IBM DOS/V What is DOS/V? Explain the history of operating systems

Explanation of IT Terms

What is IBM DOS/V?

IBM DOS/V, also known as DOS/V, is a Japanese version of the Disk Operating System (DOS) developed by IBM specifically for the Japanese market. It was released in 1993 as an alternative to the commonly used English-language versions of MS-DOS.

In Japan, the use of English characters alongside Japanese characters is a common practice. However, the existing operating systems, including MS-DOS, had limitations in displaying and inputting Japanese text. To overcome this challenge, IBM developed DOS/V to provide native support for the Japanese language, including Japanese character input and output capabilities.

DOS/V enabled Japanese computer users to work seamlessly in both English and Japanese environments. It supported the Japanese Shift JIS character set and included in-built Japanese input methods, making it easier to type Japanese characters. It also allowed users to display and print characters that were not supported by the English versions of DOS.

The History of Operating Systems

Operating systems have evolved significantly over time, catering to the changing needs and advancements in technology. Let’s explore a brief history of operating systems to understand the context in which DOS/V was developed.

1. Batch Processing Systems:
– In the early days of computer systems, there were batch processing systems where programs and data were processed in batches, typically without user interaction.
– These systems were prevalent during the 1950s and relied on punched cards or magnetic tapes for input and output.

2. Single-User Systems:
– With the emergence of time-sharing systems in the 1960s, multiple users could access a computer simultaneously.
– Single-user operating systems like CP/M (Control Program for Microcomputers) and MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating System) gained popularity during this time.

3. Multi-User Systems:
– As computers became more powerful, multi-user operating systems were developed to handle multiple users concurrently.
– UNIX, developed at Bell Labs, was one of the prominent multi-user operating systems introduced in the 1970s.

4. Graphical User Interface (GUI) Systems:
– The 1980s witnessed the emergence of graphical user interface systems, such as the Apple Macintosh and Microsoft Windows.
– These systems brought a more intuitive and user-friendly experience, allowing users to interact with the computer using a mouse and graphical icons.

5. Networked Systems:
– As the internet and networking technologies advanced, operating systems evolved to support network connectivity.
– The rise of the internet led to the development of network operating systems like Novell NetWare and Microsoft Windows NT.

6. Modern Operating Systems:
– Today, we have advanced operating systems like Linux, macOS, and Windows that offer diverse functionalities, enhanced security measures, and widespread compatibility across various devices.


IBM DOS/V played a significant role in providing native Japanese language support for computer users in Japan. Its development addressed the limitations of English-based operating systems, allowing users to work seamlessly in both languages. This marked another milestone in the evolution of operating systems, which have continued to advance to cater to diverse user needs in the ever-changing world of technology.

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