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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