Definitions for MS DOSˈɛmˌɛs ˈdɔs, -ˈdɒs
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word MS DOS
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
MS DOS*ˈɛmˌɛs ˈdɔs, -ˈdɒs
a microcomputer operating system.
Category: Computers, Trademark
The New Hacker's Dictionary
[MicroSoft Disk Operating System] A clone of CP/M for the 8088 crufted together in 6 weeks by hacker Tim Paterson at Seattle Computer Products, who called the original QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System) and is said to have regretted it ever since. Microsoft licensed QDOS in order to have something to demo for IBM on time, and the rest is history. Numerous features, including vaguely Unix-like but rather broken support for subdirectories, I/O redirection, and pipelines, were hacked into Microsoft's 2.0 and subsequent versions; as a result, there are two or more incompatible versions of many system calls, and MS-DOS programmers can never agree on basic things like what character to use as an option switch or whether to be case-sensitive. The resulting appalling mess is now the highest-unit-volume OS in history. Often known simply as DOS, which annoys people familiar with other similarly abbreviated operating systems (the name goes back to the mid-1960s, when it was attached to IBM's first disk operating system for the 360). The name further annoys those who know what the term operating system does (or ought to) connote; DOS is more properly a set of relatively simple interrupt services. Some people like to pronounce DOS like “dose”, as in “I don't work on dose, man!”, or to compare it to a dose of brain-damaging drugs (a slogan button in wide circulation among hackers exhorts: “MS-DOS: Just say No!”). See mess-dos.
MS-DOS is an operating system for x86-based personal computers. It was the most commonly used member of the DOS family of operating systems, and was the main operating system for IBM PC compatible personal computers during the 1980s to the mid-1990s, until it was gradually superseded by operating systems offering a graphical user interface, in particular by various generations of the Microsoft Windows operating system. MS-DOS grew out of a request placed by IBM in 1981 for an operating system to use in its IBM PC range of personal computers. Microsoft quickly bought the rights to 86-DOS from Seattle Computer Products, and began work on modifying it to meet IBM's specification, who licensed and released it as PC DOS 1.0 to be used with their PCs in August 1981. Although MS-DOS and PC DOS were initially developed in parallel by Microsoft and IBM, years later the two products eventually went their separate ways. During its life, several competing products were released for the x86 platform, and MS-DOS itself would go through eight versions, until development ceased in 2000. Initially MS-DOS was targeted at Intel 8086 processors running on computer hardware using floppy disks to store and access not only the operating system, but application software and user data as well. Progressive version releases delivered support for other mass storage media in ever greater sizes and formats, along with added feature support for newer processors and rapidly evolving computer architectures. Ultimately it was the key product in Microsoft's growth from a programming languages company to a diverse software development firm, providing the company with essential revenue and marketing resources. It was also the underlying basic operating system on which early versions of Windows ran as a GUI. It is a flexible operating system, and consumes negligible installation space.
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