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An example of the MS-DOS command-line interface, showing that the current directory is the root of drive C
Written inx86 assembly,[1] later versions also used C
OS familyDOS
Working statePreserved pieces exist in 32-bit Windows
Source modelClosed source; open source for select versions since 2018[2]
Initial releaseAugust 12, 1981; 37 years ago (1981-08-12)[3]
Final release8.0 / September 16, 2000; 18 years ago (2000-09-16)
Update methodRe-installation
Package managerNone
Kernel typeMonolithic
Default user interfaceCommand-line, text
MIT License (v1.25 & v2.0)[2]
Succeeded byWindows NT (as of Windows XP)
Official websiteMS-DOS overview
Support status
MS-DOS 6.0 unsupported as of December 31, 2001[4]
Starting MS-DOS

MS-DOS is a computer operating system by Microsoft Corporation. It stands for "Microsoft Disk Operating System", and came from an operating system Microsoft bought called QDOS, or the "Quick and Dirty Operating System." The operating system used a command-line interface for the user to input commands. It was popularly used in PCs before a GUI operating system called Microsoft Windows came out, and still is used in some places today.

OS/2 was originally made by a joint agreement between the Microsoft and IBM companies. OS/2 was maintained by IBM until 2006. OS/2 was supposed to replace MS-DOS, but that replacement did not succeed. MS-DOS was the framework behind Windows operating systems until an operating system known as Windows XP.

MS-DOS is a text-based operating system, meaning that a user works with a keyboard to input data and receives output in plain text. Later, MS-DOS often had programs using a mouse and graphics to make work more simple and quick. (Some people still believe that working without graphics is really more efficient.) It is called a disk operating system because it was originally made to be loaded into a computer's memory with a floppy disk each time the computer is started (booted) up.

MS-DOS was released as proprietary software, but decades later after most users had gone to other systems, it was released as free software.[2]

How-To Books[change | change source]

Many books were written on how to use MS-DOS. A popular introductory book was MS-DOS for Dummies, by Dan Gookin, the book in the For Dummies series of easy to follow instruction books.

References[change | change source]

  1. Paterson, Tim (June 1983). "An Inside Look at MS-DOS". Seattle Computer Products. Seattle. Archived from the original on May 6, 2017.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Turner, Rich. "Re-Open-Sourcing MS-DOS 1.25 and 2.0". Windows Command Line Tools For Developers. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
  3. "MS-DOS: A Brief Introduction". The Linux Information Project. Archived from the original on December 14, 2017. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  4. "Obsolete Products Life-Cycle Policy". Support. Microsoft. July 30, 2009. Archived from the original on July 6, 2006. Retrieved April 6, 2010.