12/96 News: Warp: One More Try
By Diganta Majumder
Give IBM an "A" for effort. Big Blue refuses to give
up on OS/2 Warp, the desktop operating system that has fought
a long, lonely and losing battle against Windows.
In fact, it recently shipped version 4.0 of the OS. Priced at
$249, the new release includes Sun's Java technology, enhanced
systems management capabilities, and a bevy of Internet and intranet
features. But the highlight is clearly IBM's own VoiceType speech
recognition feature, which allows you to control your PC via verbal
commands. IBM executives say the new offering will have broad
applications support, including a version of Netscape Navigator.
Over the past few years, according to IBM, OS/2 sales have tripled
to reach nearly 14 million, mostly in enterprise settings. By
contrast, depending on who has your ear, Windows has nearly 10
times that many users. Windows 95 alone, according to Microsoft,
now ships at the rate of 4 million units a month.
In fact, IBM has all but given up on the consumer market. One
indication: IBM's own PCs are no longer preloaded with Warp.