MICROSOFT NEWS RELEASE
2005-03-15 16:00:00 -0800
For more information contact: Microsoft - Pam Edstrom or Rod Bauer (206) 828-8080
FOR RELEASE SEPTEMBER 26, 1983
NEWS ITEM #217
Microsoft Offers Disk operating System for Low-End 8-bit MSX Computers
BELLEVUE, WASHINGTON -- Microsoft today announced that it will be offering a new disk operating system, named MSX-DOS, to OEMs who have adopted the company's MSX low-end 8-bit micro-computer specification. The MSX specification requires a Zilog Z-80 microprocessor and the Texas Instruments 9918 Graphic Chip.
"This move, in part, was prompted by several of our MSX customers," said William H. Gates, Chairman of the Board at Microsoft. "They had requested we provide a disk operating system with the standard MS-DOS disk format and user interface."
MSX is Designed for Low-End Computer Markets
The MSX specification was first introduced by Microsoft in June. It provides a standard hardware and software specification for low-end 8-bit microcomputers that will make diverse soft-ware applications programs compatible with low-cost computers from different manufacturers. To date 22 OEMs have expressed interest in licensing MSX from Microsoft.
MSX-DOS will support all the MS-DOS disk drive formats including 3 inch, 3 1/2 inch or 5 1/4 inch disks. All versions support the 32, 40 and 80 column display modes. Microsoft will include their M-80 assembler in addition to their BASIC language interpreter with the MSX-DOS operating system. MSX-DOS will be offered only to those manufacturers who are supporting the MSX specification at this time.
"MSX-DOS provides manufacturers who are supporting MSX with an upgrade path," said Gates, "They will be able to offer their customers a disk-based system that is compatible with their low- cost machines and a wide range of software from different manufacturers."
Software developers are also expected to benefit greatly from this new standard.
"The establishment of a standard disk format for low-cost computers means that software suppliers will not have to provide disks for different computers," Gates said. "The cost saving will be substantial."
MSX-DOS Has Same File Format as MS-DOS and Can Run CP/M-80 (R) Programs
The MSX-DOS disk format is the same as Microsoft's popular MS-DOS operating system's disk format for 16-bit microprocessors. Because of this, users will be able to easily exchange data between a MS-DOS machine and a MSX-DOS machine. Users of 16-bit applications programs can transfer information t6 an 8-bit version of the same program.
Users will not be able to load existing MS-DOS applications programs directly into MSX-DOS machines. Microsoft is planning to adapt a number of their applications programs to run in the MSX-DOS environment-, however.
MSX-DOS computers will also be able to run existing CP/M-80 programs with a file transfer utility. Applications programs from Microsoft which are currently available for the CP/M-80 operating systems can run on MSX-DOS.
MSX-DOS is expected to be included with computers being shipped in the January timeframe. Microsoft is planning to make the operating system available only to OEMs who have licensed MSX.
Microsoft Corporation, based in Bellevue, Washington, develops and markets a full line of operating systems, languages plus software and hardware tools for microcomputers.