IBM, as expected, is to begin shipping OS/2 Standard Edition 1.0 to US customers in December and to European customers in January. Announced with the Personal System/2 on April 2 this year, OS/2 Standard Edition, developed in conjunction with Microsoft Corp, offers multi-tasking of specially written applications and can address up to 16Mb of memory. By breaking the 640Kb barrier of PC-DOS, OS/2 allows users to run larger spreadsheets and other programs than has hitherto been possible on Pers-onal Computers not equipped with some form of memory manager such as the Lotus Intel-Microsoft Expanded Memory Specification. OS/2 can also run most, but not all, existing PC-DOS programs one-at-a-time in compatibility mode. A programmer toolkit and six languages Macro Assembler, Pascal, Basic, C, Cobol and Fortran – will be available with the Standard Edition in January. Users will, however, have to wait until November 1988 for rel-ease 1.1 which includes the windowing facilities of the presentation manager. By then, IBM expects to have delivered version 1.0 of OS/2 Extended Edition. This will include a database manager, with command compatibility with IBM’s mainframe DB2 and SQL/DS databas-es, and a communications manager. The latter offers 3270 and asynchronous terminal emulation, file transfer facilities, and program-to-program applications. IBM expects third parties to develop front ends to the database manager. The manager will not offer the sort of application development facilities found in Ashton-Tate’s dbase III and other databases. OS/2 is designed to run on all 80286 and 80386-based Personal Computers and Personal System/2 machines, but according to Tony Hill, IBM UK director of distribution marketing, it will run better on PS/2 Models 60 and 80. He also said that OS/2 will run better on IBM’s hardware than on rival manufacturers’. Microsoft UK managing director David Fraser declined to confirm this, saying it was for manufacturers to make their own claims. However, other manufacturers may be able to beat IBM with the delivery of OS/2 as Microsoft will be shipping its version of the product in December. In its OS/2 announcements, IBM also promised a new program, OS/2 LAN Server Version 1.0, for use with OS/2 Extended Edition version 1.1 in December. This gives users on 82086 and 80386-based offerings access to printers and other resources on a Token-Ring or PC Network local area network. It will be compatible with version 1.3 of the IBM PC LAN Program which will be shipped in August 1988. As a footnote to its UK announcements, IBM previewed an OS/2 version of its DisplayWrite word processing software, version 1.1 of the 3270 Workstation Program and a ver-sion of its AIX Unix for up to 16 users on the Personal System/2 Model 80. IBM will be offering support and technical seminars for Unix developers wishing to port programs on to the Model 80 or the RT 6150, which also runs AIX. OS/2 Standard Edition 1.0 and 1.1 will cost UKP240. Extended Edition will cost UKP573. Extended Edition 1.0 will be available in August while version 1.1, which includes the presentation manager, is scheduled for December. Buyers of Standard and Extended versions 1.0 will get free upgrades to 1.1. DisplayWrite 4.2, scheduled for the second quarter 1988, will be UKP415; AIX PS/2, third quarter 1988 availability, will be UKP459; the LAN Server and the PC LAN Program will be UKP760 and UKP172 respectively and the 3270 Workstation Program will be UKP375.
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