MS-DOS

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Logo of MS-DOS

MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System) is an operating system for x86 based personal computers. It was based on QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System), also known as 86-DOS, which was made by Tim Paterson and purchased by Microsoft. It was the most commonly used member of the DOS family of operating systems, and was the main operating system for personal computers during the 1980s and 1990s. It was preceded by M-DOS (also called MIDAS), designed and copyrighted by Microsoft in 1979. MS-DOS was written for the Intel 8086 family of microprocessors, particularly the IBM PC and compatibles. An MSX port was also made, called MSX-DOS.

It was gradually replaced on consumer desktop computers by operating systems offering a graphical user interface (GUI), in particular by various generations of the Microsoft Windows operating system. It is still used by a tiny market niche where legacy DOS applications are still required, but no modern version is available.

Microsoft and IBM both had their own versions of MS-DOS. There are not many differences between the two versions before the split up, when IBM started developing PC-DOS independently of Microsoft. IBM distributed their version of MS-DOS first as IBM DOS (prior to version 5.0), and later on as IBM PC-DOS.

Known versions

MS-DOS 1.x

  • MS-DOS:1.10 - Compaq OEM
  • MS-DOS:1.11 - Compaq OEM (Rev. E)
  • MS-DOS:1.12 - Compaq OEM (Rev. G)
  • MS-DOS:1.13 - Texas Instruments OEM
  • MS-DOS:1.14 - Unknown OEM
  • MS-DOS:1.24 - Unknown OEM
  • MS-DOS:1.25 - Corona (BIOS 1.03 and 1.07), Zenith (command.com 1.19 for the Zenith Z-100 PC Compatible series from 1984 and 1.20 for the Zenith Z-100 from 1982) and Sanyo OEM, Seattle Computers OEM (command.com 1.17 as part of the released MS-DOS 1.1 source package), and Columbia OEM (Rel. 2.11)

MS-DOS 2.x

MS-DOS 3.x

Multi-tasking MS-DOS 4.0

  • MS-DOS:4.00 - A rare OEM version, capable of multi-tasking. Only released by some European OEMs, a working copy can be found online. (Unnamed OEM and Goupil OEM)

MS-DOS 4.x

  • MS-DOS:4.00 - An extremely rare version which was quickly replaced by 4.01 due to bugs. Dated 1988-10-06, a Sampo OEM without disk 6 can be found online.
  • MS-DOS:4.01 - Olivetti, Amstrad, Nokia, Tulip, HP, Toshiba, Zenith and VEGAS OEM
  • MS-DOS:4.01A - Nokia OEM
  • MS-DOS:4.02 - Unknown stage, mentioned in PX05132
  • MS-DOS:4.10.20 - International Computer Ltd. OEM version

MS-DOS 5.x

MS-DOS 6.x

MS-DOS 7.x

  • MS-DOS:7.00 - Only released as part of Windows 95 RTM and OSR1
  • MS-DOS:7.10 - Only released as part of Windows 95 OSR2, OSR2.5, Windows 98 and 98SE

MS-DOS 8.x