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Phil Gardner's Wrapper.sys & MS-DOS7 bug (Miscellaneous)

posted by Rugxulo(R) Homepage, Usono, 22.11.2009, 01:08

> > Repairing DOS could be a better option and a reusable one. However
> > distributing a patch for MS-DOS as such would present more legal
> > (not ethical!) problems.
> A couple of years ago I red an interview with a former MS employee (I am
> sorry, I can't remember his name) who was involved with MS-DOS. He said we
> should never forget that MS is a business, and like in case of any other
> business what principally matters is the cost vs. profit ballance. So the
> source code looks awful and they left unfixed known bugs, because cleaning
> the source code and fixing those bugs would have meant more costs in
> comparison with the profits that would have been obtained. This is why MS
> doesn't publicly release the source code of MS-DOS, not because they have
> some precious secrets but because they would be strongly ashamed by the
> mess there.

Um, it's not like they are held in the greatest esteem anyways, so I doubt some old code would hurt them. They probably can't find it (old version control long hidden away, a la Novell DOS), don't fully own it, are too lazy/busy, rely on it for marginal sales (POS? developer network? third world? patents?) or just don't care.

I think the most generous things they've done are VC Express and XP Mode for Win7. That's probably more than anybody ever expected.

John Carmack gave away Doom and Quake engine sources (GPL'd) only when he no longer needed them and had a working replacement. Even then you still need data (original or make your own). Of course, the major benefit for that was having people port it to various other OSes and gfx subsystems. MS-DOS doesn't have anything to port, does it? Who knows, maybe they think "We can't compete with FreeDOS, it's too good." ;-)


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