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The next big thing in mobile is here: MS-DOS with ASCII camera

The next big thing in mobile is here: MS-DOS with ASCII camera
Windows Phone Area

This is not a joke, Microsoft has just launched an MS-DOS emulator for Lumia

MS-DOS, popular operating system for desktop computers in the 80s and the mid-90s, arrives to all modern Lumia smartphones. You may probably think: No, Way! This is one of the many jokes published every year on April 1st.

In fact, MS-DOS Mobile is real and can be downloaded right now from the Windows Phone Store. Version 1.0 comes with many old features and commands which were so popular in the past. For those of you not familiar, MS-DOS required typing a command to navigate through the hard drive, perform tasks, open apps, folder and files.

MS-DOS Mobile for Lumia phones includes many famous features and commands from the past:

  • HELP – displays all commands
  • VER – displays the current version of the OS
  • DIR – lists all directories
  • CD [dir] – change a directory
  • CD.. – leads you back to the main directory [C:]
  • CLS – clears the screen
  • COLOR [XX] – customize background and foreground colors. Color attributes are specified by TWO digits – the first corresponds to the background; the second to the foreground. To see a list with all values and colors type C:\>color attr
    For example you can type ‘color 14’ and press Enter to set a blue background with red foreground
  • DATE – Shows date
  • TIME – Shows time
  • ECHO [message] – displays customizable a message
    MS-DOS for Lumia version 1 - ScreensThere are also many phone specific commands included:
  • camera – starts ASCII/CGA camera – It could be the next big thing in the selfie photography. Use the hashtag #ASCIIcamera while posting your photos
  • Internet [web address] – starts the web browser and opens a specific page
  • Phone [number] – launches the phone app
  • SMS [number] – opens a special MS-DOS window where you can type and send a message
  • Contacts – open lists with contacts
  • Search [terms] – Launches Cortana for search words
  • MAP [latitude] [longitude] / [search terms] – launches map app with location or search results
  • EMAIL – opens an email client to type a message
  • Market – starts Store app

Interestingly, this MS-DOS Mobile Emulator can also launches Windows 3.1.

  • WIN

Finally, Microsoft has included an MS-DOS version of the popular game Rock Paper Scissors. You can try to start the game by typing these 3 commands, but there is not guarantee that your phone hardware supports the game:

  • CD Games -> CD RPS -> RPS