IBM announces availability of OS/2 Warp 4. The Easiest Way to a Connected World
"IBM envisions a future in which people have easy access to the information they need to work more productively," said IBM Software Group senior vice president and group executive, John M. Thompson. "IBM's Software Group is making great strides toward that future by ensuring that our software lineup assists IBM in delivering to our customers network computing solutions based on open standards. Today we introduce an exciting new version of OS/2 Warp -- a key member of IBM's entire family of software products."
"OS/2 Warp will protect customers' current investments in client/server computing, while carrying them into the new model of network computing," said John W. Thompson, general manager for IBM Personal Software Products, who joined partners from JavaSoft, Netscape Communications Corporation and Lotus to introduce the new software. "OS/2 Warp 4 has the system management and networking capabilities needed to run businesses today. But it also comes with the hottest Internet and intranet abilities around -- and that will help customers move into the network computing solutions of tomorrow."
From Client/Server to Network Computing
At the core of OS/2 Warp 4 is the fast, manageable and robust OS/2 operating system that customers have relied upon for years to run their businesses. Not only has IBM improved the operating system, but it has added additional system management features and the networking and Internet functionality needed to connect users to data from just about anywhere in today's scattered business environment.
"We chose to roll out OS/2 on our customer service workstations and branch servers for its reliable multitasking and crash resistance," said David Knight, assistant vice president and manager of client/server technical services at Trustmark National Bank in Jackson, Mississippi. "We are excited to upgrade to OS/2 Warp 4 because of the new opportunities it affords us with Java** and the Internet."
OS/2 Warp 4 is the universal client in client/server computing. Using OS/2 Warp 4, customers will be able to access data on systems of many sizes, from peer networks to popular PC servers -- like OS/2 Warp Server, Novell Netware and Windows NT -- to mainframe systems. OS/2 Warp 4 also incorporates remote access capabilities, Mobile File Synchronization and Advanced Power Management, allowing users to take their offices on the road.
OS/2 Warp 4 is also the ideal Internet client. With the soon-to-be-released Netscape Navigator*** Internet client software for OS/2 Warp, object-oriented technology and built-in VoiceType speech recognition software, Internet and intranet users will find going to a Web site as easy as clicking on a desktop icon representing its Universal Resource Locator (URL) or saying "Jump to today's financial news."
But users do not need to be on the Internet to experience its power. OS/2 Warp 4 is the first PC operating system solution to incorporate Sun Microsystems' Java technology, allowing users to run Java applets and applications independent of a Web browser on their desktops. OS/2 Warp 4 will come with the runtime code necessary for running Java applications, a Java developer toolkit and Java applet samples.
"With OS/2 Warp 4, IBM builds upon its track record of delivering leading edge enhancements targeted at corporate and institutional customers into its 32-bit operating system solution," said Frank Dzubeck, industry analyst and president of Communication Network Architects, Inc. in Washington, D.C. "IBM has evolved the next generation of OS/2 Warp into a premier example of a network computing engine. Native support for Netscape Navigator and the inclusion of Sun Microsystems' Java Virtual Machine clearly focuses OS/2 Warp 4 on IT industry demand for cross-platform application solutions developed on Internet and intranet standards-based technologies."
"IBM is the first to put support for Java into its PC operating system solution with OS/2 Warp 4 and we are really excited about that," said Elizabeth Statmore, vice president of sales and marketing at Sarrus Software, a leading developer of Java-based scheduling software for enterprise intranets. "By introducing its customers to Java, IBM is bringing Java to a large mainstream audience while also giving its customers a significant time-to-market advantage over those who are still waiting for native Java support. IBM's commitment to Java will certainly help to establish it as an industry standard."
OS/2 Warp 4 also comes with runtime support for OpenDoc and support for Live Objects, providing an open framework for platform-independent re-use of OpenDoc components. OpenDoc is a robust architecture for creating component software that can be shared and customized across heterogeneous environments. OpenDoc's component-based integrated structure allows developers and end-users to build higher quality applications faster, with reduced costs. With the ability to run OpenDoc components and Java applications in addition to OS/2, DOS and most Windows 3.x programs, OS/2 Warp 4 will provide users with incredible application support.
Easy to Talk To and Easier to Work With
OS/2 Warp 4 also allows users to talk to their computers, completely changing the way people interact with computers and redefining the phrase "ease of use." Incorporating IBM's leading VoiceType technology in speech navigation and dictation, OS/2 Warp 4 allows users to execute menu commands and dictate letters or memos simply by talking to their computers. With the soon-to-be-released Netscape Navigator for OS/2, which is optimized for speech recognition, users will be able to explore the Internet with their voices, as well.
The voice recognition software is speaker independent, meaning the computer will understand most users without training. The software even recognizes words in context and executes the correct spelling when it runs across homonyms, like to, too and two.
OS/2 Warp 4 also boasts a cleaner and more logical user interface with visual enhancements like 3-D shadowed icons, 256 color exploitation, an attractive new system font and the new WarpCenter -- an icon ribbon on the desktop that combines the best of the Lotus SmartCenter and the OS/2 Warp LaunchPad to help users customize their desktops, group their applications and check on the status of their systems.
The system requirements for OS/2 Warp 4 will vary depending on options installed. Minimum requirements are an Intel 486/33 or higher with 12 to 16 megabytes of memory. For speech navigation: Intel Pentium/75 or higher with 16 to 20 megabytes of memory. For speech navigation and dictation: Intel Pentium/100 or higher with 24 to 32 megabytes of memory .
Installation by selecting options requires 100 to 300 megabytes of free disk space across user-selectable partitions. An installation of IBM preselected options requires 200 megabytes of free disk space. Other requirements are a 1.44 megabyte 3.5 inch diskette drive "A", an OS/2-compatible CD-ROM drive, an IBM-compatible mouse, 14.4 kilobyte or higher modem or network connection for internet/Intranet access, a supported sound card for speech recognition and multimedia and a noise-cancelling microphone and adapter for speech.
Packaging, Pricing and Availability
OS/2 Warp 4 is immediately available in U.S. English in many countries and is planned to be available in 28 national language versions by the second half of 1997, beginning with many major European languages within the next 45 days. The suggested retail price**** in the United States is $249 for first-time OS/2 customers and $149 for upgrades from previous releases of OS/2. The incredible value includes OS/2 Warp 4, Lotus Notes Mail 4.1, an application sampler CD-ROM with light versions of approximately 80 OS/2 applications, and a CD-ROM with access to hundreds of OS/2 device drivers.
Customers may order OS/2 Warp 4 by calling 1-800-IBM-CALL, or through a certified IBM Business Enterprise Solutions Team (BESTeam*) member. For a listing of BESTeam members by state, customers may access www.software.ibm.com/sw-sell/eudir.html. For more information about IBM's software products, go to www.software.ibm.com.
For Internet users, IBM offers complete information about the company, its products, services and technology on the World Wide Web. The IBM home page is at http://www.ibm.com. The fastest, easiest way to find any information about IBM software is to go to the IBM Software home page at http://www.software.ibm.com. The IBM Fax Information Service allows you to receive facsimiles of prior IBM product press releases. Dial 1-800-IBM-4FAX or 415-855-4329 and enter "99" at the voice menu.
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