Chromium-adjacent Otter browser targets OS/2

See? Not everything old from IBM is being ignored

The free open source web browser Otter – which uses the Chromium browser engine at the heart of Google's Chrome and Microsoft's Edge – is being ported to OS/2.

For the uninitiated, OS/2 was an operating system that was created by IBM and Microsoft in the mid to late 1980s. The OS was compatible with some Windows drivers, but Windows 3.x did so well that the IBM/Microsoft partnership dissolved in unhappy circumstances in 1992. IBM kept OS/2 alive, and its fourth release was widely regarded as superior to Windows 95 and Windows NT. By the time Big Blue brought it to market, though, Microsoft's dominance had been entrenched.

OS/2 gradually faded from use, making occasional public appearances on Automatic Teller Machines' boot screens to remind the wider public of its existence. Perhaps curiously, it was never open-sourced – The Register understands its presence in military hardware made that move inadvisable. After IBM ceased support for it in 2006, development continues under licence – currently by an outfit named Arca Noae that keeps it alive with occasional releases for the small band of enthusiasts who still admire, or require, the software. Which might prove IBM's assertion that it doesn't discriminate against the aged.

Some of those enthusiasts gather at os2world.com – which on 14 February reported that the Otter browser is being ported to OS/2.

Indulge us in another bout of nostalgic exposition, because Otter is an effort to "recreate the best aspects of Opera 12 and to revive its spirit." Opera 12 is significant because it marked the last version of that browser to use its own Presto engine. Later versions adopted WebKit and some Chromium code. Some users preferred Opera before that change, so set out to create Otter – a name chosen because it starts with the letter "O", as does Opera, and has the same number of letters.

Yeah, that otter work.

Otter employs the Qt 5 cross-platform application framework that itself uses Chromium.

We now return to os2world.com for this Valentine's Day announcement that Otter is coming to OS/2.

"Current expectation is that first *public* beta of Otter Browser will be released in the last week of February or the first week of March," the post enthuses.

Come March, OS/2 – technology from the 1980s – will therefore have a toehold, however slight, in 2022. ®

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