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Evolution, not "revolution"

By paulo.sedrez ·
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Clarification on MS-DOS/Windows lineage...

by paulo.sedrez In reply to Evolution, not "revolutio ...

Only a clarification on the MS-DOS/Windows line: up until Windows Me, including Windows 3/3.1/95/98, and even with the previous Windows 2.03/286/;386, it was indeed a OS with a GUI, in the sense that the underlining MS-DOS was able to work independently. The two main differences from Windows 95 and later was: a) the bundling: you could no longer purchase or install the MS-DOS separately; and b) the overtaking, in which the GUI, once started, would assume the functions of the OS, including device management, file systems, network, etc. and provide a 32 bits excuting environment; you could, for instance, create a boot diskette with MS-DOS 7/7.1/7.2, bundled respectively with Windows 95/98/Me.

The Windows XP, however, does not descent from this line. It comes from the independently developed Windows NT (by itself developed with OS/2 NT technology, but that is another discussion), started with version 3.11 and going to 4/2000/XP/Vista/7 and including the Server versions 4/2000/2003/2008... in which the OS and the GUI where highly integrated. It is fair to say, it was not an OS with a GUI, but rather a GUI with an OS...

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Not quite right, mate

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Clarification on MS-DOS/W ...

First, you can still buy MS-DOS, but not through the usual retail systems as you have to go direct to Microsoft and explain why. The main reason for this is that when they first started selling MS-DOS Microsoft sold a lot of manufacturing companies on using it for the OS of their computer controlled equipment. Since that gear usually has a 30 to 60 year plus life span Microsoft were faced with a **** of a lawsuit if they failed to continue to sell MS-DOS after contracting to support the OS for the life of the gear when they first sold them on using DOS.

Second, a lot of the MS-DOS commands are still there and usable in the underlying code for all versions of Windows up to Windows Vista and I'm told the y still work in Win 7, too.

Third, Win 95/98 and ME were cut back variants of the versions of Win NT released at that time, starting with Win NT 3.5 for Win 95. Win 98SE was the best of the Win 9x as it had more Win NT 5 code in it than the rest. Win NT 5 ended up being sold as Windows 2000.

Fourth, Windows was a 16 bit system until Win 95 which was 32 bit. However, there was an update released for Win 3 that converted it into a 32 bit system - this made a lot of Win 3.11 systems a lot more stable and faster than Win 95 or Win 98.

There's no reason why the GUI has to be fully integrated with the OS. Yes, it makes it easier for a person to install, but so does having it on the same CD with an install routine called once the OS is loaded, the way most of the Linux and Unix installs do things. The big advantage of having the GUI as a non-integrated app is that it allows for easier installation of a personalised or different style GUI. Another is that it allows for a smaller OS kernel with less options for security holes.

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