Last week Microsoft said that version 2.0 of its OS/2 operating system would be binary compatible with future versions of Windows. Theoretically, applications designed for Windows would run transparently under Presentation Manager, though the reverse is unlikely. Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s senior vice president for systems software, was quoted in InfoWorld as saying that binary compatibility might not be included in the initial version of OS/2 2.0, but it would appear eventually.
Such a migration path from Windows to OS/2 would almost certainly smooth the transition from DOS to OS/2, one that few have made due in part to OS/2’s limited software. In addition, it might help to blur the line between the Mac and PC as more Macintosh developers, such as Farallon, move toward Windows applications. With similar applications on both computers, differentiation would be related to price, support, and true ease of use. PC-clones win on the first two items and would hopefully push Apple to lower prices and increase support, but as anyone who has ever used Windows will attest, it simply isn’t as easy, consistent, or complete as the Finder and MacOS. Windows 3.0 will undoubtedly narrow the gap, but competition in user interface can only help force Apple to continue to improve.
InfoWorld — 07-May-90, Vol. 12, #19, pg. 1
PC WEEK — 07-May-90, Vol. 7, #18, pg. 1