DOS - disk operating system
(1) Acronym for disk operating system. The term DOS can refer to any operating system, but it is most often used as a shorthand for MS-DOS (Microsoft disk operating system). Originally developed by Microsoft for IBM, MS-DOS was the standard operating system for IBM-compatible personal computers.
The initial versions of DOS were very simple and resembled another operating system called CP/M. Subsequent versions have became increasingly sophisticated as they incorporated features of minicomputer operating systems. However, DOS is still a 16-bit operating system and does not support multiple users or multitasking.
For some time, it has been widely acknowledged that DOS is insufficient for modern computer applications. Microsoft Windows helped alleviate some problems, but still, it sat on top of DOS and relied on DOS for many services. Even Windows 95 sat on top of DOS. Newer operating systems, such as Windows NT and OS/2 Warp, do not rely on DOS to the same extent, although they can execute DOS-based programs. It is expected that as these operating systems gain market share, DOS will eventually disappear. In the meantime, Caldera, Inc. markets a version of DOS called DR-OpenDOSthat extends MS-DOS in significant ways.
(2) See DoS attack.
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free weekly newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
Webopedia's student apps roundup will help you to better organize your class schedule and stay on top of assignments and homework. Read More »List of Free Shorten URL Services
A URL shortener is a way to make a long Web address shorter. Try this list of free services. Read More »Top 10 Tech Terms of 2015
The most popular Webopedia definitions of 2015. Read More »
Java is a high-level programming language. This guide describes the basics of Java, providing an overview of syntax, variables, data types and... Read More »Java Basics, Part 2
This second Study Guide describes the basics of Java, providing an overview of operators, modifiers and control Structures. Read More »The 7 Layers of the OSI Model
The Open System Interconnection (OSI) model defines a networking framework to implement protocols in seven layers. Use this handy guide to compare... Read More »