As the Managing Member of Arca Noae, and one of the engineers who worked on the release of ArcaOS 5.0, just a few points to clarify (both from the article and from the comments, here):
1. $99 is introductory pricing for the personal edition. After the first 90 days (about 85 days left, now), the normal pricing takes effect, to wit, $129/license.
2. There are quantity discounts for the commercial version, starting at 25 seats.
3. The personal edition ships with 6 months of included support and maintenance, while the commercial edition ships with twelve months (1 year, not 2, as stated in the article). After that, support and maintenance is available for each by subscription.
4. There are still a good number of large (really large; huge) enterprises with OS/2 entrenched in their IT infrastructure. We know because we consult for more than a couple of them. Running OS/2 on modern hardware is a must for organizations like these, where virtualization - for one reason or another, whether due to lack of device driver support for connected hardware or performance reasons - is not a viable option.
5. ArcaOS ships with SMP support for up to 32 CPUs (I think 32 is the number, though it could actually be higher; I haven't actually tested on anything more than 4 8-core CPUs.
6. ArcaOS includes rudimentary PAE support, where we are able to utilize RAM above the 4GB boundary as a RAM disk with up to two partitions. This may not seem like much, but for any application which requires fast access to temporary files (cache, etc.), this is a HUGE performance gain.
7. ArcaOS is not a clone of OS/2. At its core, is a fully licensed MCP2 (Warp 4.52, a/k/a Merlin Convenience Pack 2) installation, with Arca Noae's fixes, updates, and modifications on top of that. In addition, the TCP/IP stack, ported from BSD, is in there, as are HPFS and JFS, the latter of which is fully maintained by Arca Noae. Indeed, we have a licensing agreement in place with IBM.
8. When IBM released SMP as an option for Warp, it was an option only available for Warp Server for eBusiness (WSeB). We did not license WSeB from IBM; we licensed Warp 4 (MCP2). We have a special SKU from IBM which allows us to bundle SMP with the MCP2 code.
9. ACPI support is ours. IBM included only basic ACPI support, using the OS2APIC PSD (Platform Support Driver). OS2APIC is barely useful on hardware built within the last 10 years. Arca Noae's ACPI driver is fully compliant through ACPICA 20170119.
Some follow-up to some other comments:
OS/2 (and ArcaOS) is indeed sensitive to substandard hardware. We do not claim to run on everything, and surely not on the cheapest junk floating about. Use that other OS from Redmond on that stuff - LOL.
While some may scoff at a new release of OS/2, let's bear in mind that any marketing failures on IBM's part should in no way be taken to mean that OS/2 was not technologically superior to its competitors at the time. As a NetWare engineer, I can attest to the fact that Novell's similar difficulty and lack of success in competing with the overwhelming marketing machine from that other company likewise should not be taken as any kind of statement that NetWare was not superior in its space, or that there are not still shops with NetWare running quietly and consistently to this day, managing mission critical operations, just as OS/2 is. If there were no demand for a new OS/2, Arca Noae would not have come into existence, and I can tell you unequivocally, the response to ArcaOS has been overwhelming.
Win32: Besides DAX (the Win32s subsystem built into Win-OS/2 in Warp 4), ArcaOS ships with Odin32, which is based on WINE. This allows us to run a number of more complex Win32 applications, and Odin32 can be further customized to work as a wrapper for even more complicated Win32 applications. Essentially, it's just a matter of properly mapping the Win32 calls to OS/2 calls, stubbing them out, or working around them for things which do not exist in OS/2. We can work with our development partners to support specific Win32 apps under consulting contract, and in fact, look forward to exploring such opportunities, so incidents which we've all seen recently (under XP) do not occur, while still allowing those applications to run nearly-natively.
Ah, and finally, why there are no try-before-you-buy offers: Our licensing with IBM does not allow for this. Every ArcaOS license includes an IBM OS/2 Warp 4 license. We can't just give those out for free!