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Erik
September 28th, 2010, 07:28 AM
Category:Software
MS-DOS or the MicroSoft Disk Operating System is a series of Operating Systems produced by Microsoft Corporation. MS-DOS was the initial product which was known for launching Microsoft to their current economic position. MS-DOS was the Operating System licensed with PC compatible computers, while the versions licensed by IBM with their PC line was named PC-DOS.
200px|thumb|top|MS-DOS 4.0 Running under [[Virtual PC]]

Comment: Actually MS DOS stands for Mighty Simple Disk Operating System, a product of the Seattle Computer Company. Bill Gates bought the rights so he could pitch an x86 operating system to IBM Boca Raton.

Beerhunter
July 21st, 2015, 09:43 AM
Comment: Actually MS DOS stands for Mighty Simple Disk Operating System, a product of the Seattle Computer Company. .
Where on earth did you get that from?

smp
July 21st, 2015, 10:12 AM
Comment: Actually MS DOS stands for Mighty Simple Disk Operating System, a product of the Seattle Computer Company. Bill Gates bought the rights so he could pitch an x86 operating system to IBM Boca Raton.

I thought that Seattle Computer Products (SCP) initially called their product QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System) and then later 86-DOS.

smp

Chuck(G)
July 21st, 2015, 10:20 AM
Basically, a "port" of CP/M 2.2 to the x86 world. Nothing at all like CP/M-86. It made sense from a business standpoint--you could convert most of your x80 assembly to 8086 automatically (even Intel had a product that ran on the MDS) and have a useful product in short order. Some early products (e.g. WordStar) did just that. And CP/M-80 had the lion's share of the base of personal computer application
software at the time.

DOS 1.x was a "flat" file system, just like CP/M (I don't think it implemented user areas), so it being FAT rather than CP/M style didn't bother most software applications.

SomeGuy
July 21st, 2015, 12:48 PM
In public media anyway, the term "MS-DOS" didn't seem to appear until shortly AFTER the release of IBM PC-DOS 1.0, when Microsoft decided it would license versions to other third party OEMs.

Agent Orange
July 21st, 2015, 02:38 PM
I thought that Seattle Computer Products (SCP) initially called their product QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System) and then later 86-DOS.

smp

Quick DOS was a XTree type DOS file handler that I use(d) from Gazelle, which was the same outfit that marketed Back-It. It was commonly referred to as QDOS II or QDOS 3. Early 90's on those two.

smp
July 21st, 2015, 02:51 PM
Quick DOS was a XTree type DOS file handler that I use(d) from Gazelle, which was the same outfit that marketed Back-It. It was commonly referred to as QDOS II or QDOS 3. Early 90's on those two.

Yes, and that's the difference. The Seattle Computer Products QDOS was from the late 70's. By the 90's, it had been gone a long time.

smp

KC9UDX
July 21st, 2015, 02:51 PM
It's only been 5 years, so...


MS-DOS was the initial product which was known for launching Microsoft to their current economic position.

Wouldn't that have been MS BASIC? Or, if "current position" eliminates that, then, surely Windows 95 or XP.

griffk
July 21st, 2015, 03:14 PM
It's only been 5 years, so...



Wouldn't that have been MS BASIC? Or, if "current position" eliminates that, then, surely Windows 95 or XP.

Well, you can look at it several ways, but MS-DOS would have to be the product that "launched" MS into the big-boys club...
It provided them with the capital to start Windows dev, along with the business division's products.

95 & XP came after MS was already the leader in the SW biz. If you want a newer operating system to hang the laurel on, it would have to be Windows 3.1, which took off like a rocket!

gwk

krebizfan
July 21st, 2015, 05:51 PM
The licensing of MS-DOS took a few years to take hold by which time MS applications division was well established. MS BASIC provided with the IBM PC was what allowed MS to expand like crazy. In the longer term, MS-DOS was a veritable cash generator which is surprising considering how everyone involved hoped someone else would take the losses expected in providing an 808x operating system.

griffk
July 21st, 2015, 06:59 PM
The licensing of MS-DOS took a few years to take hold by which time MS applications division was well established. MS BASIC provided with the IBM PC was what allowed MS to expand like crazy. In the longer term, MS-DOS was a veritable cash generator which is surprising considering how everyone involved hoped someone else would take the losses expected in providing an 808x operating system.

