DOS on Its Death Bed?

DeviceLogics releases what could well be the final version of DR-DOS to hit the market.

DeviceLogics, keeper of the DR-DOS code base, released this week what might be the final upgrade to the 17-year-old DOS operating-system variant.

At the Embedded Systems Conference in San Francisco, DeviceLogics took the wraps off DR-DOS 8.0, the first update to DR-DOS since 1999.

The primary new feature of the 8.0 release is FAT32/large-partition support, which DeviceLogics is targeting at customers with DOS-based embedded applications that are built atop FAT32 platforms.

DeviceLogics also rolled out at the show a DR-DOS-based Linux application called DRLX 1.0, which DeviceLogics is positioning as a migration utility for customers who want to migrate from DOS to Linux.

While Microsofts now-defunct MS-DOS is the probably the best known of the DOS flavors (Microsoft buried MS-DOS inside Windows, as of Windows 95), DR-DOS has had its share of backers through the years.

DR-DOS was launched in 1987 by Digital Research Inc. Novell acquired the product in the early 1990s. Caldera Inc. acquired DR-DOS from Novell in 1996. Shortly thereafter, Caldera sued Microsoft for antitrust violations in the DOS space. Caldera and Microsoft settled their suit before it went to trial in 2000.

Meanwhile, in 1998, the DR-DOS product was spun out to Lineo (one of the Canopy Group companies), which repositioned it primarily as an embedded operating system. And in October 2002, DeviceLogics acquired DR-DOS.


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