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Old 03-25-2014, 01:26 PM   #1
jeremy
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Microsoft makes MS-DOS and Word for Windows source code public


Quote:
Microsoft believes the children are our future, and to prove it, it's teamed up with the Computer History Museum to make source code available for two groundbreaking programs: MS-DOS and Word for Windows. In a blog post that outlined the deal, Roy Levin, managing director of Microsoft Research, said the company granted the museum permission to make the code public for MS DOS 1.1 and 2.0 and Microsoft Word for Windows 1.1a, "... to help future generations of technologists better understand the roots of personal computing." MS DOS, originally code named "Chess," took root in 1980 when IBM asked Microsoft to produce an OS to run on its computers. Word for Windows was released in 1989, and with in four years had captured half of the revenue of the word-processing market, according to Levin.

Both programs marked the beginnings not only of great successes for Microsoft, but also the PC industry as we know it today. The museum's Chairman, Len Shustek, had this to say about the effort: "We think preserving historic source code like these two programs is key to understanding how software has evolved from primitive roots to become a crucial part of our civilization." The move marks an ongoing effort to make landmark software code available to the public; the museum released the source for the 1989 version of Photoshop early last year.
More at Engadget...

--jeremy
 
Old 03-25-2014, 02:18 PM   #2
ReaperX7
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Now if only they would open source WinNT 4.0...
 
Old 03-25-2014, 02:45 PM   #3
descendant_command
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Yes!
Think of the children!
 
Old 03-25-2014, 07:00 PM   #4
jefro
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One might think that DOS was stolen originally.
 
Old 03-26-2014, 03:10 PM   #5
szboardstretcher
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"86-dos/pc-dos/ms-dos" was bought for 25k originally, then repurchased in a different license for 50k.

Then licensed to IBM for x amount, thus making BG a lot of $$ without doing much. Brilliant really.

But the source code for ms-dos has been floating around BBS's and News-servers for decades.

Also, Minix is open-source, and is actually relevant. Seeing as Ms-dos is,.. Oooooooooold and not structurally relevant anymore, IMO. Plus,.. just imagine trying to compile Ms-dos right now this second. The horror you will go through trying to find old compilers etc...

Last edited by szboardstretcher; 03-26-2014 at 03:20 PM.
 
Old 03-26-2014, 03:14 PM   #6
ReaperX7
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That's actually a huge piece of misinformation. 86-DOS was bought by Microsoft from Seattle Computer Products, which was licensed by IBM as PC-DOS, and released by Microsoft themselves as MS-DOS.

The real treasure trove will be the open source licensing of Windows NT 4.0. and if and when it happens it could bring a huge benefit to Open Source projects like ReactOS.

Last edited by ReaperX7; 03-26-2014 at 03:16 PM.
 
Old 03-26-2014, 03:18 PM   #7
szboardstretcher
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I adjusted the dollar amount, sorry.

Am I reading this wrong then? Or...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/86-DOS

Quote:
In later discussions between IBM and Bill Gates, Gates mentioned the existence of 86-DOS and IBM representative Jack Sams told him to get a license for it.Microsoft purchased a non-exclusive license for 86-DOS from Seattle Computer Products[6] in December 1980 for $25,000. In May 1981, it hired Tim Paterson to port the system to the IBM PC,[1] which used the slower and less expensive Intel 8088 processor and had its own specific family of peripherals. IBM watched the developments daily,[1] submitted over 300 change requests before it accepted the product and wrote the user manual for it.
In July 1981, a month before the PC's release, Microsoft purchased all rights to 86-DOS from SCP for $50,000.

Last edited by szboardstretcher; 03-26-2014 at 03:19 PM.
 
Old 03-26-2014, 03:24 PM   #8
ReaperX7
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Yep. In fact Microsoft didn't even have an operating system to present to IBM at all when they originally met. It was all smoke and mirrors, but IBM bought it hook, line, and sinker. It was only after the licensing deal as made with IBM that Gates bought all rights to 86-DOS.

