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Chapter 13. The MS-DOS Environment Under... > MS-DOS Programs on Windows XP

MS-DOS Programs on Windows XP

Old programs never die, they just get harder to maintain. That's an old programmer's proverb—well, no, it's not really. But you'll quickly find that it's true if you have to use or support MS-DOS programs on Windows XP. Some programs that are based on this original 16-bit, character-based PC operating system are still in use today, and whereas Windows 95 and 98 had MS-DOS running underneath, MS-DOS is nowhere to be found on a computer running Windows XP, 2000, or NT.

Instead, these Windows NT–based operating systems emulate DOS for the old programs. That is, Windows provides a software environment that simulates the same disk, keyboard, printer, and screen functions that MS-DOS provided. It's called the Windows NT Virtual DOS Machine.


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