IBM will launch a stripped-down version of OS/2 Warp Server, codenamed Bluebird, next week, which it is targeting at those in transition from PCs to network computers.
Bluebird, which has also been called OS/2 Lite and the NC OS, will only run on Intel 486-based PCs and upwards and has been stripped down to the core operating system. It does not include such functionality as the Workplace Shell user interface, voice recognition technology or the Bonuspack applications.
Nick Davis, IBM?s OS/2 brand manager, said: ?Bluebird isn?t solely a dumb terminal replacement. It?s a transition product for companies wanting to move from PCs to true NCs and it enables the two to coexist. The NC in its truest form only runs Java and has no local storage, but Bluebird runs PC applications and Java and so is straddling both markets. The aim is to lower cost of ownership because it is centrally administered.?
Bluebird is loaded on to the PC server and runs all the network?s required applications and data files. Systems administrators can choose up to six desktop configurations for their enterprise PCs, including the OS/2 Presentation Manager, Windows 3.1, a browser or 3270 and 5250 mainframe terminal emulation.
Client users need to log in their names and passwords before their desktop is sent down to them over the network, which means they do not need to sit at the same desk every day.
The only local storage required is a hard disk for swap files, which store data on the hard disk rather than in memory for improved performance.
IBM is expected to start shipping Bluebird at Comdex Fall this November. The company has not yet decided whether it will release an equivalent offering for the consumer market yet.
* Big Blue has set up a 'Software Choice' Web page, which enables users to download new versions of Warp Server as they become available. Any upgrades or bug fixes will also ship quarterly on Cd-Rom, but the aim is to speed time to market and reduce distribution costs. The collection of upgrades will come together in Warp version 5.0, which is due next year. Software Choice can be found at www.software.ibm.com/os/warp.
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