Gates was gambling big time, but in the end it paid off in one of the biggest business deals ever in history.
 
Old 03-26-2014, 05:01 PM   #9
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I saw some posts on +Google today saying the source code is only available under a "research" license; no forking or distribution.
 
Old 03-26-2014, 05:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReaperX7 View Post
Yep. In fact Microsoft didn't even have an operating system to present to IBM at all when they originally met. It was all smoke and mirrors, but IBM bought it hook, line, and sinker. It was only after the licensing deal as made with IBM that Gates bought all rights to 86-DOS.
And I am quite sure that the folks at IBM understood that. (It's called, "marketing.")

I remember a number of the early articles in BYTE Magazine where Microsoft was openly discussing the key innovation of the MS-DOS system: the File Allocation Table, or FAT. This the one thing that clearly set MS-DOS above CP/M and all of the other systems that at the time were mostly following CP/M's clumsy design. Although I don't think any of us anticipated just how far the FAT design could be stretched beyond the floppy-disk design for which it was originally intended, the MS-DOS system was significantly better in this and in several other ways.
 
Old 03-26-2014, 06:01 PM   #11
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I think I'll go puke... for the children indeed!

This is for no other purpose than so that it can be displayed in the kiddie museum, so all the little children can adore and admire the great Bill Gates and aspire to grow up just like him!

This partial relaxation of licensing terms on two versions of 30 year old code, so that it can be viewed in the museum - far from "open source" as we know it - benefits no one but the vanity of Bill Gates...

I wonder what pittance of his ill gotten fortune he had to bestow on the museum to buy this public display of his personal aggrandizement?

Yep, I am going to hurl...

Last edited by astrogeek; 03-26-2014 at 06:04 PM.
 
Old 03-26-2014, 07:48 PM   #12
johnsfine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sundialsvcs View Post
the key innovation of the MS-DOS system: the File Allocation Table, or FAT.
That exact design (without the name FAT) was in use in several mini computer OS's at MIT in the early 70's. Professors and some students considered it an amateur hack compared to "real" mini computer file systems (early Unix etc.), because they thought any correct design needed to scale up well.

In 1973, I liked the design because it was such a good fit to the media size for which it was designed, and when faced with a project for the largest disk drive at MIT (or almost anywhere else at the time) for which that design wasn't practical, I extended that design in roughly the same way Novell extended FAT many years later (not the uglier way MS extended it after that). I always correctly put practice ahead of theory. That project was obsolete for many reasons in just a few years and none of those reasons were in my work. In the 70's the FAT design (extended if necessary) got the job done and lasted as long as the projects it went into.

It is bizarre hearing about that design being an "innovation" a decade later, by which time it was an obsolete hack that had been rightly discarded by its previous users.

But revisionist history always favors the winners, even if they won despite (rather than because of) any technical merits.
 
Old 03-26-2014, 07:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsfine View Post
But revisionist history always favors the winners, even if they won despite (rather than because of) any technical merits.
+1

I too, am a "child" of that period and find the revisionist history of many such things annoying. The true story of how things happened is much more interesting!

Last edited by astrogeek; 03-26-2014 at 07:54 PM.
 
Old 03-27-2014, 07:51 AM   #14
enine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by szboardstretcher View Post
Then licensed to IBM for x amount, thus making BG a lot of $$ without doing much. Brilliant really.

Actually not really brilliant. This was the normal in the mainframe space. $big company$ contracts small company to write some code and then turns around and licenses it on the mainframes they sold. So the buying and licensing ms-dos was exactly the same industry standard model. So it was noting brilliant, creative, innovative, etc it was simply doing the same.
 
Old 03-27-2014, 08:06 AM   #15
szboardstretcher
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1bril·liant adjective \ˈbril-yənt\; very impressive or successful
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/brilliant

Bill gates made millions and millions of dollars on this deal. That is impressive to me. That made him successful. It was a successful venture.

I never said it was creative or innovative, as you wrongly suggest.

What I said is valid.
 
  


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