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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 until Windows 95, it sat on top of DOS and relied on DOS for many services. Newer operating systems, including Windows 95, 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.

More Information

Outstanding Page 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. Updated on Mar 26, 1998

Outstanding Page Microsoft's library of free software for MS-DOS
Microsoft's MS-DOS software library page and offers links to free downloadable software, utilities, and patches for the MS-DOS operating system. Updated on Jan 9, 1998

Outstanding Page MS-DOS software sources
Provides a list of archives that contain information on MS-DOS shareware, freeware, and public domain programs. Updated on Oct 19, 1996

  32-bit Operating Systems Products
Home page of ITHREE Micro Technology, developers of 32-bit operating systems products for Intel and other x86 processors. This page introduces their 32-bit DOS and BIOS products.

  DOS 7 Commands
Provides the syntax of MS-DOS 7 commands (as available in Windows DOS boxes) along with notes and examples on how they can be used.

  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. Updated on Dec 30, 1997

  DOS Internet Pages
Links to various DOS Internet programs (mostly Web related). Updated on Jul 31, 1998

  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. Updated on Aug 1, 1998

  DR-OpenDOS Information
Caldera's official page for the DR-OpenDOS product. DR-OpenDOS extends DOS in a variety of ways, including adding multitasking support and a new memory manager. Updated on May 13, 1998

  Free DOS utilities page
Provides links to freeware and shareware DOS utilities and applications. Updated on Jul 31, 1998

  Free-DOS project files page
Contains a link to download a freeware version DOS called Free-DOS and links to FAQs, related Web sites, and the Free-DOS home page. Updated on Jul 19, 1998

Series of questions and answers collected from the comp.os.msdos.programmer newsgroup. Updated on Jul 10, 1998

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. Updated on Aug 4, 1998

  Yahoo!'s DOS page
Yahoo!'s directory of DOS. Updated on Aug 4, 1998

  Yahoo!'s Windows and MS-DOS page
Yahoo!'s directory for Window and MS-DOS. Updated on Aug 4, 1998


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