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December 2000

Corrections, Clarifications and new Information
re: Software Choice, Warp 4 and eCS.

By Dan Casey ©December 2000

eComStation (eCS) First Look, The Preview Edition: http://www.os2voice.org/VNL/past_issues/VNL1100H/vnewsf6.htm

Software Choice Subscription:

Subscription Term

Late in October, there was some confusion regarding the length of the subscription period for Software Choice (SWC). In typical IBM fashion, the information was conflicting ... is it a 1Year Subscription or a 2 Year Subscription?

Thanks to Katy Ansardi at Indelible Blue, the confusion has been cleared up, and it is, in fact, a 2 Year Subscription plan.

Availability of OS/2 Warp 4

A few months ago, I reported that OS/2 Warp 4 would no longer be available for sale after January 31, 2001. As I had no updated information, I repeated this in the November Newsletter. It seems that this information is incorrect, and IBM will continue to sell OS/2 Warp 4 after the EOS (End Of Service) Date of January 31, 2001. However, they will sell it "As Is" with no support. The last Fixpak for Warp 4 will be Fixpak 15, and should be released in December of 2000 (this month).

What this means is that users will still be able to purchase OS/2 Warp 4 from IBM, thus entitling them to purchase the SWC Subscription plan. With SWC, they will get the MCP (Merlin Convenience Pak) and future updates, enhancements and Fixpaks for the MCP.

Thanks to Bob St. John of Serenity Systems for helping to clarify this.

Terms of Entitlement to SWC Subscription

Since the inception of Software Choice (SWC) from IBM, it was commonly accepted that in order to buy a subscription to SWC for the Warp 4 Client, you had to own a license to the Warp 4 Client.

After all, the only things available on SWC were enhancements to the Warp 4 Operating System.

Now, things have changed, and with a subscription to SWC for the Client, users will get the Merlin Convenience Pak (MCP) shipped to them on CD-ROM.

The MCP is a complete, installable version of OS/2 Warp 4 with all of the Fixes and Updates to date already applied. For over a year, now, IBM has publicly stated "No New Client" for OS/2, seemingly disregarding the current users requests for a new client version based on the WSeB system, and labeled "Warp 5".

Well, IBM hasn't given us "Warp 5". What they have (or should have, by the time you are reading this) given us is OS/2 Warp 4.5 in the form of the MCP. A new Client version, based on the WSeB Kernel, complete with the new LVM (Logical Volume Manager) replacement for FDISK, TCP/IP 4.3, JAVA 1.3 and all the MPTS and Peer Services fixes.

The actual OS level is roughly equivalent to Warp 4, Fixpak 15 (which has yet to be released).

There has been quite a bit of discussion about the actual license requirements ... do you, or do you not need a license for OS/2 Warp 4 to buy the SWC subscription?

The IBM Websites seem to imply that you do, but don't actually "spell it out".


Software Choice features are available to customers who have purchased:

IBM OS/2 Warp 4
IBM OS/2 Warp Server for e-business
IBM WorkSpace On-Demand

IBM Software Choice support is available to customers with:

1.An active Passport Advantage with Software Subscription, which includes one or more of the following products or entitlements to one or more of the following products:

IBM OS/2 Warp 4
IBM OS/2 Warp Server for e-business
IBM WorkSpace On-Demand

A letter that includes an IBM Software Choice user ID and password will be sent to eligible customers by way of the contact name and address on their Passport Advantage contract.

2.An active IBM Software Choice Subscription for IBM OS/2 Warp 4.

Customers who purchase the IBM Software Choice Subscription package receive Registration and Licensing Information.

When the customer completes and mails the registration card to IBM, the card will be processed and a user ID and password will be returned to the customer through the mail.

Nowhere does it specifically state that you "MUST" have a license to OS/2 Warp 4 to by the SWC Subscription to OS/2 Warp 4 Client.

I have endeavored to clarify this, and the most recent information I have comes from Bob St. John:


Well, it would appear that users of the Merlin Convenience Pack will be required to have a valid Warp 4 license, that according to Armando Flores of IBM, the team lead for the OS/2 Product Development Team in Austin.

We spoke on the phone about the thread here. He read the MCP (and WSeb CP)license requirements to me, and both Convenience Packs require a valid license for the associated product.

Mr. Flores, like other IBMers I spoke with, was surprised that they had not specifically required an Warp 4 license for SWC. They appear to have been working on under the assumption that this was a requirement. So, now it's up to Mr. Flores and the IBM lawyers to figure out if they want to do anything about the SWC license requirements.

But .. the Convenience Pack .. requires a Warp 4 license. You learn something new every day.


Bob St.John
Serenity Systems

**********END QUOTE***********

Perhaps by the time you read this, IBM will have edited and/or modified their websites and license agreements to reflect more accurately the license agreement for SWC. And then again, perhaps they will have not.

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