ScuzzBlog: Diaries October 2021

Entry 5th October 2021: CP/M QDOS PC-DOS and MS-DOS.


There really are not enough hours in the day to fully document
Microsoft's MS-DOS. The whole saga of how Microsoft became the
world's leading computer OS provider is well documented and
litters the internet. So go Google if you want to read more.
The base core timeline is shown below and sets out the beginnings
of the software from the days of CP/M and then QDOS and PC-DOS,
eventually landing at Microsoft. Whilst QDOS is not CP/M there
are some aspects of the software that borrow from the Digital
Research product. Microsoft did not themselves develop MS-DOS
originally but in essence renamed PC-DOS [QDOS] as their own
product. They did eventually rewrite the whole software.

It follows that CP/M has everything and nothing to do with QDOS.
And MS-DOS has everything and nothing to do with CP/M. Interpret
from that what you want but my test is simple... Had CP/M never
existed would IBM have used MS to develop their OS. Who knows ?

Digital Research did not give up the tussle as they released a
stand alone DOS version in direct competition with Microsoft in
the name of Dr Dos. It took Microsoft two goes to counter the
threat having released MS-DOS 5 and 6. By this time Digital had
been purchased by Novell and then sadly Gary Kildall dies.

Microsoft finally cleared the competition and found clear blue
water with the release of Windows 95 which basically incorporated
DOS into its systems. From that point DOS becomes secondary to
the main Windows OS and is finally thrown overboard in 2000 after
ME hit the rocks. Never to be seen again. Or not.

Bill Gates may not have been a software genius but he was a shrewd
clever businessman who knew what the industry needed. He and more
particularly Microsoft knew exactly what to do to expand their
business. In the end they won the day and the rest is history.
For my part I am a Microsoft user and have been using Windows
since it launched 3.1 albeit as a home user only since Win95.

I often reflect on what may have been. I was a CP/M user for a
good eight years before I encountered MS-DOS and Windows 3.1.
I always viewed MS-DOS as a lightweight version and a poor one
at that. It just never had that friendly feel, though by this
time I was keen on the GUI of Windows so DOS was getting less
of a significant issue. Win95 was still steeped in DOS and
I was forever dipping back into the command line antics. But
with 98 I did feel I had broken finally away. I wasn't sad to
see the back of MS-DOS and today I'm real happy that I never
have to use the thing.

MS-DOS History Line.

1974: Gary Kildall first develops CP/M.
1975: Microsoft founded 4th April 1975.
1975: Microsoft BASIC first appears as Altair BASIC.
1977: Control Program for Microcomputers trademark registered.
1980: IBM approach Digital research for new OS.
1980: Microsoft step in to provide IBM OS.
1980: QDOS created by Tim Paterson.
1908: QDOS renamed as 86-DOS August same year.
1981: Microsoft purchase 86-DOS from Seattle Computer Products.
1981: Microsoft rename 86-DOS to MS-DOS and licence to IBM.
1981: IBM re-release MS-DOS as IBM PC DOS.
1981: Digital Research have shipped over 250,000 CP/M licenses.
1981: 16-bit CP/M-86 released.
1982: CP/M-86K for Motorola 68000 released.
1983: Last 8-bit version of CP/M released CP/M Plus.
1983: Microsoft rewrite most of 86-DOS [PC-DOS 2.0] for hard disc.
1983: Microsoft MS-DOS 2.x released.
1983: MSX introduced: MSX-DOS and MSX-BASIC.
1984: Microsoft MS-DOS 3.x released.
1985: Windows 1.0x released.
1987: Windows 2.0x released,
1988: Microsoft MS-DOS 4.x released.
1988: Dr DOS released Digital Research/Novell. OS for the IBM.
1990: Dr DOS 5.0 released to compete with unpopular MS-DOS 4.
1991: Microsoft MS-DOS 5.x released.
1991: Novell purchase Digital Research $880 million.
1991: Dr DOS 6.0 released.
1992: Windows 3.1 released.
1993: Microsoft MS-DOS 6.x released.
* MS-DOS 6.22 is the last stand alone version.
1993: Windows NT released.
1994: Microsoft to stop support for MS-DOS stand alone.
1994: Gary Kildall dies.
1995: Microsoft MS-DOS 7.x for Windows 9x.
* MS-DOS 7.0, 7.1 and 8.0 [ Windows products ]
1995: Windows 95 released.
1998: Windows 98 released.
2000: Windows Me released. Last version of MS-DOS.
2001: Windows end support for MS-DOS.

BILL GATES: Born 25th October 1955.
2000: CEO ends.
2006: Chief software architects until 2006.
2014: Chairman until 2014.
2020: Resigns from the board.


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