In this age of touchscreen and voice command interfaces, it's sometimes hard to believe that less than 40 years ago, we just used keyboards to interact with our personal computers. Today, Microsoft gave us a helpful reminder of that fact by announcing it is making the original source code for MS DOS 1.1 and 2.0 and Word for Windows 1.1a to the public for the first time.
In a blog post, Microsoft says it worked with the Computer History Museum on this project. Roy Levin, the distinguished engineer and managing director for Microsoft Research, stated, "Thanks to the Computer History Museum, these important pieces of source code will be preserved and made available to the community for historical and technical scholarship." The source code can be found on the group's website for MS DOS 1.1 and 2.0 and for Word for Windows 1.1a. People who choose to download the code must agree to use it for non-commercial purposes; the code may also not be posted anywhere else on the Internet.
In July 1981, Microsoft made a deal with Seattle Computer Products to buy the full rights to its QDOS (Quick and Dirty Operating System) for $50,000. The OS was renamed MS DOS and was installed on all IBM PCs soon afterward. Microsoft retain the rights to sell MS DOS to other PC companies. That was the start of its rise that lead to its OS domination of the PC market.
Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft