Compatibility of Application Support

So far, the operating systems has shown many similarities in many areas we have explored. However, this is the deciding area as to which operating system a user would choose for their PC machine.

Microsoft has established itself in the market as "the standard" and there are many softwares written for the operating environment (Windows 3.x) and operating system (Windows 95). On the other hand, IBM has always tried to make its OS/2 Warp backward compatible with DOS and Windows programs so that users that have already invested in their software will not waste their investment. However, with the ever changing Win32s standard, OS/2 Warp can only run a certain standard of Win32s programs. Besides the fact that IBM is trying to keep up with Microsoft, there are also vendors writing programs specifically for OS/2. There are word processing tools, image editing utilities, system utilities, and communication programs. These programs are of high quality. Due to the fact that Microsoft has a bigger name, more software companies are willing to write software for Windows 95 and many users who want to run a variety of programs and keep up with new programs will go for Windows 95. In our opinion, the market is not taking advantage of technological advance because Windows 95 is not truly a 32-bit operating system and IBM has achieved to a true 32-bit operating system. May be there should be more users supporting OS/2 Warp and that will encourage software companies to write more software for OS/2.

Linux is very different from Windows 95 and OS/2 Warp. It is mainly used by researchers and scientists. Programs written for Linux are generally free of charge (freeware). Users of Linux can always download source codes of programs and compile them in their own machines. However, programs for Linux are still quite limited. They are mainly compilers, games, development utilities and text editors. Though you can publish a book with TEX or Frame Maker, but it is still quite limited and most companies will not choose Linux as their operating system for novice computer users.

February 20, 1996

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