MS-DOS is an old piece of work, a long line of operating systems dating back to the early ’80s. First a stand-alone operating system, it would later work as a base for Windows, and starting with Windows 95, it became integrated with Windows and was no longer developed as a stand-alone operating system. To fill the gap the end of MS-DOS left behind, the FreeDOS project was started. Today, FreeDOS turned 15.
When Microsoft announced it would move away from MS-DOS as a stand-alone operating system, Jim Hall figured it would be a good idea to start an open source project to re-implement MS-DOS so that it would continue to exist. He announced the project on June 28 1994 as PD-DOS, later renamed to Free-DOS, which even later turned into FreeDOS. FreeDOS is GPL software.
FreeDOS is actually more successful than many people realise. It’s used by businesses, gamers, and it’s even sold pre-installed on laptops and desktops by companies like Dell and HP. There was also a GNU/DOS distribution, but this one got discontinued in 2006.
Even though MS-DOS 6.0 and 6.22 are still available through MSDN, volume licenses, and OEM deals (it’s used in embedded systems for its simplicity) FreeDOS is obviously a very good alternative for those of us who don’t have MSDN accounts or enough money for volume license deals. Happy 15th, FreeDOS!
It’s a nice age, so happy birthday. We should only remember that they’ve spent a lot of time (years) developing this product. And they succeeded. As I remember, it was almost sure some year ago, that the project could be abandoned. But it was not. And that’s great.
I’m using FreeDOS for games on my older PCs. It works very good. To be honest, it’s also a very good replacement not only for older PCs, but also for some dedicated industrial systems, on which we cannot (or maybe rather don’t want) use MS-DOS.
But FreeDOS is rather a hobby operating system for me today. I wonder if someone is using it in his daily work?
Anyway, 15 is… a good result for such project! Congrats to the Father of FreeDOS!!!