OS/2 Timeline

A brief timeline of OS/2. The information pertains to IBM OS/2 releases. Microsoft OEM releases had slightly different release dates and feature sets.
  • OS/2 1.0—December 1987—Originally CP/DOS
    • Joint IBM-Microsoft development
    • 16-bit protected-mode, multi-threaded, multi-tasking OS
    • Segmented virtual memory
    • 286 CPU and about 1.5 MB RAM required
    • Maximum 32MB partition size
    • FAT filesystem only
    • Text mode, DOS-like interface
    • Single DOS box support
  • OS/2 1.1—November 1988—Codename Trimaran
    • Presentation Manager graphical user interface (codename Winthorn)
    • Support for larger than 32MB partitions
    • 3-4 MB RAM minimum
  • OS/2 1.2—October 1989—Codename Sloop
    • Installable Filesystem (IFS) support
    • HPFS filesystem included
    • Improved Presentation Manager
    • Dual Boot capability
    • REXX and IPF support
  • OS/2 1.3—December 1990—Codename Cutter
    • Lowered resource requirements (2 MB RAM)
    • ATM font support
    • Developed primarily by IBM
  • OS/2 2.0 LA—December 1991—Limited Availability
    • Internal revision 6.177 (91/12/11)
    • Pre-release version of OS/2 2.0
    • Only for selected IBM customers, officially supported
  • OS/2 2.0—April 1992—Codename Cruiser
    • Internal revision 6.307 (92/03/01), XR02000
    • 32-bit protected-mode, multi-threaded, multi-tasking OS
    • Paged virtual memory
    • 386 CPU and 4 MB RAM required
    • Multiple DOS boxes
    • Win-OS/2 support (based on Windows 3.0)
    • System Object Model (SOM) support
    • Workplace Shell (WPS) graphical interface
    • Boot Manager included
    • Limited hardware support
  • OS/2 2.00.1—October 1992—Codename Riker
    • Internal revision 6.427 (92/06/03), XR02010
    • Only preleoaded on IBM hardware
    • 32-bit Graphics Engine (GRE)
    • XGA-2 support
    • Similar to Service Pak XR06055
  • OS/2 2.1—May 1993—Codename Borg (previously Yawl)
    • Internal revision 6.514 (93/04/12), XR02010
    • Improved non-IBM hardware support
    • APM and PCMCIA support
    • MMPM/2 included
    • Win-OS/2 based on Windows 3.1
  • OS/2 for Windows—November 1993—Codename Ferengi
    • Internal revision 6.514 (93/04/12), XR02011
    • Used pre-existing Windows 3.x instead of Win-OS/2
    • New drivers for S3 based cards
    • Largely unchanged from original 2.1 release
  • OS/2 2.11—February 1994
    • Internal revision 6.617 (94/01/28), XR06200
    • Also available as Service Pak XR06200 for OS/2 2.1
    • Bugfix release
  • OS/2 2.11 SMP—July 1994
    • Internal revision S.624 (94/06/09), XR02014
    • Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP) support
    • Up to 16 CPUs supported
    • Only sold with SMP hardware
  • OS/2 Warp—October 1994—Codename Warp
    • Internal revision 8.162 (94/09/19), XR03000
    • Performance tuned, lower resource requirements
    • Compatible with Windows 3.11
    • BonusPak (with Internet Access Kit) included
    • Improved hardware support
    • Updated WPS
  • OS/2 Warp with Win-OS/2—February 1995
    • Internal revision 8.200 (94/11/09), XR03001
    • Same as above but with Windows 3.1 included
  • OS/2 Warp Connect with Win-OS/2—May 1995
    • Internal revision 8.209 (94/11/09), XR03003
    • Networking support included (MPTS, TCP/IP, LAN Requester)
    • Peer-to-peer networking
  • OS/2 Warp Connect—July 1995
    • Internal revision 8.210 (94/11/09), XR03004
    • Same as above but without Windows 3.1
  • OS/2 Warp, PowerPC Edition—December 1995
    • IBM Power Series hardware support
    • Based on MACH microkernel
    • Not sold in retail
  • OS/2 Warp Server 4—February 1996
    • Internal revision 8.234, XR03005
    • Combined OS/2 Warp and LAN Server
    • Entry and Advanced editions (the latter with HPFS386)
  • OS/2 Warp 4—September 1996—Codename Merlin
    • Internal revision 9.023, XR04000
    • Updated WPS, new look and feel
    • Java 1.0.1 and JDK included
    • VoiceType included
    • OpenGL (software renderer only) support
    • OpenDoc included
  • OS/2 Warp Server Advanced SMP—September 1996
    • Internal revision 7.029, XR03006
    • Warp Server 4 Advanced with SMP support
    • Free upgrade for Warp Server Advanced licensees
  • WorkSpace On-Demand 1.0—November 1997—Codename BlueBird
    • Based on OS/2 Warp 4
    • Required OS/2 Warp Server
    • RIPL remote boot
    • Centralized client deployment and management
  • WorkSpace On-Demand 2.0—October 1998
    • Added fully diskless PXE client boot support
    • Improved client manageability
    • Easier management through the LAN Server GUI
  • OS/2 Warp Server for e-Business—April 1999—Codename Aurora
    • Internal revision 14.039F, XR04500
    • SMP support
    • JFS filesystem support
    • Limited 32-bit device driver support
    • High memory support (more than 512 MB per process)
    • Improved internationalization
    • NetFinity 5.2 included
    • Lotus Domino Go Webserver 4.6 included
    • WebSphere Application Server 1.1 included
    • Version 4.50
  • OS/2 Convenience Pack 1—November 2000—Known as MCP/ACP
    • Internal revision 14.062, XR04501
    • Based on WSeB kernel
    • Java 1.1.8 included
    • Programmer’s Toolkit included
    • Version 4.51
  • OS/2 Convenience Pack 2—November 2001—Known as MCP2/ACP2
    • Internal revision 14.086, XR04502
    • IBM Web Browser included
    • Java 1.3 included
    • Innotek Flash included
    • Version 4.52
  • OS/2 Convenience Pack 2 Refresh—April 2002
    • Internal revision 14.089, XR04503
    • Last OS/2 release

