The very first mass-market 32-bit PC operating system, was released twenty-five years ago by a well known company IBM. OS/2 2.0 was its name and it was released on March 31st 1992!

So! Unlike Windows 95 or even Windows 98. This was a full blown 32-bit PC operating system. It was finally out for the PC platform just 7 years after Commodore launched AmigaOS 1.0. But even with this brave entrance, OS/2 didn’t take of on the PC market.

Vaporware Club member as the first mass-market 32-bit PC operating system also

Microsoft already had Windows NT out, but that wasn’t made for the consumer mass-market at all. So OS/2 2.0 began that in 1992 on its own. However, the road to get this version of OS/2 out was tough it seems. As if there was big fights at Microsoft also, because it’s hard to get the OS/2 2.0 SDK, that was made by Microsoft in July 1988!:

Microsoft launched actual development of OS/2 2.0 probably in 1988, the same year development of NT OS/2 (later known as Windows NT) started. The goal was to provide a PC operating system which is upwardly compatible with OS/2 1.x, supports native 32-bit applications, and supports VDMs; the latter was especially important in light of the fact that compatibility with existing DOS applications was a weak point of OS/2 1.x.

Only the development tool set from summer 1990 have sruvived and these disks aren’t even original. They are copies that were made bac kn 1990.

first mass-market 32-bit PC operating system
photosource: os2museum.net – IBM commercial from 1991

Microsoft won the race on x86, but community managed to keep OS/2 alive

People just ignored the attempts of OS/2, BeOS (now known as Haiku) and QNX to name a few. It just seems that Microsoft sort of got it very easy, because people choosed their products and they got companies to support their operating system. However, there are communities still supporting OS/2. This article Ive been reading about this is from os2museum.net for example. Here they dig out history that is important to know about OS/2. But there is more. OS/2 World.com site gives you fresh OS/2 news updates. They also seem to have newsletters and this news about OS/2 25 is out there also.  The very same site also features a Forum site, where you can discuss OS/2 related topics. Then we have a group at Arca Noae, which have the goals to push OS/2 into the next millenium.

So, here is a list that we found for you!:

It seems like the QNX community thinks the same as the Amiga community in many ways. Because they also have articles like, “How the PC Industry Screws Things Up“. The articles seems to be very advanced though, but if you are interested in x86 and saving what should have been the “bigger” operating systems. Try something else than Windows on your PC.