33 years ago, IBM asked Microsoft for an operating system to power its line of IBM PCs, and Microsoft delivered with MS-DOS. Today, 14 years following its discontinuation, Microsoft has brought the OS back from the dead, with rumors circulating that IBM has requested the OS to run on its first smartphone device.
Microsoft has released MS-DOS Mobile to the Windows Phone Store, so you can try it out for yourself. Considering the way Microsoft has transformed itself into a feedback-driven company, this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
The functioning OS allows you to enter in commands just as you would have before. Commands like CD to change directory, DIR to display contents of a folder, EDIT, PATH, VER and more all work like a charm. It’s also good to see that Microsoft has included the DATE command from the get-go, which is always useful.
With MS-DOS Mobile, you can easily launch apps like the camera, contacts, maps, calendar, and more. Or if you chose, you can launch a stripped down version of Windows 3.1, which is great for those of you who prefer a GUI over the classic command-line interface.
It’s important to note that Microsoft has built in a failsafe to prevent users from doing some serious damage to their devices. So using the FORMAT command for example to try to erase the phones’ C:\ drive will cause Cortana to interrupt the process. We expect the failsafe to be removed when the app exits its public testing phase, which may happen tomorrow for all we know.
If you are new to MS-DOS, we encourage you to use the HELP command to get a full list of commands that MS-DOS Mobile currently supports. Despite its limitations, the app is a wonderful DOSe of nostalgia I’m sure many of us will come to appreciate, and it looks absolutely gorgeous, especially on a ClearBlack display. You can download MS-DOS Mobile now over at the download link below.
Thanks Johnny for the tip!