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What Is CP/M?

Welcome to a journey into the annals of computing history. Today’s topic is a true classic – Control Program for Microcomputers, better known as CP/M.

What is CP/M?

Control Program for Microcomputers, or CP/M, is an operating system developed in the 1970s. Created by Gary Kildall of Digital Research Inc., it was the first popular microcomputer operating system. Designed to be hardware-independent, it could be used on any machine with a Zilog Z80 processor.

What devices used CP/M?

CP/M was widely adopted and found its way into various personal computers of the late 1970s and early 1980s. These included systems like the Osborne 1, Kaypro II, and the original IBM PC. The hardware-independence of CP/M made it a popular choice among manufacturers and users alike.

Is CP/M still around?

While CP/M has largely faded from mainstream use, it remains a significant piece of computing history. It is no longer in active development or use, but its influence can still be seen in today’s operating systems. There are also hobbyist communities and retro computing enthusiasts who continue to explore and enjoy CP/M.

Is MS-DOS the same as CP/M?

Many people often wonder if Microsoft’s MS-DOS is the same as CP/M. While there are similarities, they are not the same. MS-DOS was inspired by CP/M and shares many of its concepts. However, it was designed specifically for the Intel 8086 processor, unlike the hardware-independent CP/M.


In conclusion, CP/M played a pivotal role in the history of computing. It helped standardize the concept of an operating system and set the stage for future developments. While it may no longer be in use, the legacy of CP/M lives on, and its influence can still be seen in the world of computing today.

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