MS-DOS 6.22: The Last Version of the Classic Operating System
MS-DOS 6.22 was the final standalone version of Microsoft's Disk Operating System, released in 1994. It was the last version to support the 16-bit x86 architecture and run on IBM PC compatible machines. MS-DOS 6.22 introduced several new features and improvements, such as:
New DRVSPACE compression tool that replaced the previous DoubleSpace utility and allowed users to compress their hard disk drives and floppy disks.
Improved memory management with MEMMAKER, a program that optimized the use of conventional and upper memory.
Enhanced disk utilities such as ScanDisk, Defrag, and DiskCopy.
Built-in antivirus software that scanned for common viruses and malware.
Support for multiple boot configurations and startup menus.
Support for CD-ROM drives and large hard disks with FAT16B file system.
MS-DOS 6.22 was also the last version to include QBasic, a simple programming language and environment that was popular among hobbyists and beginners. MS-DOS 6.22 was succeeded by Windows 95, which integrated MS-DOS as a subsystem and introduced a graphical user interface.
Although MS-DOS 6.22 is no longer supported by Microsoft, it remains a historical artifact of the early days of personal computing. In 2014, Microsoft released the source code of MS-DOS 1.25 and 2.0 on GitHub for reference purposes[^1^]. However, the source code of MS-DOS 6.22 has not been made publicly available by Microsoft, despite some requests from enthusiasts[^2^]. Some unofficial copies of MS-DOS 6.22 can be found online, such as on the Internet Archive[^3^], but their authenticity and legality are uncertain.
MS-DOS 6.22 is still used by some retro-computing enthusiasts who want to experience the classic operating system or run old software and games that are not compatible with modern systems. MS-DOS 6.22 can be emulated on various platforms using software such as DOSBox or VirtualBox.
MS-DOS 6.22 was also the basis for several other operating systems that were derived from or compatible with it, such as:
DR-DOS, a clone of MS-DOS developed by Digital Research that competed with Microsoft in the 1980s and 1990s.
FreeDOS, an open source project that aims to create a free and compatible alternative to MS-DOS.
PC DOS, a version of MS-DOS that was licensed to IBM and customized for their hardware.
PTS-DOS, a Russian variant of MS-DOS that added support for Cyrillic characters and other features.
MS-DOS 6.22 was also influential in the development of other operating systems that used some of its concepts or code, such as:
Linux, a Unix-like operating system that was initially created as a hobby project by Linus Torvalds on a PC running MS-DOS.
ReactOS, an open source project that aims to create a binary-compatible operating system with Windows NT.
DOSBox-X, a fork of DOSBox that aims to emulate not only MS-DOS but also other DOS variants and environments.
MS-DOS 6.22 is still remembered as one of the most successful and influential operating systems in the history of computing. It paved the way for the widespread adoption of personal computers and the emergence of new technologies and applications. It also inspired many programmers and enthusiasts who learned how to use and create software for it. MS-DOS 6.22 is a testament to the power and simplicity of the command-line interface and the legacy of the DOS family. 248dff8e21