Did MS DOS itself ever use blinking text?
What exactly does "itself" mean?
The OS kernel (
msdos.sys) would of course not do anything which is not requested by the currently running program (e.g.
command.com); the kernel cannot know if some text message has the meaning: "Highly critical" or "Operation successful" so the request to change the text attributes must come from the program.
In MS-DOS consists of multiple programs. Most of them just wrote out text to the console while the text cursor was only moved implicitly because of printing the text.
However, there were also some "GUI-like" programs (
edit, GW or Q Basic,
scandisk, the DOS-Shell and some backup program) being part of MS-DOS, which modified the content of the the entire text screen and explicitly moved the text cursor to certain positions.
As far as I know, the first type of programs (only printing text) never changed the text attributes. Neither color, nor blinking, nor bold. If the user selected blinking green text on blue background using
ansi.sys (see supercat's comment), all of these programs would output all text green and blinking on blue background. If the user did not use
ansi.sys, all text was gray, not blinking on black background.
The "GUI-like" programs used different screen attributes (such as different colors, bold or blinking).
fdisk for example used bold text;
edit used different colors. I'm not sure if one of these programs used blinking text.