From: b...@cray.com (Bert Moshier)
Subject: Watching OS/2 - Volume 1, Issue 2
Organization: Cray Research, inc
Date: 5 May 92 18:09:49 CDT
Everyone / Anyone:
I am attaching the second Watching OS/2 column from OS/2 Monthly
Magazine. This is with permission from the publisher (Joel Siragher
I don't have the specifics (drop Joel a note) on this item. Joel
arranged, or is in the process of arranging, for the magazine to be
available through a FaxBack Service. One calls the faxback number and
can get for free last month's issue (I believe is how it works). Of
course, the phone charge most likely will be greater than the cost of
subscription. It is, though, a good way to look before one buys.
Please, talk to Joel about the specifics.
(c) Copyright Bertram Glenn Moshier, 1992. All rights reserved.
By Bert Moshier
As I look out over the OS/2 plain, I see eager minds looking forward to
OS/2 2.0. In these recessionary times, many people see OS/2 as a way to
increase their productivity by letting them work smarter, not harder.
They see OS/2 as the way to integrate their work into one environment.
"Free at last," they say. Free at last, of the frustrating multiple
autoexec.bat and config.sys merry-go-round, frequent rebooting, and
hours spent getting applications to play nicely together. These eager
minds are hunting for articles to eat, information to drink and grasping
for contacts. Some are very well feed and informed. However, others
have the hunger that only comes from neglect.
These hungry users ask simple questions. Is OS/2 by invitation only?
If yes, how do I get an invitation? If no, why can't I find OS/2
information? Why isn't IBM pro-active in getting OS/2 information to
me? Since actions speak louder than words, is IBM serious about OS/2?
These questions show end-user frustration and their perception of IBM -
and isn't that, after all, the real IBM image.
Many examples exist, and range from computer newspaper editors-in-chief
to people on Usenet's comp.os.os2.misc. It is not possible in a column
to cover all the comments given to me. An example is Kevin Reichard,
Editor-in-Chief of Computer User - a computer newspaper in Minneapolis
with 80,000 readers. Nationally, Mr. Reichard influences 800,000
readers with Adams Publishing computer newspaper franchises.
Mr. Reichard, in the December 1991 Down to Business column, covered the
Fall 1991 COMDEX. He says, "IBM failed to show OS/2 2.0." I took
exception, in a letter pointing out three chances he had to see OS/2 2.0
at COMDEX. He called me saying he'd be unable to print the letter since
it was unfair. He tried to find OS/2 2.0 information but was unable to
do so. There were no notices in the press room, no invitation, no
information from his local branch, etc. (Please note that Microsoft
invited him to a press meeting and several receptions.) He went to the
main IBM booth and found only OS/2 1.3, etc. He honestly wants to give
OS/2 2.0 a chance. IBM must meet him and all users at least half way,
if not go farther.
Several IBM employees at the national and local level worry that the
public will overwhelm IBM's ability to respond. This concern was why
the OS/2 announcement at COMDEX and the local level was by invitation.
This is also the reason given why local IBM classes may be by invitation
only, at least to begin.
IBM should be so lucky as to have this problem. It is true end-users
would not like dealing with an overloaded system. They will complain;
saying IBM could learn from the Boy Scouts. Yet, to hold back OS/2
information from end-users defeats OS/2 before the game begins.
Many at IBM - including Dave Both, Mark Chapman, Patricia Wolpert, Lucy
Baney, Dave Whittle, Ian Stirling, Larry Salomon and Larry Magolis to
name a very few - work hard to help make OS/2 2.0 a success and inform
endusers. All of IBM, though, needs a commitment to OS/2. From the
local branches to the AS/400 developers to the System/390 designers,
OS/2's success or failure affects them all. They cannot change this
fact. They can only affect the outcome.
The following marketing and advertising ideas deal with the real world
and current market dynamics. They do not represent all the directions
IBM needs to take, but cover important aspects that IBM is failing to
Advertise OS/2 and encourage OS/2 articles in a broad range of
OS/2 advertisements are failing to reach most potential OS/2 end-users.
These advertisements are reaching those people buying ten or more
personal computers per year. Most end-users cannot qualify for a PC
Week or Info World free subscription, find a newsstand carrying single
issues, or afford the subscription cost. These are outstanding
magazines for those in the computer industry or buying many computers.
Most potential OS/2 2.0 end-users do not fall into either of these
Why doesn't OS/2 show up in magazines similar to Home Office Computing?
Their slogan is "Building Better Business with Technology." Isn't
building better businesses the OS/2 goal?
IBM needs to advertise and encourage the writing of OS/2 articles in a
broad range of magazines. This includes, but should not be limited to:
Shareware Magazine, Publish, PC Today, WordPerfect Magazine, PC World,
PC Computing, PC Source, Time, Newsweek, PC Magazine, Byte and U.S.
News & World Report.
Support individual and shareware developers.
IBM aids companies developing commercial OS/2 products through its
developer assistance program (DAP) and its OS/2 32 bit Expedite program.