I think maybe you've got your timeline a little off... (From MS/Inventors.com):



June 25, 1981 Microsoft incorporates
August 12, 1981 IBM (http://inventors.about.com/od/computersandinternet/a/Ibm-History.htm) introduces its personal computer (http://inventors.about.com/od/computersandinternet/a/Ibm-Pc.htm) with Microsoft's 16-bit operating system, MS-DOS 1.0 (http://inventors.about.com/od/computersoftware/a/Putting-Microsoft-On-The-Map.htm)
November, 1983 Microsoft Windows (http://inventors.about.com/od/mstartinventions/a/Windows.htm) announced
Novenber, 1985 Microsoft Windows (http://inventors.about.com/od/mstartinventions/a/Windows.htm) version 1.0 released



February 26, 1986 Microsoft moves to corporate campus in Redmond, Washington
March 13, 1986 Microsoft stock goes public
April, 1987 Microsoft Windows (http://inventors.about.com/od/mstartinventions/a/Windows.htm) version 2.0 released
August 1, 1989 Microsoft introduces earliest version of Office suite of productivity applications ******(a while after MSDOS, no?)*******
May 22, 1990 Microsoft launches Windows 3.0 (http://inventors.about.com/od/mstartinventions/a/Windows.htm)


The languages products, other than BASIC, were a loss leader until Visual Studio.

gwk

krebizfan
July 21st, 2015, 07:28 PM
May 1981 was when MS hired Charles Simonyi. Multiplan was released about a year later; Word would be Oct 1983. Windows was underway by then as well. I am not sure when the first MS-DOS licensee was; Columbia Data Products was fairly early and would have brought in revenue in mid-1982. Sales of non-IBM MS-DOS equipped systems didn't overtake IBM PC until about 1986. Can't spend the license revenue before the licenses started selling.

Timeline from http://www.memecentral.com/mylife.htm

griffk
July 21st, 2015, 08:32 PM
May 1981 was when MS hired Charles Simonyi. Multiplan was released about a year later; Word would be Oct 1983. Windows was underway by then as well. I am not sure when the first MS-DOS licensee was; Columbia Data Products was fairly early and would have brought in revenue in mid-1982. Sales of non-IBM MS-DOS equipped systems didn't overtake IBM PC until about 1986. Can't spend the license revenue before the licenses started selling.

Timeline from http://www.memecentral.com/mylife.htm

Your point taken.

My point was that until Office was released and adopted, MS really didn't make much on applications. WordStar, and then WordPerfect, and Lotus 1-2-3 dominated the PC scene until the late 80's--all the time MS was developing and honing for the takeover; but certainly not "raking it in" on the office apps...

gwk

Chuck(G)
July 21st, 2015, 09:41 PM
Well, to be honest, I don't think anyone took Word or Multiplan very seriously until the advent of the Windows GUI. Before that Lotus 1-2-3 reigned supreme in spreadsheets and probably WordPerfect in PC wapros, l although there were plenty of also-rans). Novell in networks, definitely.

krebizfan
July 21st, 2015, 10:33 PM
MS Word for DOS quickly moved into being the second place word processor, basically the choice for anyone that didn't like WordPerfect's interface. WordPerfect still had the advantages of being to market earlier, remaining quite fast, and that wonderful help line.

Multiplan was relentlessly mediocre: slow, lacking in features and not able to match Lotus's impressive add-on support.

MS did get a bit of notice for their Mac software. Mac Word was fast, easy and full of features. Excel was amazing. It was clear that once MS could bring that over to the wider PC market they would have some winners. Wasn't clear that Lotus and WordPerfect and Novell and Borland would all make a slew of blunders transforming MS from a relatively large software company surrounded by equal competitors into what they were 10+ years ago.

Moondog
July 22nd, 2015, 12:16 PM
Wordperfect was for awhile the preferred word processor for some government agencies, so if you did any business directly with a governmental agency, it was in your best interest to use the same software to assure they were receiving it in a form they could read. When I was doing IT work in nuclear power generation, several procedure writers kept using WP5.1 up until 10 or so years ago because of older forms and macros created with it.

griffk
July 22nd, 2015, 01:29 PM
Wordperfect was for awhile the preferred word processor for some government agencies, so if you did any business directly with a governmental agency, it was in your best interest to use the same software to assure they were receiving it in a form they could read. When I was doing IT work in nuclear power generation, several procedure writers kept using WP5.1 up until 10 or so years ago because of older forms and macros created with it.

