I'm looking for a recent and free version of DR-DOS. It's kind of complicated, and if I have this right:
Digital Research made CP/M which was popular, but IBM didn't like the DRI terms and picked Microsoft to develop PC-DOS for them. This was based on 86-DOS formerly known as QDOS. Eventually IBM agreed to sell CP/M for PCs and DRI priced CP/M-86 at 4x the price of PC-DOS or MS-DOS. Eventually they saw that this wasn't working and made an MS-DOS compatible OS called DR-DOS. Eventually it rocked with a GEM interface and all that. But none of that mattered.
Now DRI was sold to Novell when Novell decided they needed to kill Microsoft because Windows 3.1 supported incompatible networking. This had nothing to do with Digital Equipment Corporation suing Intel and winning but loosing so much money it had to sell things to... Intel, because despite the name, DRI was not owned by DEC. And so Novell released Novell DR-DOS 7. Since they also got involved with Linux and other stuff they got bored of DOS and sold it to Caldera.
When Windows 95 wouldn't run on DR-DOS, Caldera sued Microsoft. I think they sort of won that one with a settlement. Caldera thought they could do more with DR-DOS if it was open sourced. So they released OpenDOS and Caldera Open DR-DOS. This was released as versions 7.01 and 7.02. Mysteriously they decided to not make 7.03 open source. And then they thought it made more sense on embedded devices and moved it to a division that became Lineo.
Lineo released a couple versions of "Caldera" DR-DOS 7 too. They might have been kinda buggy. Lineo sort of collapsed, and metamorphosed into DeviceLogics which released DR-DOS 8.
Now the confusing parts are:
- What happened to 8? at drdos.com you can only get 7.03 and it costs money?
- What happened to the source for 7.01 and 7.02? And also the binary distribution?
- What's different in 8, and 7.03 that would be missing from the Open versions?
- All this aside, are any of these version better than FreeDOS is now?