A friend of mine (older) who has been coding/in the field of computer sciences mentioned DOS to me and said it was a super-old coding language before the internet…anyone know exactly what it is?

I’ve also heard it mentioned once or twice.


It wasn’t a coding language - it was the base operating systems used on PCs for years, and was the shell MS Windows ran on top of until Windows Vista(I think), though a pseudo DOS exists - if you run and version of windows, what you see on the command prompt is what DOS is/was.

The wikipedia page is pretty complete on this subject.

DOS stands for Disk Operating System and was modeled after CP/M (Control Program for Microprocessors) circa the 1970’s. DOS was created by Microsoft specifically for the original IPM PC and is a non-graphical operating system. Until the late 1970’s there were no graphical operating systems unless you were in some hi-tech government environment.

Some popular non-graphical operating systems of the 60’s and 70’s were from DEC, such as OS-8, RT-11, RSX-11, VMS. Other computer manufacturer’s had their own OS. If you compared DOS to OS/8 you’d be surprised at the many similarities, even though OS/8 was for a 12-bit CPU from the early 1960’s.

The versions of windows to run on top of DOS (or which included DOS with them) were Windows 1, 2, 3, 3.1, 95, 98, 98SE, and ME. Microsoft purchased an operating system called QDOS for $50,000 and MS-DOS 1 was a quick rewrite of that.

The versions of Windows that were a completely separate operating system in themselves were/are MS-OS/2v1, Windows NT 3.1, Windows NT4, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7. Microsoft developed this operating system themselves entirely from scratch, the first version was released while they were still in partnership with IBM and so IBM retained the rights to develop further versions based on MS-OS/2v1 which they called OS/2 and later icommstation while Microsoft changed the name of their second version to Windows NT 3.1 to try to cash in on the success that DOS/Windows 3.1 was having.

There was another operating system called DOS that runs on IBM mainframe computers. After Microsoft started using that name for their operating system, IBM changed the name of the mainframe operating system to VSE. This operating system dates back to the 1950s (I think) and is still in use today (admittedly with lots of changes along the way).

DOS was cool. At least to me. When I was running Windows 3.1 I had to boot to DOS if I wanted to play Doom. Hahaha.