Yeah, WP was THE word processor at one time. I don't know EXACTLY how much market share they had, but it has to have been 80+ % by the late 80's.

Chuck(G) is right - Almost nobody took Multiplan seriously, at any time (vs Lotus 1-2-3), and Word wasn't terribly popular at all, in comparison to WP, until Win 3.1.

Microsoft's office applications only took off as a leader after Office was released and the Windows GUI was mature enough to be usable and stable. Before that, they were also-ran's, and MS made most of their $$ from OS licensing.

gwk

krebizfan
July 22nd, 2015, 03:26 PM
According to https://www.utdallas.edu/~liebowit/book/wordprocessor/word.html, WordPerfect peaked at just under 50% of the market in 1990. Pete Petersen in Almost Perfect gives WordPerfect a 30% share in 1987 compared to 16% WordStar, IBM 13%, and MS with 11%.

It took the development of email which could take attachments large enough to be formatted text to push groups of companies and outside writers to standardize on the same word processor. Before then, each company could be completely happy having its own unique stack of applications.

griffk
July 22nd, 2015, 04:03 PM
MS Word for DOS quickly moved into being the second place word processor.

According to https://www.utdallas.edu/~liebowit/book/wordprocessor/word.html, WordPerfect peaked at just under 50% of the market in 1990. Pete Petersen in Almost Perfect gives WordPerfect a 30% share in 1987 compared to 16% WordStar, IBM 13%, and MS with 11%.

So even though I was off on WP by itself, the discussion was about MS Word, and if they only had 11%, my point is made. All others (with WP being the major one, had 89% of the market!)

Doesn't sound like Word was in second place to me...

gwk

Agent Orange
July 22nd, 2015, 04:48 PM
MS Word for DOS quickly moved into being the second place word processor, basically the choice for anyone that didn't like WordPerfect's interface.

What's not to like with WP? If you were an incidental hack typist, like me for example, 'reveal codes' possibly could save you from some overtime.

Chuck(G)
July 22nd, 2015, 05:12 PM
I still have an unopened box of WS 7 for DOS. Word processing is strange--WYSIWYL (what you see is what you like). Back in the CP/M days, I used WordStar a lot, starting with 0.90. And there were some very good word processors for CP/M--say, Spellbinder or Memowrite. But most of them were just fancy typewriter replacements. In particular, it took awhile for Wordstar to be able to handle proportional spacing (I have an old patch product that could almost do it right with WS 3.30).

Then the "document composing" software came by and gave everyone a re-think. You had PageMaker (which was one reason that pubs people bought Macs) and Interleaf (a good reason for buying a Sun Workstation). Very complex, but the result was to die for.

Word for Windows was pretty good, but I quit updating mine in 2000. Other packages such as AbiWord were just as good--and were free--and didn't carry the burden of registering each installation.

My primary platform today is Ubuntu x64 and it works fine. For programs that require Windows, there are solutions that work just fine. The popular base is mobile, not desktop--it's a different world..

griffk
July 22nd, 2015, 05:56 PM
What's not to like with WP? If you were an incidental hack typist, like me for example, 'reveal codes' possibly could save you from some overtime.

You are right!

In fact, when I first used Word, I so missed "Reveal Codes" that I almost freaked out & gave up on Word (which is basically what I use now, and have since I wrote an 800+ pg book with Word in '96).

But at first use, Word was frustrating in it's hidden formatting, and I started out by hating it for reformatting things on me, with no clear way out!

Amazing what the human brain can get used to, and actually like, in the end!

gwk

griffk
July 22nd, 2015, 06:07 PM
I used WordStar a lot, starting with 0.90. Word for Windows was pretty good, but I quit updating mine in 2000. Other packages such as AbiWord were just as good--and were free--and didn't carry the burden of registering each installation.

AbiWord is great-I'm constantly amazed by the free offerings these days. I am beginning to use AbiWord & Libre Office, on my Linux box, and Windows 7 box, respectively. I personally can't stand this "move to the cloud" on MS Office (and even the foot dipping by all of the others, trying to compete-needlessly).

Both of the freebies work great, and do more than is needed by almost any writer.

