Microsoft launches MS-DOS Mobile for Lumia smartphones

Today, Microsoft has launched MS-DOS Mobile, a new OS designed especially for Lumia smartphones. In case you didn't know, MS-DOS was installed on millions of desktops. Well, now you can install it on your phone. "Black and white text has never looked so good," says Tom Messett from Microsoft Lumia Marketing in the launch video. Watch the video to see glimpses of the new/old OS before deciding if you should install it on your phone.

MS-DOS Mobile goes back to the basics. The user type commands to the prompt to access files and folders. The main apps are located in C:\PROGRAMS\PHONE. You can access that by typing these commands:

  • cd programs
  • cd phone
  • dir

This lists all the available apps. For example, typing camera.exe in the next line launches the camera. The camera has three modes: ASCII, B&W, and CGA. You can also switch between the front and rear camera.

The 'internet.exe' command in the same folder opens up Internet Explorer. You'll briefly hear connecting sound before launching the app. There are several other programs that you can check out:

  • Contacts - Opens the contacts list.
  • Email [address] - After user types a message and presses the done button in the application bar, the platform's email composer is launched
  • Maps [search terms] - Launches the map app with search terms
  • Market - Launches Windows Phone Store
  • Phone [number] - Launches phone app with given number
  • Review - Launches review page for this app
  • Cortana [search terms] - Launches Cortana with the search terms
  • SMS [number] - Launches SMS composer with the number

Before you start complaining how ridiculous this sounds, go check today's date. It's April Fools Day! Isn't this kind of funny? We don't want to ruin all the fun, so we suggest installing the app and navigating through the command prompts. Watch and re-watch the video for some Easter eggs as well. Hint: there's an interesting game you can play.

Download MS-DOS Mobile for Windows Phone (Free)

QR: MS-DOS Mobile

Mark Guim is Video Editor at Windows Central. He switched to Windows because the MacBook Pro isn't Pro enough. You can follow him on Twitter at @markguim.

382 Comments
  • April fool.
  • Congrats, you can read.
  • Congratulations, you know how to point out the fact that someone can read, which there's nothing wrong with restating part of the article to seem like a logical comment...
  • Ha, good point. I just briefly skimmed the article thinking WTF! Had I not read that first comment, I would have been thinking, Space Quest on WP - sign me up.
  • Congratulations, you know how to point out the fact that someone can point out the fact that someone can read. There is literally no point in reiterating something clearly stated in the article. The fact that he did, meant that he DIDN'T read the article and hence my comment was sarcasm (and a joke). You may chortle heartily now.
  • No one will do that.
  • I said "chortle" damnit!!!
  • How is this April Fools? April Fools to be is an article saying Microsoft had done this. Microsoft *has actually done it!* It's a working app launcher with some cool features. ASCII photos. Hidden games. It's frickin' cool!
  • I agree! This is pretty darn cool!
  • It is an april fool. But not by Mark Guim's Windows Central. But rather an april fool by Microsoft itself. And it's looks cool for toying around and nostalgic reason. :)
  • Fuckin A man, everything was explained in the wee article. Why must we rehash it here?
    ..
    @kurotsuki, I'm not talking to you, I just hijacked your comment to make my own.
  • Haha, Aprils fool again. There's no such app
  • Really? Must be someone else's MS-DOS app that I'm currently using on my 1020 then.
  • Install the app, and see for yourself. 
  • Um you can download the app!
  • +930. It is pretty darn cool. & it works. I've been playing with it all morning :-)
  • Hidden games? Where?
  • Outstanding app & video! With extensive long-term first-hand experience using the original MS-DOS software, I'm impressed with this incredibly accurate Windows Phone app. Command Prompt, Mouse.com, Rock Paper Scissor game, Cortana with Sound Blaster...all amazing! Thank you, Microsoft; well done!
  • Agreed, Microsoft done a great job with this one.    You can even fricking use for instance EDIT Autoexec.bat  ,and the old edit program starts didn expect it to be so well made, for a joke
  • Its no April Fool.. Its a good app
  • I used to constantly have to tweak autexec and config in order to play Sierra games. They usually required more cache than I had available.
  • If you look hard enough, you may even find The Martyrs of Science / The lives of Galileo‚ Tycho Brahe‚ and Kepler
  • Yes, I discovered that too. Almost all of the files are not operational, they are text files from some sort of autobiography describing his life. I had never heard of him, but what a fascinating man he was. I was truly stunned reading about his life and accomplishments. Amazing, and kudos to whoever put this together. Super impressed.
  • April, you fool!
  • eps.exe is the hidden egg for the game
  • 'Cant wait' for them to release on other platforms
  • You April making fool of this
  • hi guys this app have some more command like win that load win 3.1 and C:\GAMES\RPS\RPS.EXE is dir of Rock Paper Scissors but fun is this game say can't load mouse.com I think Microsoft can't solve this problem 200 years later
  • I hope you're not being serious about the last statement, because Cortana will guide you how to be able to run the program properly. Yeah, olden days troubleshooting process with Cortana.
  • I nust played.. -_-
  • You thinks its April Fools, not completely but this app works. Also I got a phone update after installing this app. If you don't believe me check yourself.
  • This is going to make my life easier.
  • OS without a UI, next big thing.
  • That video made me smile.  Playing with app made even smile more.
  • That's awesome, now I will delete my phone system :v
  • You need an android version with format.
  • Haha. I'm just kiddin' for what I'm deleting the system
  • That's funny
  • Use "Format C:"
  • Lol.. XD
  • Wow this literally almost wiped the C drive
  • It can be done, but I dare not press 'y'.  
  • Doesn't work. I pressed Y
    It said, "I can't let you do that."
  • Really?
    I'm waiting for this answer.
  • Yup..nothing happens..!
  • Lol, I did too.
    And I can confirm this.
     
