Retro anniversary. MS–DOS OS has entered its third decade

On July 27, 2011, one of the oldest operating systems, MS-DOS by Microsoft, turned thirty years old, surpassing all others in popularity.

Many started their computer journey with this operating system, and it was here that Bill Gates began to earn his first millions :) But few know that this OS wasn’t entirely Microsoft’s brainchild.

The history of MS-DOS began in 1980 when Seattle Computer Products (Seattle CP) created the QDOS platform (Quick and Dirty Operating System), designed to service Intel 8086 microprocessors. This influenced the OS’s name, which evolved into 86-DOS.

In December 1980, Microsoft acquired a license for 86-DOS. By the following year, on July 27, the corporation became the official owner of the OS. It was in this year that the operating system received its final name, MS-DOS, and its official birthdate.

Throughout its existence, MS-DOS never deviated from its command-line interface, though it underwent eight major modifications and around two dozen transitional changes. The final full-featured release, version 8.0, was issued in 2000, after which further transformations of the OS ceased.

It’s worth noting that MS-DOS brought considerable profits to Microsoft during its entire existence. It gained particular popularity on x86 platform computers.

By the way, there’s a quite interesting movie, “Pirates of Silicon Valley,” which partly explores the history of this operating system along with Microsoft. As the Goblin says, “I highly recommend it.”