Oh, and by the way -- So true -- It IS a different world...

gwk

Tor
July 23rd, 2015, 12:55 AM
LaTeX. Works everywhere. Beautiful results. Use whatever text editor you're the most productive with. Concentrate on content, not fiddling with the layout issues all the time. The best thing I ever did for documentation was to switch over from "wysiwyg" to LaTeX.

Chuck(G)
July 23rd, 2015, 08:26 AM
Heh, I remember doing a lot of documentation with Unix troff. You can produce some nice-looking stuff, but back in the day, it took many iterations (read "paper") to get things just right. LaTeX may be wonderful for original material, but most often, I have to work with something that originated with another party, most likely in Word.

cheesypig
August 23rd, 2015, 03:15 PM
IBM and Microsoft made a deal so that they can put Microsofts MS DOS on their computers in Boca Raton.

And coincidentally I was born in Boca Raton, FL....

Stone
August 23rd, 2015, 04:39 PM
IBM and Microsoft made a deal so that they can put Microsofts MS DOS on their computers in Boca Raton.

And coincidentally I was born in Boca Raton, FL....So, basically you're telling us that you are the result of a failed IBM/Microsoft deal???

griffk
August 24th, 2015, 01:25 AM
So, basically you're telling us that you are the result of a failed IBM/Microsoft deal???

And WHO would name their city "Rat Mouth" in the first place???:twisted::twisted:

gwk

Scali
August 24th, 2015, 01:48 AM
In public media anyway, the term "MS-DOS" didn't seem to appear until shortly AFTER the release of IBM PC-DOS 1.0, when Microsoft decided it would license versions to other third party OEMs.

I think Microsoft decided that before they made the deal with IBM, otherwise they wouldn't have given IBM a non-exclusive OEM-license in the first place (pretty sure IBM would have wanted an exclusive license, or even buy the whole product).
I'm not sure if Microsoft knew about IBM PC clones beforehand, but at least Microsoft seemed to be aiming for a CP/M-like situation where multiple 8088/8086-based systems could run (a port of) the same OS.

Scali
August 24th, 2015, 01:51 AM
MS BASIC provided with the IBM PC was what allowed MS to expand like crazy.

I think it's more about MS BASIC powering virtually every other microcomputer system as well, in the late 70s/early 80s, making MS BASIC more widespread than DOS initially, which was limited to x86-based computers.

Scali
August 24th, 2015, 01:57 AM
Microsoft's office applications only took off as a leader after Office was released and the Windows GUI was mature enough to be usable and stable. Before that, they were also-ran's, and MS made most of their $$ from OS licensing.

Yes, I think that is down to two factors:
1) MS made sure that it was easy to migrate to Office, by having good import/export functionality for other documents, and even being able to use the keyboard mappings of other software.
2) The other players severely dropped the ball when they had to move from DOS to Windows. Lotus 1-2-3 and WordPerfect for Windows were very late to market, and quite poor products compared to the 'slick' MS Office.

krebizfan
August 24th, 2015, 04:22 AM
I think Microsoft decided that before they made the deal with IBM, otherwise they wouldn't have given IBM a non-exclusive OEM-license in the first place (pretty sure IBM would have wanted an exclusive license, or even buy the whole product).
I'm not sure if Microsoft knew about IBM PC clones beforehand, but at least Microsoft seemed to be aiming for a CP/M-like situation where multiple 8088/8086-based systems could run (a port of) the same OS.

Most of the versions of the DOS negotiations indicate that MS did not want to be the supplier of the low end OS. They sent IBM towards DRI and then tried to get IBM to buy SCP's OS directly. MS buying an OS which is licensed out to various customers seems to have been a last resort to save the BASIC contract while keeping MS from losing too much money on the deal.

Scali
August 24th, 2015, 05:30 AM
Most of the versions of the DOS negotiations indicate that MS did not want to be the supplier of the low end OS. They sent IBM towards DRI and then tried to get IBM to buy SCP's OS directly.

Is that so?
Because the only version of that story I know is that IBM's first choice was DRI, but because those negotiations fell through for some vague reasons (something about signing an NDA), IBM went to Microsoft instead, who sold them QDOS before they technically bought the rights from SCP yet. Then they bought QDOS and hired Tim Paterson without telling them that IBM was their big client, so they got QDOS for a bargain (SCP later sued MS because they concealed that fact, which MS settled for a million dollars, so that part is probably true. Given the massive success of MS-DOS, it's still a great deal, even though it is about 200 times more than they initially paid :)).

krebizfan
August 24th, 2015, 05:57 AM
Jack Sams (formerly of IBM) tells various versions of the story of how MS offered IBM the chance to buy QDOS outright and IBM declined the offer. Since Jack Sams was included in the IBM team, his account has a good chance of being accurate.

