F.A.Q.'.
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