9 Responses to OS/2 Timeline

  1. CP2 refresh was a separate release in (roughly, from memory) May of 2002… it was labeled CP2 PF (as in Post Fix).

  2. michaln says:

    The CP2 refresh files are dated April 2002 I believe. I wouldn’t call it a separate release exactly, as I don’t believe it introduced any new features. After applying a fixpack or two, there is probably no discernible difference between the two CP2 editions, or is there?

  3. Lucas says:

    Why there is nothing about ecomstation here? Basically it’s OS/2

  4. Michal Necasek says:

    It’s not a museum piece… yet. Also finding exactly what was released and when is a lot harder than with IBM’s stuff.

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  6. Having collaborated with IBM/Boca and with the OSF/RI on OS/2 Warp, PowerPC Edition, I was disappointed to see it cancelled. You might want the history to note that OS/2 Warp, PowerPC Edition was not based on CMU Mach, it was based on a merger of the Mach and CMU Alpha kernels (my project at CMU). That merger was due in large part by pressure from DARPA (long story). The merger was carried out by staff from my CMU Alpha kernel project working as members of the OSF/RI, with kibitzing from me. The final version was V7.3a; there is a tech report about it. Then that integration with OS/2 was performed by IBM with collaboration from us. OS/2 Warp, PowerPC Edition never saw public release despite being cancelled while only a small amount of work remained. We we told the reason was the late availability of the PPC, but there was more to the story than that.

  7. Michal Necasek says:

    Viewed from one angle, OS/2 for PowerPC didn’t fare any worse than Windows NT or Solaris for PowerPC. But I know there was more to it and OS/2 for PowerPC may well not have survived even if the platform as a whole wasn’t effectively canceled.

    Is the tech report about the Mach/Alpha merger available somewhere? And when exactly did it happen? I’m just wondering about the timeline because I don’t recall seeing CMU Alpha being mentioned (as opposed to Mach) in the articles and materials about OS/2 for PowerPC.

  8. MiaM says:

    Didn’t NT for PPC atleast materialize on the NT4 install CD:s? (IIRC there were one CD that handled all of i386, MIPS, PPC and Alpha. Btw, I have no clue of what hardware the MIPS version would run on, but I guess google could tell me if I’d ask 🙂 ).

  9. Michal Necasek says:

    Yes, NT 3.51 (some?) and 4.0 came with PowerPC binaries on the installation CD. But if it weren’t for that, it would be just as hard to find as OS/2 or Solaris for PowerPC. In comparison to NT for PowerPC, NT for DEC Alpha was massively widespread and extremely well supported by application developers.

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