Note: MS did not get QDOS for a song. MS paid SCP about the same amount that DRI was charging for CP/M. Everybody got surprised as the IBM starting selling many millions of units a year instead of the expected success of a mere 250,000.

Scali
August 24th, 2015, 06:13 AM
Jack Sams (formerly of IBM) tells various versions of the story of how MS offered IBM the chance to buy QDOS outright and IBM declined the offer.

Well, that is true. 'Offered the chance' is not to be taken literally afaik. Microsoft simply pointed IBM to SCP and their QDOS (perhaps it started out as some informal thing? IBM was already working with MS for BASIC, perhaps they just asked: "Do you know of any OSes we could use for our PC?". MS was not in the OS-business at that point). IBM *could* have bought SCP themselves, but decided to let Microsoft buy them.
Why exactly? Who's to know? Perhaps because IBM figured that a small player like MS could get a much better deal than IBM approaching QDOS directly. So perhaps IBM was in on the whole deal/strategy here. Perhaps even the architect of this scheme.


Note: MS did not get QDOS for a song. MS paid SCP about the same amount that DRI was charging for CP/M. Everybody got surprised as the IBM starting selling many millions of units a year instead of the expected success of a mere 250,000.

They did.
The story goes that MS first got a non-exclusive license for $25.000 to port QDOS to the IBM PC. Then they bought all the rights for $50.000, so $75.000 total.
Given that IBM proposed $250.000 to DRI for CP/M, this is indeed 'a song' in comparison, even if we don't include actual sales figures.
And DRI turned them down because they wanted a royalty-based scheme instead, which would have brought in even more money based on actual sales. So it is not 'about the same amount', it's only a fraction of what DRI was charging for CP/M.

Edit: An interesting quote here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_PC_DOS

"The reasons were internal. We had a terrible problem being sued by people claiming we had stolen their stuff. It could be horribly expensive for us to have our programmers look at code that belonged to someone else because they would then come back and say we stole it and made all this money. We had lost a series of suits on this, and so we didn't want to have a product which was clearly someone else's product worked on by IBM people. We went to Microsoft on the proposition that we wanted this to be their product."

That may be a reason for IBM to let MS own DOS. Aside from the time pressure mentioned earlier, which precluded IBM developing something in-house.

krebizfan
August 24th, 2015, 06:48 AM
That is a different account than I have read elsewhere. http://www.nytimes.com/1981/09/15/business/digital-resources-driven-by-success-into-major-changes.html points that DRI's 1980 and before pricing was a $50,000 one time fee. Any $250,000 figure had to include development.

So MS gave a very good deal to SCP for an OS that was still expected to be a placeholder until DRI got its act together.

Scali
August 24th, 2015, 07:03 AM
Any $250,000 figure had to include development.

That is what IBM offered (not what DRI demanded) because DRI was reluctant to sell to IBM, who they saw as 'the enemy', DRI being a microcomputer company, IBM being 'big iron'.
The fact that DRI sold CP/M for less to other customers doesn't enter this story. They would have charged IBM much more, because IBM is just a much bigger player.
Likewise, had SCP known that IBM was interested in QDOS, they would have charged a lot more as well (hence the lawsuit).

Chuck(G)
August 24th, 2015, 07:26 AM
Likely, the IBM guys were taken aback by the reception they received from Dorothy Kildall... :)

Caluser2000
August 24th, 2015, 11:31 AM
Of course when the "IBM PC" was released IBM offered either Dos or DRIs product to be shipped for use with the systems. Of course there was a significant price difference between the two.

griffk
August 24th, 2015, 03:21 PM
Likely, the IBM guys were taken aback by the reception they received from Dorothy Kildall... :)

Likely, the IBM guys were just being "IBM Guys", and intimidated the Sh** out of Gary & Dorothy. I knew them both and they were great, easy going people, but not "top-notch" cutthroat business man/woman...

gwk

SiriusHardware
December 7th, 2015, 03:48 PM
A thought: (Not mine, I first heard it countless years ago...)

...How come DOS never says 'Excellent command or filename'....?