Microsoft finally releases MS-DOS source code after 30 years

Microsoft, in conjunction with the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley, has released the source code for MS-DOS 1.1, MS-DOS 2.0, and Word for Windows 1.1a. These programs are probably the three most important releases in the history of Microsoft: MS-DOS would create and secure Microsoft’s monopoly of the PC market for more than 20 years, and the massive success of Word for Windows would go on to cultivate Microsoft’s Office suite, which has generated hundreds of billions of dollars for the company.

Microsoft just released the source code of one of its most important computer operating systems. The catch is that the software is over 30 years old. Yesterday, with permission from Microsoft, Silicon Valley’s Computer History Museum published the source code for MS-DOS, the text-based operating system that ran so many personal computers in the ’80s and turned Microsoft into one of the industry’s dominant software companies. For computer geeks, the move can provide a bit of fun — a glimpse into how software was built in the past — and it provides a nice metaphor for a Microsoft that’s evolving with the times. Microsoft was once vehemently opposed to open source software, believing that it would cut into its core business, but in a modern world where open source is so very important, the company is changing its tune.

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