Microsoft Pascal

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A version of Pascal made by Microsoft Corp. for OS/2, Xenix and DOS that gained some ISO Pascal compliant features during its lifetime, the product was also sold under the name IBM PC Pascal Compiler with some minor differences, and during its early years actually better known in that guise. It was originally UCSD Pascal but was transformed by Microsoft into a true binary code compiler fairly early on although the company also used a variant in-house that used a p-code compiler as it was easier to maintain portable code with that configuration.

It gained something of a reputation for producing slow and bloated code but this was largely a misunderstanding of the tool, early versions of Microsoft Pascal compiled by default with all debugging features enabled, whilst competitors like Pascal/MT+ and Turbo Pascal produced code without debugging by default and needed options or compiler directives to be set for that to happen. A number of magazines tested MP and reported benchmarks results compiled with the default setting, placing the product in the last place of Pascal compilers available for the IBM PC, while in actuality Microsoft/IBM Pascal produced best of class executables when used correctly, smaller and faster than Pascal/MT+ and in a completely different league than Turbo Pascal. It was not until we started to get highly optimised Pascal compilers such as TopSpeed Pascal and Stony Brook Pascal+ in the late 80's and early 90's that we started to see tools that generated better output code.

Note that there never was sold a 32 bit version of the compiler, it only supports 16 bit DOS and OS/2.


MS Pascal version 4.0

  • Last known version released in 1988, no fixpacks appear to have been released and the product line was dropped the year after in favour of the short lived QuickPascal that focused on Turbo Pascal compatibility and object oriented extensions.
  • First version to support OS/2 both as a target and host, no Windows support oddly enough.
  • Any version of OS/2
  • DOS version 3.3 or higher

MS Pascal version 3.3

  • Released in 1986, has speed improvements over its predecessors and support for file and record locking.
  • DOS version 2.2 or higher
  • 256k of memory or more
  • Two floppy drives or a hard drive.

MS Pascal version 3.2

  • Released in 1986

Known issues

As with other Microsoft tools that support both OS/2 and DOS environments you may run into problems if you try to use those tools on Microsoft Windows systems that support the running of OS/2 1.x programs (Windows NT and 2000), as the system tries to run the DOS executable as an OS/2 program and fails. Either make sure that only the DOS executables are installed or if they are already installed or you migrated the install by hand, precede every command with the FORCEDOS command.



  • Commercial - Discontinued.