Windows OS/2 and networking

Essay by swayerCollege, UndergraduateA+, December 2004

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Module 1

Section 8

8.1 Windows, OS/2 and Networking - introduction

Microsoft and IBM took on a joint development project to develop

OS/2: a new GUI operating system which would be owned by IBM

However, Microsoft continued to develop Windows, a GUI interface to DOS.

Most people predicted that OS/2 would be successful, but actually it was the release of Windows 3.0 at the start of the 1990s that captured the PC market.

OS/2 failed for a number of reasons such as

Marketing and its need for a relatively high specification PC in order to work properly.


8.2 Legacy and the Year 200 Problem

One of the benefits of OS/2

It was designed from scratch to include features such as multi-tasking

Legacy system: usually an elderly mainframe which contains a mixture of software which has been updated over time. The size and complexity of some of the programs makes it very difficult to locate particular program code.

DOS carried with it a legacy of all the previous versions

The 640K memory limit

o DOS was designed to only use 640K of RAM, this was a feature inherited from its initial design.

o This legacy problem is common in the computer industry.

Legacy problem: a legacy problem occurs when a new piece of software or hardware should be designed to take advantage of new technologies, but if it were, it would be incompatible with existing hardware and software. Legacy problems are particularly acute in the mainframe

The legacy problem is particularly acute in the mainframe computer industry because

Mainframes are expensive

This led to what has been called the Year 2000 or the Millennium Bug.

The problem of old code, particularly in specialist systems, being unable to handle the change in date from year 1999 to year 2000. The...