Why is Linux Journal interested in this?
Well, there's not a whole lot of technology in OS/2 that's relevant today. If IBM were to take the existing OS/2 code base, and try to pull it into the 21st century, it would be a major undertaking. Lots of people, lots of money, and lots of risk.
On the other hand, if IBM were to take an existing OS that is easily customizable and well known - say, Linux - and extend it to support an OS/2-like user space, that would probably be much simpler. Fewer people, less money, less risk.
Hmm. An IBM-branded and supported "Linux" distribution branded as OS/2? That would be interesting. I used OS/2 in a past life (back in 1994 or thereabouts), and really liked it. Linux with an OS/2-like user space would be a wonderful thing. If they can toss in Windows app compatibility using Wine or something similar, it might just make a dent in the marketplace.