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The promised user interface, Presentation Manager, was introduced with OS/2 1.1 in October 1988.It had a similar user interface to Windows 2.1, which was released in May of that year.
The Extended Edition of 1.1, sold only through IBM sales channels, introduced distributed database support to IBM database systems and SNA communications support to IBM mainframe networks.OS/2 features an API for controlling the video display (VIO) and handling keyboard and mouse events so that programmers writing for protected-mode need not call the BIOS or access hardware directly.In addition, development tools include a subset of the video and keyboard APIs as linkable libraries so that family mode programs are able to run under MS-DOS.In 1989, Version 1.2 introduced Installable Filesystems and notably the HPFS filesystem.HPFS provided a number of improvements over the older FAT file system, including long filenames and a form of alternate data streams called Extended Attributes.OS/2 1.x targets the Intel 80286 processor and DOS fundamentally doesn't.
IBM insisted on supporting the 80286 processor, with its 16-bit segmented memory mode, because of commitments made to customers who had purchased many 80286-based PS/2s as a result of IBM's promises surrounding OS/2.
However, IBM requested that this API be significantly changed for OS/2.
Therefore, issues surrounding application compatibility appeared immediately.
Until release 2.0 in April 1992, OS/2 ran in 16-bit protected mode and therefore could not benefit from the Intel 80386's much simpler 32-bit flat memory model and virtual 8086 mode features.
This was especially painful in providing support for DOS applications.
A task-switcher named Program Selector is available through the Ctrl-Esc hotkey combination, allowing the user to select among multitasked text-mode sessions (or screen groups; each can run multiple programs).