  • Great app!!!
  • \o/
  • Nice April fool!!
  • Download the technical preview from market store.... Hillarious.. Good one MS
  • Lol..even better...were gonna release TP for the 1520...april fools assholes...
    ...
    Microsoft Employee recounts Windows 10 for Phones Technical Preview Release Day
    http://youtu.be/z3nXHAQa-gQ
  • >Microsoft Employee recounts Windows 10 for Phones Technical Preview Release Day
    http://youtu.be/z3nXHAQa-gQ   OMG, but, i replaced 1520 with 929/930, that was funny...
  • It is my favorite...the dude's laugh is funny.
  • haha that is great :) Will this mean our old DOS games will work? 
    Oooh and maybe it will be possible to get a external floppy drive that can be connected via bluetooth of NFC and play games through that :)
  • now that would be brilliant,  but no modern 3.5" floppies  should be  5 1/4    :)
  • I was really hoping this was about a DOSBox port. Got a ton of old DOS games that would be great on the phone, and the phone can handle it. I've got DOSBox for Windows Mobile 5, but a device with 320x240 pixels just doesn't cut it. Oh, well, since it's the REAL DOS, I guess I can get it and tweak, right? (yeah, right.)
  • Seems faster...
  • No.
  • Dahell am I supposed to do with this? o.O
  • April's fool. Just chill. It's an "app" not the complete OS.
  • Can this app have all powers of DOS
  • April fool but still cool :)
  • Hahagahahha
  • Happy April fool day. Nice prank MSFT and windows central
  • Heh, I was actually hoping it was a real MS-DOS emulator for a moment. I started to actually get excited to play old DOS games on the phone. LOL
  • They act like this is a joke, but I would be genuinely excited if MS officially supported DOS on phones
  • Batch files!
  • Same here :D
  • DOSBox would be an outstanding thing to have on Windows Phone. Android has it, so Android can emulate MS-DOS, but Microsoft phones can't. Well, I used to have it on my old Windows Mobile 5 but can't get it on something that could actually handle it.
  • Wow! This absolutely shines on the ClearBlack display!
  • Haha
  • My thoughts exactly!
  • Yes awesome i wanted that
  • Oooh, I just started Windows 3.1 though this (In the windows folder). Nice details :)
  • No need to go to windows folder! Just type win
  • How?
  • In dos, it's call the PATH command, it shows what the path is where you can type a command from any folder that is in the path. Normally back in Windows 3.1 days, the Windows folder was in the path, so anywhere on the drive, you could type "win.com" and windows would start...
  • Sweet! If you click on Calendar it creates an April Fools Day entry.
  • April fool banaya toh unko gussa aaya :);)
  • How do you return to the c disk?
  • C: Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Really? It doesn't work for me.. Would say cd does the trick.. But it doesn't.. More tips? :D
  • cd.. goes one folder back.
  • I just use cd .. to get back (the .. means go up one directory). If I knew a better way, I'd tell you, but I'm a Unix/BASH kind of guy myself, DOS is a weird place for me.
  • cd /d c:\
  • Tysm..
  • CD means change directory. You can go to C drive by CD\C:
  • cd \
  • Seems faster :)
  • Aweeesome! Lol now can I write my C++ programs and execute them on my phone
  • Maybe .bat files, line by line
  • amzaing.... 
  • The best command is CAMERA, which actually will save pixelated images to your camera roll. Nice one, Microsoft!
  • I agree! I immediately took several photos. :)
  • Not only that, but you can also create freaking ASCII photos!
  • Oh my god rps.exe is the best and needs to be a standalone game. Not even kidding. Holy shheeeeee
  • Wait.. How did you open rps? I go to games (cd games) and then rps.exe but doesn't work
  • Cortana guides you on how to start the game by using a few commands.
  • Eehm. And how do you open Cortana? Not in the programs..
  • Do it like this, as separate line commands, hitting enter after each one, then Cortana will walk you through it: cd games cd rps rps.exe    
  • you need to cd rps folder as well. 
    remember to use the Dir command if in doubt :)
  • Edit command works too.
  • No md.
  • I have posted detailed steps here https://www.facebook.com/imCyberKing/posts/954951621202308
  • <•> How to Play RPS.exe (Rock Paper Scissor Game) in MS-DOS Mobile App (http://bit.ly/MS-DOSMobileApp) launched by #Microsoft http://caminsx.com/bitgl1/?src=644 #‎MSDOSMobile‬ ‪#‎AchieveMore‬
  • <•> How to Play RPS.exe (Rock Paper Scissor Game) in MS-DOS Mobile App (http://bit.ly/MS-DOSMobileApp) launched by #Microsoft https://www.facebook.com/imCyberKing/posts/954951621202308 #‎MSDOSMobile‬ ‪#‎AchieveMore‬
  • just getting it to start - ooh that is so funny :)
  • Help! I don't know code but I want to do this! Gimme a cheat sheet!
  • cd = change directory (in dos directories are folders)
    dir = this will show you a list of folders and files in the directory. if you see a file with .exe or .com it means you can execute them.
    cd.. = go up a directory
    cd c:\ = will take you back to top so from c:\ type: dir
    cd games
    dir see how you go with this. i won't give it all away cause that's half of the fun. one other tip that you wouldn't know either is the DOS directory usually contains setup executables, e.g. MOUSE.COM. this will make sense once you run the game :)
  • so where can I find this mouse.exe or touch.exe? :)