- Business Operating System
name = Business Operating System
kernel_type = p-code
Intel 8080, Motorola 6800, Zilog Z80, PDP-11, VAX
Command line interface
family = p-code
released = 1981
BOS/MicroCobol(based on COBOLwith some similarities to Pascal)
language = English
website = [http://www.global3000.com/g2000.html Global 2000] The Business Operating System, or BOS, is an early
cross-platform operating systemoriginally produced for Intel 8080and Motorola 6800 computers, subsequently for Zilog Z80-based computers, and then later for most microcomputers of the 1980s. CAP Ltd, a British company and at the time one of the world's largest Information Technologyconsulting firms, developed BOS. CAP designed BOS and BOS applications for platform-independence.
Via a management buyout
MBOin 1981, BOS was spun off to three interlinked companies, MPSL (MicroProducts Software Ltd) which looked after the sales and marketing of BOS, MPPL (MicroProducts Programming Ltd) which looked after both the development of BOS and various horizontal software package and MicroProducts Training Ltd. BOS was distributed on a global basis, mainly to the US and British Commonwealth by a variety of independent and MPSL owned companies.
A small dealer/ distributor network along with its
command line interfacenature was its demise when graphical user interfaceoperating systems became prevalent.
MPSL developed numerous products for BOS, generally targeting the horizontal markets, leaving the vertical markets (i.e. niche) to independent software vendors
ISV. Examples of MPSL developed software include BOS/Finder( database), BOS/Planner( spreadsheet), BOS/Writer (word processor) and BOS/AutoClerk( report generation). Companies sold various BOS accounting softwaresuites in the UK and U.S.. In the UK, BOS accounting packages were considered to be the industry standard by some accountants.
BOS applications were compiled to a "p-code" and interpreted as they ran. BOS had a p-code interpreter so efficient that programs, even the
BOS/Writer word processor, ran sufficiently fast to satisfy users. Apart from a 2- kilobyte(Kb) server (computing)/hostkernel, BOS is written in BOS/MicroCobol, a language based on COBOLbut with system level programming constructs added and elements of structured programming, which bore a vague similarity to Pascal. In recent computing, programming languages such as Java have re-introduced the concept of p-code " virtual machines".
BOS required 48 Kb of
RAMand two 250 Kb floppies, though it was more commonly deployed on machines equipped with 64 kilobytesof RAM and a hard drive. A computer with 128 KB RAM and a 10-megabyte (Mb) hard drive could run as many as five concurrent users. When the IBM PC XTcame out in 1983, BOS served over eight concurrent dumb terminalson it. At the time, this made BOS very attractive.
With user-management tools and
application programming interfaces, BOS was considered an alternative even to the platform-specific operating systems on machines such as the PDP-11and the VAX.
Despite, or because of its command line interface, BOS remains popular with medium to large organizations in the UK.Fact|date=September 2008
* [http://www.global3000.com/comphist.html History of BOS Software Ltd]
* [http://www.atarimagazines.com/startspe1/business.html STart Magazine: Business Operating System on Atari ST]
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