IBM Corp’s decision to delay the launch of PowerPC machines has not come as a big surprise to people within the company’s Power Personal Systems Division, our sister paper PowerPC News hears. Although IBM did not put out an official statement, it did issue its press offices with a fresh question and answer sheet which […]
IBM Corp’s decision to delay the launch of PowerPC machines has not come as a big surprise to people within the company’s Power Personal Systems Division, our sister paper PowerPC News hears. Although IBM did not put out an official statement, it did issue its press offices with a fresh question and answer sheet which included the new information. From that point, if you phoned to enquire about product availability, you got the new information. The decision was made in response to speculation and leaks which apparently followed the release of information within IBM itself. The official OS/2 and Power Personal will ship in 1994 line had became untenable. IBM is very sensitive to the suggestion that the Power Personals have been held up to wait for OS/2, although it acknowledges that software is the problem. Instead, the company talks of waiting for three factors to come right: 32-bit and human-centered applications, and support for a broad spread of operating systems. It is has worth having a look at these criteria for a moment. AIX afficionados immediately pointed out that their baby filled the first two requirements: there is no lack of 32-bit AIX applications to run on the Power Personal. Human-centric applications are most often associated with OS/2, but AIX fans will point out that much of today’s human-centered work originated on AIX running on the RS/6000. In addition, though it does not like to admit it too publically, IBM is working on converting its human-centric technology to Windows NT and possibly SunSoft Inc’s Solaris. So AIX fulfills the first two criteria quite nicely; which leaves the operating system hole. Mischeviously, one could argue that Windows NT will fill that at the end of the year. So will we see Power Personals in January, when NT should be shipping? That is unlikely. Though the combination of AIX and an applicationless Windows NT could theoretically meet IBM’s criteria, AIX does not really cut it as a mass-market desktop operating system, and Windows NT without applications is not much use to anyone. In reality, then, IBM is waiting for Windows NT applications. It is also probably hoping that by some miracle OS/2 for PowerPC will be ready and stable before summer. In the meantime, as reported, it is still trying to formulate its policy regarding early availability of the machines for developers. Independent software vendors, corporate developers and ‘selected customers’ will be able to get them from the end of October: in fact some are out already. IBM has yet to decide on just how to certify bona fide developers.