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LIFTING THE 640K LID
IBM's breaking of the memory barrier for applications programs in its new Operating System/2 created a sonic boom heard around the industry. Before OS/2, applications had to fit into a maximum of 640K of memory. OS/2 will leap that barrier, allowing a maximum of 16 megabytes. This means, for example, that users will not have to exit from a large spreadsheet to check their electronic-mail messages.
"The 640K barrier was the number one problem in the industry," says Bob Frankston, chief scientist at Lotus Development Corp. (Cambridge, Mass.). "Now we can get to work programming." OS/2 is especially easy to expand with more functions.
"The software industry will be very robust," predicts Edward M. Comfoltey, vice president of marketing for software supplier Computer Associates International (San Jose, Calif.). "There will be applications not possible or …