Microsoft OS/2 Programmer’s Guide

For once, the OS/2 Museum lives up to its name…

After a long pause, a new document from the MS OS/2 SDK has been uploaded. It’s the pre-release Microsoft Operating System/2 Programmer’s Guide from April 1987. This document was part of the first batch of publicly released OS/2 documentation, delivered with the $3,000 MS OS/2 SDK starting in May 1987. It’s now on the corresponding library shelf.

The Guide provides a good overview of the overall structure of OS/2 and its programming API. It also includes description of the New Executable (NE) format, the FAT file system structure used by OS/2 and DOS, an unexpectedly thorough description of the structure of OMF (Object Module Format) files, or a fairly detailed list of 8086 vs. 80286 differences.

It’s clearly a pre-release document, with funny formatting, incorrect numbering of tables or figures, and at times very terse. But it was the first real glimpse of the brave new world of OS/2, with actual details rather than just marketing talk.

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