Macintosh: DOS, OS/2, and Windows Compatibility (3/93)

I hear that Macintosh computers are compatible with MS-DOS and Windows computers. How does Apple define compatible?

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The best way to start answering these questions is to determine what you are really asking about when you discuss compatibility. There are two questions to ask when defining levels of compatibility:

*╩Do you want to use MS-DOS or Windows files on a Macintosh?

* Do you want to run MS-DOS applications (software programs) on a Macintosh? The essential ingredients that ensure compatibility come with your Macintosh Performa computer: a SuperDrive disk drive and Macintosh PC Exchange software.

Every Macintosh has a built-in SuperDrive, which can read and write to DOS, Windows, OS/2, and Apple II formatted 3.5-inch floppy diskettes. These floppy diskettes can be 400K, 800K, or 1.44MB in capacity. Macintosh PC Exchange is included in the System software that comes with every Macintosh Performa, Power Macintosh and other selected Macintosh models.

With Macintosh PC Exchange users can easily work with files stored on DOS or Windows floppy disks. You can move files between a Macintosh and PC as easily as you can between two Macintosh computers. By creating program links, you can directly launch a Macintosh program and translate a file by simply double-clicking on your PC file. You can even format floppy disks in DOS or Windows format on your Macintosh using Macintosh PC Exchange.

If you want to run MS-DOS applications on your Macintosh, you will need an additional program such as SoftPC or SoftWindows (for the Power Macintosh series) from Insignia Solutions, Inc.

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Article Change History:
25 March 1994 - Revised and retitled to reflect additional Macintosh models in addition to the Performa series.

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Published Date: Feb 19, 2012