Another source close to IBM was able to shed light on the negotiations. The initiative came from Stardock, whose original proposal included "Linuxising" OS/2 by including open source development tools. "Linux has the momentum, but it's nowhere near an end user platform -- it doesn't have a system-wide clipboard for example," the source said. "Whereas OS/2 is more complete in many ways, but isn't perceived to have that momentum."
However a true open source release of OS/2 -- recently advocated by Ralph Nader's Consumer Technology Project -- was rendered impossible because of royalty issues. "Microsoft still makes a lot of money from OS/2, large parts of OS/2 networking and Presentation Manager means Microsoft can collect royalties. IBM used to make some bad deals", said the source.
Another strong reason for IBM producing a new client version is the approaching Y2K deadline. The current recommended solution of Warp 4 plus FixPack 3 onwards -- is complex, and one release would consolidate the fixes.