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Last modified: Friday, December 14, 2001 

(1) Acronym for disk operating system. The term DOS can refer to any operating system, but it is most often used as a shorthand for MS-DOS (Microsoft disk operating system). Originally developed by Microsoft for IBM, MS-DOS was the standard operating system for IBM-compatible personal computers.

The initial versions of DOS were very simple and resembled another operating system called CP/M. Subsequent versions have became increasingly sophisticated as they incorporated features of minicomputer operating systems. However, DOS is still a 16-bit operating system and does not support multiple users or multitasking.

For some time, it has been widely acknowledged that DOS is insufficient for modern computer applications. Microsoft Windows helped alleviate some problems, but still, it sat on top of DOS and relied on DOS for many services. Even Windows 95 sat on top of DOS. Newer operating systems, such as Windows NT and OS/2 Warp, do not rely on DOS to the same extent, although they can execute DOS-based programs. It is expected that as these operating systems gain market share, DOS will eventually disappear. In the meantime, Caldera, Inc. markets a version of DOS called DR-OpenDOS that extends MS-DOS in significant ways.

(2) See DoS attack.

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For pages about DOS . Also check out the following links!

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DOS concepts and functions 
This page is for novice computer users and provides a short introduction to computers and basic functions of an operating system. A table of contents then provides links to specific DOS concepts and functions.

DOS Command Index
Contains a DOS command index from the book, "DOS the Easy Way". Included are DOS command names with their definitions and examples of usage.

DOS Internet Pages
Links to various DOS Internet programs (mostly Web related).

DOS Protected Mode Interface (DPMI)
This is a programmer's reference copy of the DOS Protected Mode Interface, a protected mode API specification for DOS extended applications.

This page links to a five part FAQ from the MS-DOS programmer newsgroup.

Nick's DOS Links Page
Links to DOS utilities, tips, batch file programming pages, general shareware, and related Web sites.

Yahoo!'s DOS page
Yahoo!'s directory of DOS.

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