Even though Microsoft stopped developing and supporting MS-DOS more than two decades ago, FreeDOS is an open source operating system that allows you to execute MS-DOS programs.
While FreeDOS has been feature complete for years, the developers have kept working on it, and FreeDOS 1.3 was published this weekend.
While there are several ways to run MS-DOS apps on modern hardware using an emulator, FreeDOS is a full 16-bit operating system that can be installed on both old and new computers with XT, 286, and 386 CPUs. This gives a way to run ancient software on current devices as well as a way to preserve old technology usable by allowing it to run an up-to-date, constantly supported open source operating system while still being able to run MS-DOS applications.
That can be useful if you wish to play MS-DOS games on your home computer or if you’re a firm or enterprise that, for example, has been using the same accounting or automation software for the last 30 years.
A basic FreeDOS installation uses only 20MB of disc space, while a full installation with some apps and games takes 275MB.
Following are the changes in the new latest release: –
– Kernel 2043
– FreeCOM 0.85a
– Floppy Edition now uses compression that way it can fit on half the number of disks
– Networking support has returned
– Support for more games and programs is now availabe
– Improvements in the installation process
The FreeDOS website has more information as well as download links. In a recent video from FreeDOS founder Jim Hall, you can see the operating system in action as he walks you through the final release candidate build of FreeDOS 1.3.