Friday, April 10, 2009

Multitasking in DOS?

People sometimes ask me what I'd love to see in a future version of DOS. I would like to see some level of running multiple applications at once. The difficulty will be maintaining compatibility with older DOS applications; DOS was not originally designed to support more than one active application (excluding TSRs.)

True multitasking would be ideal, but I'd be happy if we supported the simpler "task switching" - this would be a huge leap forward for FreeDOS. MS-DOS5's DOSSHELL supported hotkey "task switching" and a welcome addition. But we need this at the kernel level to be really powerful.

But so far, I've only mentioned incremental changes to the FreeDOS paradigm. Let's think transformatively: throw off the chains of 8088 backwards compatibility, and look to the modern systems!

What would you change in a "next generation" version of FreeDOS to make it stand out?

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