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Source Code Comparison of DOS and CP/M

DOI: 10.4236/jcc.2016.412001, PP. 1-38

Keywords: Copyright Infringement, CP/M, Digital Research, DOS, Intellectual Property, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software Forensics

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In a previous paper [1], I compared DOS from Microsoft and CP/M from Digital Research Inc. (DRI) to determine whether the original DOS source code had been copied from CP/M source code as had been rumored for many years [2] [3]. At the time, the source code for CP/M was publicly available but the source code for DOS was not. My comparison was limited to the comparison of the DOS 1.11 binary code and the source code for CP/M 2.0 from 1981. Since that time, the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California received the source code for DOS 2.0 from Microsoft and was given permission to make it public. The museum also received the source code for DOS 1.1 from Tim Paterson, the developer who was originally contracted by Microsoft to write DOS. In this paper, I perform a further analysis using the newly accessible source code and determine that no code was copied. I further conclude that the commands were not copied but that a substantial number of the system calls were copied.


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