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11 Extinct Operating Systems That Time Forgot (MSFT, AAPL, GOOG)

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As the battle for smartphone operating system supremecy rages on (and some would argue it’s already over with Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android on top), it’s worth noting that such power grabs are as old as modern computing itself.

Have you ever heard of a PC operating system called Amiga? What about Inferno? Arthur?

These were all real operating systems that once tried to compete with Apple and Microsoft. And with the birth of the smartphone, there were several early players attempting to do what modern devices do today. 

Let’s take a look.

AmigaOS

Year created: 1985

Company: Commodore

What happened? Ars Technica put it best when in 2005, it wrote: “The Amiga computer was a machine ahead of its time. When it was released in 1985, its color screen (4096 colors in HAM mode!), four-channel sampled stereo sound, preemptive multitasking GUI, and custom chips to accelerate both sound and graphics made the year-old Macintosh seem antiquated and the PC positively Paleolithic. Steve Jobs was reported to be extremely worried about the Amiga, but fortunately for him and Apple, Commodore had absolutely no idea what they were doing.”




BeOS

Year created: 1991

Company: Be Inc.

What happened? Apple offered to buy Be Inc for $ 125 million in 1995, but CEO Jean-Louis Gassée wanted $ 200 million. Apple bought Steve Jobs’s NeXT instead, and Palm acquired the company’s assets for $ 11 million in 2001.




OS/2

Year created: 1985

Company: IBM

What happened? Microsoft and IBM joined to create OS/2 in 1985, but when Windows 3 became a huge hit, the partnership unraveled in 1990. Though no longer supported by IBM, the operating system still runs on many ATMs today.



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