Difference Between DOS And Windows

The various types of operating systems (OS) where DOS is less likely to be used in the current scenario are DOS and Windows, while Windows is a commonly used operating system. Although Windows is a multitasking, multi-user, and GUI-based OS, DOS is a single task, single user, and CLI-based OS. Whilst Windows is costly, DOS is cheap. DOS handles disk files, assigns resources to the device, and monitors hardware. Windows, on the other hand, provides more features and is more user-friendly than DOS.

DOS: DOS stands for Disk Operating System, a single-task system that ensures that only one program can run on the system at a time. It’s an operating system that was popular on IBM PCs until 1995. This consists of a command interpreter that is named after the start of the machine. For running MS-DOS programs, a simple method is used. It runs from hard drives or any other storage device and thus provides a software execution environment. Less memory occupies it. DOS does not have multitasking capabilities; however, to a peculiar degree, there is a provision of concurrent execution.

Windows: Windows is an operating system that Microsoft Cooperation has designed and developed. Today, it is one of the world’s most common operating systems. It is a graphic-based user interface where, with the aid of a mouse, we give commands to the machine through icons and images. There are various versions of Windows such as Windows 2000, Windows NT, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10. Multiple features are supported by the Windows operating system.

The following are the important differences between DOS and Windows.


  • DOS is an operating system (OS) capable of using a disk storage medium, such as a floppy disk, a hard disk drive, or an optical disc.
  • DOS is an OS based on the command line, where instructions are provided by commands.
  • Regarding framework multifaceted nature, the DOS was somewhat unpredictable as it requires the specific commands to be composed so as to execute an activity.
  • To use DOS effectively, the user should know the commands; a novice can find it difficult.
  • DOS doesn’t support multitasking.
  • DOS memory requirements are quite low.
  • DOS does not use drivers, but it means working with the hardware to get the job done.
  • The DOS systems are not broadly utilized now; it was well known between 1980 to 1995.
  • The highest available storage size in the DOS system is 2 GB.
  • The DOS execution of commands is faster than Windows.
  • Versions of DOS system: DOS/360, IBM system/360, DOS 11, TRS DOS, MS-DOS, 86 DOS.

Windows –

  • Windows is a community of Microsoft-developed, marketed, and sold graphical operating system (OS) families.
  • Windows is GUI based OS, where guidelines are furnished with the assistance of pictures and symbols (or icons).
  • On the opposite, with windows, the requirements of device complexity are not the case and it is easy to use.
  • In Windows, the user can use the Interface to access programs easily; it also offers compatibility with software and hardware, support choices, etc.
  • Windows support multitasking.
  • As compared to DOS, Windows memory requirements are very high.
  • Windows involve the use of drivers which made the work easier.
  • Windows is a popular operating system; it has users all over the world.
  • Windows support storage size up to 2 terabytes.
  • As compared to DOS, Windows operations are slower.
  • Versions of Windows: Windows 1.0, 2x, 3x, 9x(95 and 98), NT, 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1, 10.

DOS is part of the Disk Operating System family. Windows is a Microsoft-owned operating system. A single window at a time is provided by DOS. Multiple windows at a time are allowed by Windows. The distinction between DOS and Windows is that, while Windows offers a Graphical User Interface (GUI), DOS is an operating system that provides a command line or a text-based interface.


Information Sources:

  1. geeksforgeeks.org
  2. pediaa.com
  3. tutorialspoint.com
  4. techdifferences.com