Thursday, July 28, 2011


Thirty years ago DOS officially came into being. On July 27, 1981, Microsoft acquired the disk operating system software from Seattle Computer Products (SCP). The company then promptly renamed it MS-DOS and kickstarted a rise that eventually led to Microsoft's near-monopoly of computing for more than two decades.

SCP made CPU cards. In 1980, the company needed an OS to run on an Intel 8086, an early 16-bit microprocessor processor. It developed what it originally referred to as QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System). QDOS evolved into 86-DOS. Microsoft initially acquired a license from SCP to use on hardware being developed by IBM that would become the IBM PC. Microsoft eventually decided the platform was important enough to buy the rights to 86-DOS and renamed it MS-DOS.

The OS ended up surviving largely intact after Windows arrived up until Windows XP, when the OS was no longer running in pure form either on home or work desktops. Windows 7 users can still find its interface in a command prompt.

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