Step back in time 20 legacy operating systems that can

Step back in time: 20 legacy operating systems that can run in a browser

Plunge into the atmosphere of the 80s, 90s, 2000s with the help of online simulators and computer emulators of those years, which run in any browser and allow you to switch to the environment of certain operating systems literally with just one click. There are many such web applications on the global network. We have selected the best among them, which will please everyone who loves the history of information technology development and follows progress in the field of IT.

    Image source:

Image source:

MRS-DOS 6.22

Year of release: 1994 (below indicates the release date for a specific version of the product).
Developer: Microsoft.
Link to run the emulator:

A 16-bit command-line software platform based on source code for the 86-DOS operating system, acquired from Microsoft in 1981. Originally developed in collaboration with IBM for the then forthcoming IBM PC, it was later made available to OEMs and all machines with an Intel 8086 processor, making MS-DOS the most popular operating system for IBM PC-compatible PCs of the time, which Microsoft did allows a good start in the software platform market despite the single-tasking system and its mediocre reliability. However, these shortcomings were more than offset by low hardware requirements and a large amount of application software.

MS-DOS 6.22 was the last standalone version of the operating system – all other platform builds were part of Windows 95/98/ME

personal computer DOS 5.0

Year of issue: 1991.
Developer: IBM (in cooperation with Microsoft until 1993).
Link to run the emulator:

An IBM-licensed version of MS-DOS that had its own name and came preinstalled on the respected company’s personal computers. Up to and including version 5.0, PC-DOS development was carried out under the wing of Microsoft, after which the companies parted ways and IBM began developing the platform independently. The specialists of the “blue giant” made a number of improvements to the product, changed the start menu, added new OS configuration options, a built-in REXX language interpreter and a set of system utilities. Otherwise, PC DOS has remained a clone of MS-DOS with its advantages and disadvantages.

PC DOS 5.0 was an exact copy of MS-DOS 5.0, then the systems evolved independently

FreeDOS 0.8

Year of issue: 2002.
Developers: Jim Hall, Pat Villani, Tim Norman.
Link to run the emulator:

An open-source operating system that is compatible with MS-DOS and is still kept afloat by the efforts of enthusiasts. FreeDOS ships with its own FreeCOM command shell, which features automatic filename completion, supports FAT32, and works with the TCP/IP network protocol stack. The platform also implements mechanisms for caching files on disk, support for USB controllers, ACPI interface, DVD drives and other features typical of modern operating systems. The integrated package manager, which allows installing additional software modules and applications in the system, deserves a special mention.

The FreeDOS project began in 1994 after Microsoft announced it would no longer support and sell MS-DOS.

Windows 1.01

Year of issue: 1985.
Developer: Microsoft.
Links to run emulators:,,

Microsoft’s first attempt to bring GUI elements into the MS-DOS environment. The features of Windows 1.01 were multi-windows and a large set of built-in software – the Paint graphic editor, the calculator, the Writer text editor (which became the prototype of modern Word), a calendar with a task manager and Notepad. For a more or less comfortable operation of the operating system, at least 256 KB of RAM was required. That was an enormous system requirement at the time. At the same time, the system itself also cost quite a lot of money – floppy disks with Windows 1.01 were sold for $ 99 a set. An interesting fact: in everyday life it is customary to call the first Windows by the number designation 1.0, but the current version 1.01 went on sale for all users, and 1.0 was intended for developers.

Windows 1.01 gave users the ability to control the computer by clicking icons and dragging windows with the mouse pointer.

Windows 2.01

Year of issue: 1987.
Developer: Microsoft.
Link to run the emulator:

Further development of the graphical shell for MS-DOS. The product was presented in two editions: Windows/286 and Windows/386, taking into account the characteristics of the then newest Intel chips 80286 and 80386. The changes consisted mainly in the implementation of additional interface functions (it was possible to overlay application windows overlay and minimize ), advanced storage technologies and more peripherals. In addition, second-generation Windows first introduced the ability to run DOS applications in graphical windows and configure the system through the Control Panel.

Windows 2.x received a number of internal and external improvements

Windows 3.0

Year of issue: 1990.
Developer: Microsoft.
Links to run emulators:,

The third major version of Windows, which fundamentally changed the attitude of the user audience to the software platform developed by Microsoft. Technically, the system still remained an add-on to MS-DOS, but many innovations and improvements allowed the company to take the product to a completely different level. Windows 3.0 came out with a new interface and numerous improvements in memory management.

Windows 3.0 requires a preinstalled copy of MS-DOS to be loaded when the computer is turned on

Windows 3.1

Year of issue: 1992.
Developer: Microsoft.
Links to run emulators:,,

Windows 3.1 built on the success of the system released two years earlier. The novelty received an improved interface with TrueType fonts, support for different memory modes (for different Intel processors), a new file manager, task manager, tools for working with media files and an impressive set of applications for full-fledged work on the computer . Somewhat later, with the release of Windows for Workgroups 3.11, the platform added support for 32-bit disk access, LANs, and TCP/IP protocols, as well as limited compatibility with the new 32-bit Win32 API. The system was well received by the market and sold 10 million units – an impressive result for those years.

Windows 3.1 has gained popularity among users

Windows 95

Year of issue: 1995.
Developer: Microsoft.
Links to run emulators:,

The platform that opened a new page in the history of Microsoft operating systems development. Windows 95 became a completely independent operating system, capable of multitasking and running 16- and 32-bit code. At the same time, the good old MS-DOS environment that was part of the system was used as a boot loader and to ensure compatibility with the old software. Windows 95 first introduced the Start menu, taskbar, and File Explorer, which over time have become integral parts of the user interface of all of the software giant’s operating systems. A great achievement was the support of the Plug and Play standard, which allows automatic configuration of devices connected to a computer. Special emphasis was placed on the support of gaming and multimedia applications. All this, coupled with a large-scale advertising campaign, brought great success to the new product: in the first five weeks, Microsoft sold 7 million copies of Windows 95.

For all its progressiveness, Windows 95 was not very stable in operation, and constant Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) demonstrations were common for the system.


About the author

Robbie Elmers

Robbie Elmers is a staff writer for Tech News Space, covering software, applications and services.

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment