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Half an operating system: The triumph and tragedy of OS/2

Half an operating system: The triumph and tragedy of OS/2
Half an operating system: The triumph and tragedy of OS/2

Update: It’s the day after Thanksgiving in the US, meaning most Ars staffers are on the lookout for deals rather than potential stories. With folks off for the holiday, we’re resurfacing this consumer tech classic from the archives—a look at why we’re not all trying to buy an IBM PS/10 today and updating to OS/12, perhaps. This story first ran in November 2013, and it appears unchanged below

It was a cloudy Seattle day in late 1980, and Bill Gates, the young chairman of a tiny company called Microsoft, had an appointment with IBM that would shape the destiny of the industry for decades to come.

He went into a room full of IBM lawyers, all dressed in immaculately tailored suits. Bill’s suit was rumpled and ill-fitting, but it didn’t matter. He wasn’t here to win a fashion competition.

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