Already in the 80's, only few years after the release of the Commodore C64, the legendary [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GEOS_%288-bit_operating_system%29 GEOS] by Berkeley Softworks appeared and set the standard for a windows-based operating system on c64. It was a graphical user-interface (GUI) which was similar to the old desktop of the Apple Macintosh. Powerfull applications were made available for GEOS like GeoWrite (similar to MS-Word) or GeoCalc (similar to MS-Excel). It was incredible, that an 8bit-machine with only 64K was able to realize such an operating system.
On the Amstrad CPC many efforts to build a decent GUI were made as well. In most cases they were just extensions to realize a WIMP (Windows, Icons, Menus and Pointers) environment but weren't true operating systems with their own kernel, memory-management and so on. The [
http://www. prodatron.net/details.htm?7 CEUS Desktop 2.0 (1990)] by Prodatron was just such an extension-system.
Therefore, the CPC's own OS (in combination with AmsDOS) and [[CP/M|CP/M]] were the only two known OSes for the series, but the question remained: since most CPCs have 128K (most C64 only have 64K), a screen-resolution of 320x200 with 4 colours (C64 only has 2 colours for each 8x8 area in 320x200) and some more advantages, why not have something similar? So the SymbOS-Project was born. SymbOS stands for "SYmbiosis Multitasking Based Operating System". SymbOS is a demonstration of what has been achieved on the CPC: real preemptive multitasking, dynamic memory-management for up to 1024K and a totaly MS-Windows-like GUI are the three most important features.
*''08/2007'': SymbOS release 2.0 is out
== Technical background ==