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Essential Guide to Computing: The Story of Information Technology, The by E. Garrison Walters

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Microsoft's MS-DOS

MS-DOS, which was built from a clone of CP/M (see sidebar), is classified as a single-user, single-tasking OS. This means that it can handle only one user and one task (program) at a time. It is also known as a 16-bit OS, meaning that it can employ instructions and data that are 16 bits wide. Finally, DOS (as MS-DOS is frequently abbreviated) is a single-platform OS, it runs only on the Intel family of microprocessors (including clones).

An Overview of MS-DOS

Introduced in 1981, Microsoft's first operating system, called Microsoft Disk Operating System (MS-DOS, or just DOS), quickly became the standard single-user operating system for the IBM (and compatible) brand of personal computers. Based on IBM's own PC-DOS, developed ...

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