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 PostPost subject: MS-DOS Prompt in Windows 1.0 DR5 and Alpha        Posted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:21 pm 
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This is my second post about Windows 1.0 DR5. Windows 1.0 1983 Byte Magazine Beta Build and Windows 1.0 1983 COMDEX Beta Build can handle MS-DOS 2.0 Prompt DOS programs. In Windows 1.0 DR5 and Windows 1.0 Alpha went you to COMMAND.COM it get out error in windows say "Support for old applications not enabled." Did Microsoft Disable MS-DOS Prompt in Windows 1.0 DR5 and Alpha and put back in Windows 1.0 Beta and Windows 1.0 Premiere Edition.

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If you look closely, you can see a DOS prompt open in those screenshots. I've tried opening a DOS prompt in DR5, this is what I get:
Just wondering, can you get DOS programs to work in DR5?


Last edited by johnlemon647 on Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 PostPost subject: Re: MS-DOS Prompt in Windows 1.0 DR5 and Alpha        Posted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 3:49 pm 
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I tried so in DR5, but I don't know how to make DOS apps work on it, and just for reference, if you really can't get 86box to work on your own, just use MAME for such old builds, not VBox.

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 PostPost subject: Re: MS-DOS Prompt in Windows 1.0 DR5 and Alpha        Posted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 3:51 pm 
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Actually, the application that you're talking about in the early builds is not command.com from DOS running under Windows - it is a Windows application that emulates command.com behaviour. It's an early version of MS-DOS Executive in fact. During the development release stage (so after May 1984), it turned from a specialized command prompt window (complete with it's own menu bar and all) to a simple graphical file manager like it is in DR5 and later builds. It has even kept the same icon throughout the entire development process.

This obviously implies that these early builds can't run MS-DOS applications and that makes sense, considering that neither can DR5 or the Alpha. Of course back then Windows still had the top status bar which acted as a quazi-shell and the command prompt application could be opened and closed like any other application. Later on, the MS-DOS Executive existed side by side with that status bar before the latter was finally removed and the Executive took its place as the default shell. Ever since then you can't close MS-DOS Executive without also leaving Windows.

Support for running MS-DOS applications under Windows was apparently only added/completed/enabled in the Beta, and the ability to run a command prompt window under Windows (this time the actual command.com from DOS) returned along with it.

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 PostPost subject: Re: MS-DOS Prompt in Windows 1.0 DR5 and Alpha        Posted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:45 pm 
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Overdoze wrote:
Support for running MS-DOS applications under Windows was apparently only added/completed/enabled in the Beta, and the ability to run a command prompt window under Windows (this time the actual command.com from DOS) returned along with it.

I must admit that evidence of early builds of Windows 1.0 being able to run MS-DOS applications is very weak, but they certainly made it look like it was possible even in the December 1983 issue of Byte, where you can clearly see MS Basic running in a window and MS Piano switching to fullscreen. Of course, you have to believe the screenshots were from an actual Windows running on a computer, and not simply mock-ups.

The fact that DR5 or Alpha claim that the old application support is not enabled hints to the possibility that it could be enabled; after all, somebody at MS must have been already working on it. Of course, as you would expect, it was not even nearly ready to be shown to third parties.


Last edited by xelloss on Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 PostPost subject: Re: MS-DOS Prompt in Windows 1.0 DR5 and Alpha        Posted: Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:07 pm 
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xelloss wrote:
I must admit that evidence of evidence of early builds of Windows 1.0 being able to run MS-DOS applications is very weak, but they certainly made it look like it was possible even in the December 1983 issue of Byte, where you can clearly see MS Basic running in a window and MS Piano switching to fullscreen. Of course, you have to believe the screenshots where from an actual Windows running on a computer, and not simply mock-ups.


Those photos depict actual software running on an actual PC. However, even the author of that article later admitted that whatever he was shown may not have been a fully functional build of Windows, but rather a mix of early Windows with specially designed applications to create the illusion of things working before they were actually working. It's impossible to tell from simple photos of course. Photos of later builds with the new UI don't show any DOS applications running under Windows. That itself doesn't mean there was no DOS app support, but it does cast some doubt on it. Especially considering this support was only enabled for third parties in the Beta, when the product was nearly ready for launch.

They were clearly planning on implementing DOS app support in 1983 obviously, since Piano is described as an "uncooperative application" which runs in fullscreen, meaning that DOS apps could, at least in theory, bypass Windows and talk directly to the hardware like they normally could under DOS. In any case, to me the BYTE build looks more like a proof-of-concept, showcasing what Microsoft's general plan for the product was, than anything suitable for even basic testing. It's also worth noting it was shown to some members of the press before the product itself was actually announced in early November and by then, the UI was already completely overhauled.

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 PostPost subject: Re: MS-DOS Prompt in Windows 1.0 DR5 and Alpha        Posted: Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:44 pm 
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I test COMMAND.COM in Windows 1.0 Alpha see will go into MS-DOS Prompt it did not go MS-DOS Prompt but COMMAND.COM in Windows 1.0 Alpha run a Shell. So is possible run DOS Program in windows 1.0 alpha not in MS-DOS Prompt Mode.

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COMMAND.COM in Windows 1.0 Alpha
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COMMAND.COM PIF in Windows 1.0 Alpha
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 PostPost subject: Re: MS-DOS Prompt in Windows 1.0 DR5 and Alpha        Posted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 11:45 am 
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Check to see if there is a file called 'winoldap.mod' in your Windows directory. This, and the pif editor (which is actually an IBM TopView format), is what makes dos (or old apps) run. Command.com is not emulated by any of the consumer versions of windows. They are all DOS programs, although the Windows NT version passes most commands to the underlying command processor.


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