IBM officials offered a peek behind the OS/2 Warp curtain at Comdex last week, saying they will ship several add-on upgrades to both the client and server versions of the operating system in 1997.
The company will offer server add-ons that will include a number of TCP/IP enhancements, better browser-based administration to accommodate upcoming Netscape products, a firewall and a proxy server.
Other improvements to the server version will be email and newsgroups, various network computing protocols designed to support upcoming network PCs and support for OS/2 Warp as a Web Server.
To correspond with similar improvements on the server, the company will also improve the TCP/IP network computing protocols and browser of the client version over the course of next year, officials say.
In concert with the add-on products, company officials have reiterated their strategy that it will make no major changes to the kernel of the client version of the operating system next year. Officials say they are planning a major new version in 1998 that will require changes to the kernel.
"We could make some very minor changes to the kernel next year, but we won't make any serious ones until 1998," says Donn Atkins, vice-president of marketing for IBM's personal software products division.
IBM officials have been fighting off rumours over the past two months that the company is going to put the 32-bit operating system in maintenance mode because it is freezing all changes to the kernel for the next year.
"We are still committed to OS/2 right up on to Lou Gerstner. OS/2 remains integral to a lot of our strategies, especially our network computing strategy," Atkins says.
IBM will also next year deliver an improved version of Java for OS/2 Warp server. The company has already released a beta of Java for the desktop, called Version 1.0.2, which has a Just-In-Time compiler.
Separately, Atkins says the company will ship its first beta version of Lotus' Domino Web server to beta testers in the next week or so. The product is expected to be commercially available in the first half of 1997.
IBM can be reached at http://www.ibm.com/.