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Definition: DR-DOS

An earlier multitasking DOS-compatible operating system from DRDOS, Inc., Lindon, Utah. DR-DOS was used in embedded systems, thin clients and bootable disks for antivirus recovery programs. The embedded version included display antialiasing so that it could be used in TV set-top boxes. A graphics-based browser was also available that let old 386 computers access the Internet.

An Illustrious History
DR-DOS was developed by Digital Research, the creators of the CP/M operating system (see CPM). It was popular during the late 1980s and early 1990s because it added many features lacking in MS-DOS, including memory management and disk compression. DR-DOS motivated Microsoft to improve subsequent versions of MS-DOS and also keep DR-DOS from succeeding.

A Lot of Moving Around
In 1991, Digital Research was acquired by Novell, which later sold DR-DOS to Caldera. Since Caldera owned the history of the product, it sued Microsoft in 1999 for antitrust violations. The case was later settled. Caldera then spun off DR-DOS to Lineo, Inc., a Canopy company, where it was enhanced for the embedded market. In 2002, DeviceLogics acquired the product. A couple years later, DeviceLogics changed its name to DRDOS, Inc. See DOS.