10 operating systems the world left behind

AmigaOS, CP/M, OS/2, DOS -- which OS do you miss the most?

  • BeOS, a multithreaded, media-friendly operating system, could run multiple videos without a stutter or crash on its original BeBox hardware and on the PowerPC and Pentium platforms. Shown here: two views of the BeOS 5 Personal Edition desktop.

  • An original IBM PC 5150 running PC-DOS Version 1.10. Inset: MS-DOS 4.01 on a 286-based NCR Personal Computer

  • The Mac OS "classic" operating system, introduced in 1984, powered Macs for 16 years and spawned a rash of imitators. For many years it was known simply as "the System." Shown here, from top to bottom: System 1.1, System 4.2 and System 7.0.

  • CP/M-86 Version 1.0 running on an original IBM PC 5150 (top left and right); CP/M 2.2 on an Osborne 1 (bottom left); CP/M 2.2G on a Kaypro 10 (bottom right).

  • From top to bottom: Amiga Workbench 1.2, 2.0 and 3.9, which ran on Motorola processors, and AmigaOS 4.0, which runs on the PowerPC.

  • Windows 95 was a turning point in the world of Windows, greatly improving the operating system's stability. Windows 95 also marked the debut of both the Start menu and the taskbar

  • OK, the X Window System isn't actually an OS; it's a graphical interface. It's not really gone, either -- while the world may have forgotten about it, X is still alive and well beneath the surface all the free Unix and Linux releases.

  • Born of a partnership between IBM and Microsoft, OS/2 quietly provided computing power for the banking and insurance industries throughout the '90s, but it failed to capture the interest of consumer software developers. Shown here: OS/2 2.1 (top) and two views of OS 2 Warp 4.

  • GEOS, originally a Mac-like operating system for eight-bit Commodore computers, was later ported over to the PC platform as GeoWorks Ensemble, which ran on top of DOS. Shown here stacked: GEOS 1.2 for the Commodore 64C (top); GEOS 2.0 for the Commodore 128 (middle); GeoWorks Ensemble 1.2 (bottom).

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