You Can Now Download the Original Source Code for MS-DOS for Free

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Microsoft has dusted off the source code for MS-DOS and Word for Windows—some of the most popular and widely used software of the 80s—making it freely available to download from the the Computer History Museum.


The source code for MS DOS 1.1 and 2.0 and Microsoft Word for Windows 1.1a is now entirely free and public for the first time. Roy Levin, from Microsoft Research, reminisces:

In 1980, IBM approached Microsoft to work on a project code-named "Chess." What followed was a significant milestone in the history of the personal computer. Microsoft, at the time, provided the BASIC language interpreter for IBM. However, they had other plans and asked Microsoft to create an operating system. Without their own on hand, Microsoft licensed an operating system from Seattle Computer Products which would become the foundation for PC-DOS and MS-DOS...

Following closely on the heels of MS DOS, Microsoft released the first DOS-based version of Microsoft Word in 1983, which was designed to be used with a mouse. However, it was the 1989 release of Word for Windows that became a blockbuster for the company and within four years it was generating over half the revenue of the worldwide word-processing market. Word for Windows was a remarkable engineering and marketing achievement, and we are happy to provide its source code to the museum.

Back then, Microsoft has less than 100 employees and MS-DOS featured under 300 KB of source code. A lot's changed in a couple of decades. Go download it all now and add it to your collection of archaic OS code. [Microsoft]



I have a number of original MS-DOS games straight from the original 5.25" and 3.5" floppys. I have been using DosBox to play some of them like Commander Keen, JumpMan, and 3D Boxing, but others need windows 3.1 or 95 to play. My windows 3.1 works but my copy of 95 is really difficult to install in the MS-DOS emulator I made using VM VirtualBox. I get some weird sound-card errors and insufficient memory. I also have little knowledge of computer programing. I wish I could just use something like the NES/SNES emulators and just download roms.