Thompson described plans for OS/2 Warp Server, currently in beta test; the next version of the OS/2 Warp client, code-named Merlin; the microkernel-based versions of OS/2 Warp; and IBM's integrated server series, code-named Project Eagle.
"We are very interested in a specific kind of consumer as we move into the age of network-centric computing: the connected user," said Thompson. "We'll continue to provide them with a stable, powerful operating system that gets easier to use and install with each release, and gives them the reliable connections that are essential to linking up with their customers, suppliers, business partners or informational sources."
Thompson also reinforced IBM's commitment to corporate users in enterprise workgroup environments. "We remain committed to delivering advanced solutions to our staunchest supporters: corporate users," he said. Industry analysts are reporting significant growth in 1995 for OS/2 Warp and LAN Server in the corporate market. According to IDC, OS/2 Warp will gain three share points of the total operating system market by the end of the year. In the first half of 1995, OS/2 outshipped Windows** NT two to one in the server market. OS/2 LAN Server 4.0 has increased its market share this year, from nine percent to 15 percent, IDC added.
At the core of the 1996 product plan is the next version of the OS/2 Warp client, code-named MERLIN. IBM plans to significantly enhance OS/2 Warp's user interface to be easier and more intuitive. As part of IBM's plans for network-centric computing, the Merlin interface will be network aware, making connections automatically as the user needs them. Merlin will offer improved multimedia and game capabilities, enhanced plug-and-play features, and an updated BonusPak. It will include the Upgrade Advisor, a utility in the Just Add OS/2 Warp kit which simplifies the installation process.
For corporate users, MERLIN will offer C-2 security extensions and improved input/output queue performance. It will include the Developer API Extensions to make it easier for software developers to write Windows 95 and OS/2 Warp applications simultaneously. It will also feature integrated OpenDoc runtime support, which will enable developers to start using OpenDoc components in their applications and give users the ability to embed OLE 2.0 information in OS/2 Warp documents.
Another focus of the 1996 product strategy will be the IBM Microkernel and microkernel-based versions of OS/2 Warp. Nearly 20 corporations, universities and research institutes worldwide have licensed the microkernel, laying the foundation for a completely open microkernel standard. IBM plans portable, microkernel-based versions of OS/2 Warp for both Intel and PowerPC platforms. The first portable version will be OS/2 Warp for the PowerPC, which will ship later this year.
Finally, on the server side, Thompson confirmed IBM's plans for a series of cross-platform application and enabling servers, code-named Project Eagle. OS/2 Warp Server, currently in beta test, will be one of the base operating systems upon which the Eagle series is delivered. OS/2 Warp Server is expected to ship in the first quarter of 1996, followed by Directory and Security Services and the SMP version of OS/2 Warp.
"The bottom line is that 1995 has been a good year for OS/2 Warp," said Thompson. "And we're anticipating that the future will be even brighter as we continue to extend and improve OS/2 Warp as the desktop client for connected consumers and strengthen OS/2 Warp as an advanced, battle-tested server solution that will simplify distributed computing for businesses and workgroups of all sizes."
*Indicates trademark or registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation.
**Indicates trademark or registrered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
IBM news releases are available on the Internet, via the IBM Home Page at http://www.ibm.com. The IBM Fax Information Service allows you to receive facsimiles of prior IBM product press releases. Dial 1-800-IBM-4FAX and enter "99" at the voice menu.
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