Today, July 27, 2011, marks the 30th birthday of MS-DOS. It was in 1981 when Microsoft purchased the rights for QDOS for $25,000. And it was the IBM/Microsoft partnership in 1981 that led to the release of MS-DOS 1.24 in the fall of that year. MS-DOS went on to become the standard operating system for the IBM PC (personal computer).
It is quite a revelation to think how far computers, and the programming languages that we use, have come in 3 decades. Can you even imagine purchasing the rights to an operating system for $25,000. It’s estimated that Apple is worth $300 billion. Yes the is billion with a b. Granted, today’s computer companies (i.e. Apple, Microsoft, Google, Intel) do more than just operating systems, but one thing is for sure – none of them would part ways with single line of their technology for a $25K price tag.
What the evolution of QDOS to MS-DOS did create is a personal computer that was usable to everyone. While I am not overly brand loyal when it comes to technology, I can appreciate the path IBM and Microsoft carved for personal computing.
Here is a link to a more in depth synopsis on the life of MS-DOS.
By the way, do you remember those 5 1/4 floppy discs? How many of those would it take to boot Windows?