These programs fail to recognize the importance of the individual,
shareware or internal company developers.
I cannot cover in a short space the importance of supporting these
developers. They aid in the acceptance of an operating system or
application through many avenues. Friends, coworkers and relatives who
know a software product help people feel comfortable and safe using the
product. This is one method by which developers and power end-users aid
in a product's public assimilation.
IBM must provide developers with low cost or free access to OS/2. This
access includes local level development classes (for example by video
tape), quick defect support, round table discussions, technical
end-developer support, and access to developer tools. IBM should
consider going beyond the call of duty by providing product marketing
and testing support.
Use TV Information commercials.
A commercial could open with a series of glimpses into end-user lives.
They are sitting by open fires with spouses, attending baseball games,
school plays, and visiting with friends and relatives. The background
announcer asks simple questions. "How can these busy people have time
for a well balanced life? In these recessionary times companies are
asking people to do more with less. How can they find time to advance
their careers and have time for their families?"
The announcer discusses several items that help each of us live balanced
lives, and how they interact. For example, how the family helps the job
and the job helps the family. The most important of these items is
time. People need to manage and better use the time they have in each
day. At the end, the announcer points out these people share a common
tool in dealing with their time. It is OS/2.
The commercial continues by providing OS/2 information. It explains how
OS/2 aids in improving productivity by reducing the time it takes to do
daily tasks. How we in our lives multi-task but allow our computers to
single thread. (Who doesn't think while driving to work, or listen to
the radio.) It shows how OS/2 brings multi-tasking to the work place
and enables us to work on multiple activities on our computers.
The commercial must include more than just IBM computers. Users must
see their own computer being productive. This shows that OS/2 is an
open system and drives this point home. The commercial leaves the
viewer with a positive image of a new and open IBM.
OS/2 2.0 Application Contest.
Part of the OS/2 marketing problem is one of its acceptance at the
application level. Two application environments exist in OS/2, DOS and
native OS/2. OS/2 2.0 solves the DOS problem by providing multiple DOS
boxes (MDVM), bootable DOS and built-in Windows support. It does not
solve the problem of OS/2 native application acceptance.
The general PC world does not acknowledge or fully understand the
advantages of OS/2 native applications. The average DOS end-user, the
general and "computer literate press" has an education gap. IBM must
motivate the press, commercial houses and individuals to develop native
OS/2 applications. An application contest with a wide range of prizes
($1,000,000 to development tool rebates) is necessary.
OS/2 end-user appreciation day that includes the local press.
The agenda would prepare the OS/2 end-user to use OS/2 2.0 and to go out
and help other people gain interest. IBM should include the local press
so they can meet actual end-users, gain end-user contacts, and see and
The day should begin with a greeting from John Akers, Lee Reiswig and
the presidents of those companies supporting OS/2 2.0. This includes
not just applications, but also PC manufacturers. The day would
continue with real time presentations, tips and techniques, information
on the Fall 1992 release (2.1) and portable OS/2, food, and a chance to
look at upcoming marketing and advertising ideas.
The end-user and the press would leave with several items. First, the
OS/2 1.x end-user could get their free upgrade to 2.0 at the party. The
press would leave with a copy to evaluate. Second, end-users would
receive demo suggestions on how to show OS/2 to their coworkers and
friends. The press would leave with a better understanding for OS/2
than they have about Windows. Third, everyone would leave with OS/2
mugs, pins, pens, shirts (golf, T), mouse pads, etc.
IBM must validate their OS/2 advertisements and marketing directions.
IBM must test (validate and verify) the OS/2 advertisements and
marketing directions. As OS/2 version 2.0 goes through many testing
programs, IBM must test and validate the public relation plan.
Validation needs to occur at both the national and local levels. IBM
needs to test using a broad range of people including OS/2 supporters.
While OS/2 supporters know the product and can create ideas, to refine
the ideas requires those who have yet to buy into the OS/2 world.
There are other ideas and methods available to promote OS/2. These
include offering free local OS/2 classes, providing video stores with
free OS/2 usage tapes, user group presentations with free copies of 2.0
as door prizes, and to publish many OS/2 paperbacks.
IBM must provide to all people all the OS/2 information they can digest.
Until this occurs hunger will continue and the OS/2 community cannot
grow to its full potential.
IBM created the PERSONAL Computer and PERSONAL System.
OS/2 runs on 386SX and above PERSONAL Computers and Systems.
IBM must advertise and inform the PERSON using these PERSONAL Computers
-- 30 --
Bert Moshier is the president of the Minnesota OS/2 End-user Group. He
has been working with VM systems since 1977, and as a VM systems
developer since 1979. He became involved in OS/2 in 1989 when DOS,
MS-Windows, SUN's PC-NFS, Mansfield REXX and KEDIT would not play
happily together on his PC-AT. You may reach him through this
publication or on the IBM BBS (userid: Bertram Moshier) at