MS-DOS::windows    Version::version    Versions::system    Title::systems    Which::released    Hardware::first

End of MS-DOS

As of 2011, MS-DOS is still used in some enterprises to run legacy applications, such as this US Navy food service management system.

With the release of Windows 95 (and continuing in the Windows 9x product line through to Windows ME), an integrated version of MS-DOS was used for bootstrapping, troubleshooting, and backwards-compatibility with old DOS software, particularly games, and no longer released as a standalone product. In Windows 95, the DOS, called MS-DOS 7, can be booted separately, without the Windows GUI; this capability was retained through Windows 98 Second Edition. Windows Me removed the capability to boot its underlying MS-DOS 8.0 alone from a hard disk, but retained the ability to make a DOS boot floppy disk (called an "Emergency Boot Disk") and can be hacked to restore full access to the underlying DOS.

In contrast to the Windows 9x series, the Windows NT-derived operating systems developed alongside the 9x series (Windows NT, 2000, XP and newer) do not contain MS-DOS as part of the operating system, but provide a subset of DOS emulation to run DOS applications and provide DOS-like command prompt windows ("DOS boxes"). Windows XP contains a copy of the Windows ME boot disk, stripped down to bootstrap only. This is accessible only by formatting a floppy as an "MS-DOS startup disk". Files like the driver for the CD-ROM support were deleted from the Windows ME bootdisk and the startup files (AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS) no longer had content. This modified disk was the base for creating the MS-DOS image for Windows XP. Some of the deleted files can be recovered with an undelete tool.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> With Windows Vista the files on the startup disk are dated 18 April 2005 but are otherwise unchanged, including the string "MS-DOS Version 8 © Copyright 1981–1999 Microsoft Corp" inside COMMAND.COM.

The only versions of MS-DOS currently recognized as stand-alone OSs and supported as such by Microsoft are MS-DOS 6.0 and 6.22, both of which remain available for download via their MSDN, volume license, and OEM license partner websites, for customers with valid login credentials. MS-DOS is still used in embedded x86 systems due to its simple architecture and minimal memory and processor requirements, though some current products have switched to the still-maintained open-source alternative FreeDOS.

MS-DOS sections
Intro  History  [[MS-DOS?section={{safesubst:#invoke:anchor|main}}Versions|{{safesubst:#invoke:anchor|main}}Versions]]  Competition  Legal issues  Use of undocumented APIs  End of MS-DOS  Windows command-line interface  Legacy compatibility  Related systems  Physical RAM limit  Physical hard disk drive limit  See also  References  External links  

End of MS-DOS
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