Windows 8.1 – Why Can’t It Run DOS?

Larry writes:

I hope I can get this all in. I just read your latest newsletter and I’m sick of hearing about how great Windows 8 and 8.1 are. Like in Windows 7, you can’t even run all these old DOS programs I have. I’ve been with MS since DOS 6 in the mid 1980s, running every OS they’ve ever had. I ran Windows 2000 for 10 years, but it was a piece of junk. Since I’ve been running XP for three years, it hasn’t crashed even once. And it runs my old DOS programs. Gates and his cronies made a HUGE mistake by not including DOS in the primary OS. It’s all about money and forcing people to upgrade. I have hi def desktops that look beautiful under XP, why would  I want some piece of junk that has cubes all over the screen to hide these desktop pics I have spent so much time editing. You keep talking about it all the time and bragging it up. I’m sick of hearing about it.

Well, Larry I can’t do much about Microsoft ending support for XP, but I may be able to help you with a couple of your specific complaints.  A DOS emulator like DOSBox would enable you to run DOS programs in Windows 7 and Windows 8. However, it won’t be able to run 16 Bit programs in a 64 Bit version of Windows 8.

You can also tell a Windows 8.1 computer to boot to the desktop on startup, so your carefully selected photos will be on display.

Go to desktop and then right-click on the taskbar. Select Properties from the Windows that open.

This window will open.

 Check When I sign in or close all apps on a screen, go to the desktop.

Now when you open your computer from the lock screen, you’ll go straight to the desktop.

The reason I write a lot about Windows 8, isn’t that I’m trying to build it up. It’s just that it’s the operating system that’s installed on nearly all new PC’s. Since it’s new, people have lots and lots of questions about how to use it.

Unfortunately, you will need an alternative to XP, since Microsoft is ending all security support in April of 2014.

~ Cynthia

0 thoughts on “Windows 8.1 – Why Can’t It Run DOS?

  1. I agree with Larry. I love the stability and ease of use of XP. IMO the User Interface in Vista, 7 and 8 are not User Friendly. More important is the fact that any 64 bit platform REFUSES to support the Graphics Server incorporated into our Proprietary Software as far back as the days of Windows 3. In addition to (hopefully) finding adapters to use legacy interfaces and devices, I find my company unable to use ANY of the new Computers or Windows OS. Therefore I have become a Used Computer (and devices) purchaser, quite willing to pick up 3 used items to test, configure and replace 1 well used but failing item.
    In April, I will need to purchase a New system ONLY for safe internet usage OR continue running XP with a computer stripped down to only basic functions with no user data ‘permanently’ saved and ready for reinstall of the OS at the slightest indication of malware. Luckily, IMAGE emergency backup of harddrive makes this a very simple task.

  2. Hi Cynthia,

    I admire your patience in handling the rant of a reader. Unfortunately, people who hate something, hate the people who support/accept it too. And, lose control while presenting their view. One should understand the inevitable loss of comfort and simplicity of old systems while switching over to new systems. Though the old system is sufficient for our needs, it is not possible to remain with it for ever when the world moves over.

    I’m also an admirer of WIN XP, and have never felt any need for something better. In fact, I don’t even use most of the facilities in WIN XP. Yet, I recognize the necessity of moving over to upgrades, just to remain secure on net.

  3. It is much simpler to keep a win98 pc alive so DOS programs can run!

    I know it is more hardware than I want to keep, but it stops the hassle.

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