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Difference between windows and DOS

DOS (Disk Operating System) are simple text command operating systems that were popular from 1981 to 1995.
Windows is a range of graphical interface operating systems that are developed and sold by Microsoft.
DOS used a text based interface that required text and codes to operate
Windows uses graphics, images and text.
Input System
Text is used as the basic input system commands.
Uses a mouse for all operating system input.
DOS is unable to run multiple processes at the same time.
Windows is a multitasking operating system; allowing more than one process to work simultaneously.
Storage Size
The highest amount of storage size available is 2GB.
Window systems offer storage space up to 2 terabyte.
Demands on System Resources
Booting up system is DOS is less demanding on the CPU.
Booting up Windows is more demanding on the CPU.
Registry and Swap Files
DOS uses a directory system, where all the files are contained within a particular directory or a subdirectory.
Windows uses a different registry compared to DOS, making it difficult to manually delete programs. An excessive number of temporary files and file fragments can cause the system to slow down or crash.
Current Uses
More ideally used for prototyping, testing, and making automated systems.
Used worldwide as the most popular operating system.
DOS is free
Windows is costly

Computers have changed a great deal since the introduction of the first version of MS-DOS in 1981. While MS-DOS was the dominant operating system in the world of computers for several years, graphical user interfaces (GUIs) eventually became the norm, and today Windows runs on the majority of the world's computers. Comparing standalone versions of MS-DOS with modern versions of Windows you will find that, apart from the fact that Windows still has a command prompt available, the two operating systems have very little in common.

Text vs. Graphics

The primary way that an MS-DOS computer displays information is through plain text. Although many MS-DOS applications do have graphics, basic operating system tasks such as browsing and copying files take place entirely in text unless a graphical shell (a program that runs on top of the MS-DOS operating system) is used. In Windows, all operating system tasks take place within a graphical environment. Small pictures called "icons" represent each file and program. Early Windows versions are, in fact, graphical shells for MS-DOS. It was not until the release of Windows XP in 2001 that most home computer owners moved completely away from MS-DOS-based operating systems.

Input System

MS-DOS uses text for all basic operating system commands. For example, the command "dir" lists the files in a directory, while the command "cd" navigates to a different directory. Windows uses a mouse for all operating system input except tasks that explicitly require text, such as creating a document or responding to email.


Windows is a multitasking operating system, meaning that it can run multiple program processes simultaneously. A typical Windows session might consist of the user browsing the Web while adding music to an MP3 player with their email program checking for new messages in the background. MS-DOS is unable to run multiple tasks simultaneously. When you want to do something else on an MS-DOS computer, you need to quit the current program and run a different one.

Storage Size

Hard drives manufactured today contain hundreds—and even thousands—of gigabytes of storage space. However, the final standalone version of MS-DOS, DOS 6.22, used the now-obsolete FAT16 file system. The maximum partition size that FAT16 supports is just 2 GB. Today, 2 GB is a very small amount of storage, with memory cards the size of fingernails easily storing that amount.

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