IBM Gets Payoff From OS/2 Lawsuit; IT Admins Get Single Desktop OS

IBM got a hefty settlement from Microsoft in a protracted lawsuit over the OS/2 operating system. But the fact is, IT administrators don't want competition at the desktop OS level.

July 15, 2005

1 Min Read
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If you're too young to remember, OS/2--IBM's rival to Microsoft Windows--was both kludgy and expensive, but it was gaining market share because IBM was marketing it like free pizza. Microsoft did everything it could to squelch OS/2, including some interesting packaging of Windows with Microsoft applications, and IBM sued, alleging anticompetitive practices.

The $775 million award was a good result for IBM--it's probably more than the OS was worth--and for Microsoft, which retains its place as the dominant OS provider for what's probably just a bit more than Bill Gates' house payment.

But the real winner is IT administration. We may not love Windows, but managing multiple desktop OSs is a royal pain. Most of us have enough trouble keeping up with the next version of Windows--another desktop OS is more than we can handle.

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