On Mon, Nov 12, 2012 at 11:14 AM, Karen Lewellen
<klewel...@shellworld.net> wrote:
> interesting read...complete with weikipedia's often begging for real sources 
> smiles.
> still it seems the novel 7 is older officially than what we are already
> using.

CP/M-86 eventually evolved into DR-DOS (and even uses similar internal
versioning) with many improvements, which was a big motivating factor
(allegedly) for some features in MS-DOS 5 and 6 (e.g. HILOAD, MEMMAX).
DR-DOS was originally from Digital Research ("DR", no surprise).
DR-DOS 5 was their MS-DOS 3.3 compatible, DR-DOS 6 was MS-DOS 5, and
DR-DOS 7 calls itself compatible with IBM 6 (probably due to
IBMBIO.COM and IBMDOS.COM or whatever, I forget offhand).

Novell apparently wanted to compete with MS-DOS at one time, so they
bought DR, hence the naming of Novell DOS. That was the 7.00 version
with true pre-emptive multitasking. But they didn't keep it up very
long. I think they discontinued it when it was announced that Win95
would include MS-DOS 7 by default. They sold it (or branched it off?)
to Caldera. DR-DOS 7.03 still says "Caldera" on it.

Caldera turned into Lineo (embedded systems??) and eventually sold
(forked?) off to DeviceLogics and DR-DOS, Inc., which is (I think)
where it stands today. I don't think they ever cared as much for DOS
as Linux. I think rumor was that they used DR-DOS profits to fund
their Linux-based businesses.

Anyways, the whole OpenDOS mess was only temporary, hence 1997 saw the
rise and fall of OpenDOS 7.01, the only release (kernel and shell
sources but non-commercial only). Due to too many compilers and
archaic version control, they didn't even release the last Novell
version, so it lacked a few important bugfixes. DR-DOS 7.02 and 7.03
(commercial, closed source) followed (until late 1998 / early 1999)
with quite a few improvements (e.g. bugfixed 32-bit DPMI) thanks to
Matthias Paul and others, but Caldera disbanded them after that, so it
wasn't really worked on anymore (not counting the very spartan
unofficial 7.04 with a few tweaks for certain OEMs). And no, DR-DOS
7.03 doesn't include any FAT32 nor LFN stuff (why, patents??).

I'm probably summarizing this badly, but that's roughly how I
understand it (from far away, of course).

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