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IBM's Failed OS/2 Is 25 Years Old, Still Powers ATMs And Checkouts

On April 2, 1987, IBM launched its plan to revolutionise the PC industry: a next-generation operating system called OS/2. Co-developed by IBM and Microsoft, it was designed to replace DOS and change the way we used computers. Sadly, it didn’t. But it still crops up in some of the weirdest places.

You see, it was ahead of its time. It was able to multitask, for instance, and it’s GUI let you right-click on things to tweak settings. It was blazing a trail, which you can read about in more detail in a wonderful feature over at Time. In fact, it was blazing such a trail that — even though Windows became the dominant OS in the market and caused OS/2 to fail commercially — plenty of industrial users embraced it.

And they still do. New York City uses it to power systems for swiping fare cards. Safeway runs it on its supermarket checkouts. And there are still plenty of ATMs that run OS/2. Old, failed and forgotten it may be, but it just won’t go away. [Time]

Image: Malvineous/Flickr


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