Microsoft Announce MS-DOS and Word Source Code Public Release.

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Microsoft Announce MS-DOS and Word Source Code Public Release.

The Computer History Museum has decided to announce today that it has gained the permission of Microsoft, to make two historical programs original source codes available. The MS-DOs, the 1982 “Disk Operating System for IBM Desktop computers. and Word for Windows, the 1990 windows-based version of the word processor software.

IBM and Microsoft.

IBM reached towards outside sources for the company’s plentiful hardware and software components for their 1981 computer. Though most merchant were kept in the dark about the project, that was codenamed “chess”, IBM managed to develop an interesting relation ship with their Boca Raton-based team and Microsoft, a small company based in Seattle at the time.

Microsoft was a provider for the BASIC language interpreter, had agreed to supply its own operating system. Without their own operatying system created in place, they licensed the product to a nearby Seattle Computer Products and  worked real close with IBM to make any changes they had wanted. It was shipped as “PC-DOS” for IMB and “MS-DOS” for other PC manufacturers. Today the museum has announced that it will be releasing the source code for MS-DOS version 1.1 from 1982 and version of 2.0 from 1983

“Version 1.1 fits an entire operating system – limited as it was – into only 12K bytes of memory, which is tiny compared to today’s software,” said Len Shustek, Museum Chairman.

Word Processing.

The Word version of Microsofts DOS had first been released back in 1983, was not much of a success against the more dominant word processor of that era, WordPefect. The 1989 release of Word for Windows had managed to change all that, with only four years after its release it managed to generate over half the worldwide word processing market revenue. It was truly an amazing thing what the engineering and marking had managed to achieve. Today the museum will also be unveiling the technical mystery by release the source code of version 1.1a of Word for Windows.

“MS-DOS and Word for Windows built the foundation for Microsoft’s success in the technology industry,” said Roy Levin, distinguished engineer and managing director, Microsoft Research. “By contributing these source codes to the Computer History Museum archives, Microsoft is making these historic systems from the early era of personal computing available to the community for historical and technical scholarship.”

“We think preserving historic source code like these two programs is key to understanding how software has evolved from primitive roots to become a crucial part of our civilization,” says Shustek.

For a blog posting surrounding the release of this source code, please visit: Microsoft DOS and MS Word for Windows.

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