MS-DOS

MS-DOS
Logo
Screenshot
DeveloperMicrosoft Corporation
Source modelClosed source for most versions; Open source for versions 1.25 and 2.0
Initial releaseQDOS 0.10
(July 1980)
Latest releaseMS-DOS 8.0
(14 September 2000)
Supported platformsx86
Kernel typeMonolithic
User interfaceCLI
LicenseProprietary for most versions; MIT license for versions 1.25 and 2.0

Microsoft MS-DOS is a monolithic operating system by Microsoft. MS-DOS was originally written for the IBM PC and compatible systems, all which targeted the x86 architecture. It remained in development from 1981 until its discontinuation in 2000. There were many programs and graphical shells (such as Microsoft Windows) written for it.

MS-DOS is mainly driven by a text-based interface, using commands (read by an interpreter) to run programs and manage files. Individual programs, however, have access to graphical modes depending on the installed hardware. As MS-DOS is a monolithic operating system, multitasking is very limited and all programs share memory (leading to potential instability), leading it to become outdated as tasks demanded more resources.

A port of the 16-bit MS-DOS was made for 8-bit MSX computers known as MSX-DOS. MSX-DOS is based on the MS-DOS 1.25 kernel and uses the same filesystem.

Timeline[edit | edit source]

Name Initial release Last update Notes
86-DOS 0.10 (1980) 1.14 (1981) Initially known as QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System)
MS-DOS 1 1.11 (1981) 1.54 (1982)
MS-DOS 2 2.00 (1983) 2.25 (1985)
MS-DOS 3 3.00 (1984) 3.31 (1987)
Multitasking MS-DOS 4 4.00 (1985) 4.10 (1987) Also known as European MS-DOS 4
MS-DOS 4 4.00 (1988) 4.01 (1988)
MS-DOS 5 5.00 (1991) 5.00A-H (1991)
MS-DOS 6 6.00 (1993) 6.22 (1994)
MS-DOS 7 7.00 (1995) 7.10 (1996) Included with Windows 95 OSR2 and later, as well as Windows 98
MS-DOS 8 8.00 (2000) 8.00 (2000) Included with Windows Me

See also[edit | edit source]