The DICT Development Group

Search for:
Search type:

Database copyright information
Server information

1 definition found
 for Microsoft DOS
From The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (30 December 2018) :

  Microsoft Disk Operating System
  Microsoft DOS
      /M S doss/ (Or "MS-DOS", "PC-DOS",
     "{MS-DOG", "{mess-dos}") Microsoft Corporation's clone of
     the CP/M disk operating system for the 8088 crufted
     together in 6 weeks by hacker Tim Paterson, who is said to
     have regretted it ever since.
     MS-DOS is a single user operating system that runs one
     program at a time and is limited to working with one megabyte
     of memory, 640 kilobytes of which is usable for the
     application program.  Special add-on EMS memory boards
     allow EMS-compliant software to exceed the 1 MB limit.
     Add-ons to DOS, such as Microsoft Windows and DESQview,
     take advantage of EMS and allow the user to have multiple
     applications loaded at once and switch between them.
     Numerous features, including vaguely Unix-like but rather
     broken support for subdirectories, I/O redirection and
     pipelines, were hacked into MS-DOS 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 "/").  The resulting mess became the
     highest-unit-volume operating system in history.  It was
     used on many Intel 16 and 32 bit microprocessors and IBM
     PC compatibles.
     Many of the original DOS functions were calls to BASIC (in
     ROM on the original IBM PC), e.g. Format and Mode.  People
     with non-IBM PCs had to buy MS-Basic (later called
     GWBasic).  Most version of DOS came with some version of
     Also know as PC-DOS or simply DOS, ignoring the fact that
     there were many other OSes with that name, starting in the
     mid-1960s with IBM's first disk operating system for the
     IBM 360.
     [{Jargon File]

Contact=webmaster@dict.org Specification=RFC 2229