"Circus Acts of a Dying Operating System"

Back when I was a journalist for Computer Sweden, I got to interview some very interesting people from the IT industry. One time, I think it was in 1996 around the time Windows NT 4.0 was released, Microsoft had a press meeting at their Stockholm office. We were perhaps 8-10 journalists total who got to meet Jim Allchin, then in charge of the development of NT.

After the regular PR fluff, slides and presentations, there was time for questions. I eventually asked about a feature in the the then newly released OS/2 Warp 4.0, namely that you could run virtual DOS sessions in OS/2. I think you could even set different sessions to emulate different versions of DOS (I am old enough to remember when certain programs needed particular DOS versions to work). You could even run Windows 3.0 in a virtual session in OS/2.

Today we are all doing this, using tools like Parallels and VMware. But Jim Allchin was not impressed: "Circus acts of a dying operating system" was his comment. For the rest of the interview he glared at me every time he mentioned Windows NT in comparison with OS/2…


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