A yearly classic! :)
Well, I'm late, but by that time I'm sure that the question would
eventually arise again. I give my 2 c

I have been giving a thought about this for a while, and I think that part
of the problem is that is to be understood by DOS. I have two approaches
for the question:

* If by DOS you mean the ability to run DOS programs untouched from a
clean-booted PC, then in my opinion, the problem is not the processor
itself, but BIOS. Whereas other OSes like Linux or Windows have their own
"HAL", DOS heavily depends on BIOS. Once 16-bit mode/emulation is removed,
and given that modern OSes use BIOS much less than DOS does, then if BIOS
is gone, the ability to boot DOS is gone. However, DOS can survive as do
those game-console emulators (a la MAME, nesticle, etc.), you distribute a
emulator to such "simple machines" (a 16 or 32 bit PC), with some BIOS, as
DOSEMU does, and DOS can survive there.
The drawback is that DOS will become a step for the freaks that want to
ever run those ancient apps. Younger generations haven't ever run them (or
now, for example, what lotus 1-2-3 or WordPerfect are).

* If by DOS you mean the ability to write simple programs on a well known
API (for programmers), or to run commandlines like (COPY F:\*:* G:), where
F: is an USB-attached encrypted partition and G: is a network attached
storage through WiFi, then I think the problem is smaller. In fact, 16-bit
simple apps are easily ported to 32-bit DOS (DPMI) where you just
translated your DOS API from a 16-bit to a 32-bit world, so going to a
64-bit platform, a POSIX platform, or even an NT plarform, that shouldn't
be a problem. Here DOS could survive as a complex kernel (e.g. a Linux
variant) on top on which there is just a POSIX-freecom and utils, and where
someone (3rd party/proprietary) could write simple apps that are not truly
realtime (after all, Linux is not DOS), but are can be quite fast, and
closer to hardware than any Java or Windows app would ever be.
The drawback is that, will this platform (the classic DOS API) be appealing
enough, as compared to directly write linux/posix apps on a simple kernel?

Now I wonder myself if any of these two variants will dominate in the
future, or if there will be a third different approach to the future of DOS.


2012/4/10 Alex <alxm...@gmail.com>

> Hi
> This topic is not about DOS vs other operating systems, or the fact
> that users tend to gradually abandon DOS. It's about the survivability
> of DOS vis-a-vis hardware.
> The starting point for my reasoning is: what will happen with the
> future development of the hardware architectures? So far DOS has fared
> relatively well, in the sense that it can still run even on 32bit and
> 64bit architectures, despite the fact that it does not fully support
> them. Now the question is: will it always be like this? Or will there
> come a point when, due to a radical CPU redesign, we won't be able to
> even use DOS any longer on newer machines? What are the chances of
> this happening?
> Related questions are: how adaptable would the (Free)DOS codebase
> prove, in the event of this happening? How much manpower would be
> required to recode/adapt (Free)DOS to the new needs? In short, could
> DOS survive such a situation?
> I know that this may look as an overly pessimistic scenario, but I
> believe it's one we had better anticipate, rather than just assuming
> that things will always be as they are now. I hope I am very wrong in
> my reasoning, and I would be very glad if someone pointed it out.
> Cheers
> Alex
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