I have a business client who runs an old DOS 16-bit accounting and point-of-sale system in his industrial supply warehouse. He does not want to switch from the legacy DOS application since all of his sales and back-office staff are very comfortable with the old style ‘terminal’ interface.
The client asked me:
"With Windows 11 64-bit on the way, I’m thinking that moving to 32-bit Linux may be the way to go."
He is concerned about this (from the Internet):
Windows 11 does not support NTVDM, which eliminates support for 16-bit application supportability.
Windows 11 is 64-bit only and will likely not run DOS programs well. Note that if you use a 32-bit operating system, you have to make sure you are using the 32-bit versions of any Windows programs you're using (not the 64-bit versions). Only the 32-bit versions of W7 & W8 & W10 work correctly with DOS programs!
- 16 staff Windows workstations on a Windows network
- which share 4 networked printers
- each printer is attached to a local workstation
- there is a Windows server that hosts the main accounting stock item files for the POS lookups
- there are some Python applications which
- send invoice as PDF to Outlook email
- send invoice as PDF to shared network printer
We need a 16-bit DOS emulator which will satisfy the key requirements above. What do you recommend? And should we look at a DOS emulator running on Linux, or Windows?
Also, this I think is useful information to add. Not so much an answer to the problem, but a mitigation of how critical it actually is in practice.
I read that the Windows 11 64-bit deadline is for OEMs – Original Equipment Manufacturers. Hardware suppliers will not be able to buy 32-bit Windows 10 to pre-install for sale on a new PC. Existing 32-bit Windows users however can carry on as they were, and individual users should be able to buy a legal 32-bit Windows.
So, down the line, the client may buy new workstations which come pre-installed with 64-bit Windows 11 – but nothing would prevent him from installing 32-bit Windows 10 himself.