DOS/V is a version of MS-DOS that provides both English and Japanese language command interfaces and can be used for applications designed for either or both English and Japanese. DOS/V includes all the English-based commands and specific Japanese DOS/V commands. DOS/V gets its name because it requires a Video Graphics Array () display.
Before DOS/V, computers on the Japanese market were incompatible with machines made elsewhere and more expensive. Software developed for non-Japanese environments did not work on Japanese machines. In 1991, the Open Access Development Group (OADG), a consortium organized by IBM, developed DOS/V. Because DOS/V works on all IBM-compatible computers, foreign manufacturers were able to start selling their computers in the Japanese market. Competition brought prices down for computers, peripherals, and software. DOS/V also opened the door to Japanese versions of Windows 3.1, 95, and 98.
With the advent of Windows 3.1, a user was faced with new problems. A Windows user that needed Japanese capabilities had to juggle separate English and Japanese versions of Windows 3.1. This required installing Windows 3.1 twice in separate folders and rebooting when the other language version was needed. Installing separate English- and Japanese-based software applications was also necessary. WIN/V was developed to solve these problems.
WIN/V is an add-on to English versions of Windows 3.1 that emulates the Kanji-specific interface of Japanese versions of Windows 3.1, allowing users to use Japanese True Type fonts and Japanese applications without needing a Japanese version of Windows 3.1. WIN/V also allows users to use any printer that works with English versions of Windows 3.1. Since Windows 95 and 98 are truly multilingual, a WIN/V equivalent is no longer needed.