GEM is a graphical application environment that runs on top of MS/PC-DOS. It was built on the technology of Digital Research's GSX portable runtime (Used in DR-Draw and DR-Graph ) . Notably, a port of GEM and CP/M was used as the primary GUI on the M68k based Atari ST. GEM was also bundled with Amstrad computers.

It competed against the Apple Macintosh, but beat Microsoft Windows to market.

Apple sued Digital Research over their look and feel, which resulted in GEM 2.0 removing overlapping windows from its desktop file management.

There were numerous applications written for the GEM Environment. A few available here on WinWorld are: Ventura Publisher, Artline, Publish-It, and Key Publisher, GEM Desktop Publisher, GEM Draw, GEM Graph, GEM Programmer's Toolkit, GEM WordChart, and GEM Write.

The final official release was GEM 3.11. Enhanced versions were included with Artline, TimeWorks Publisher, and ViewMax but were only intended for use as runtimes.

In 1999 the source code was released as open source, that led to the continued development of OpenGem and FreeGem.

Wanted: GEM Desktop 1.0, and manual scans.

Have something to share about GEM? Tell us! Comments on any WinWorld articles are welcome over on WinBoards, WinWorld's discussion forum.


Category: Operating System
Platform: DOS
Release: 1985
End of Life: Unknown
RAM: Unknown
Disk Space: Unknown
Required CPU: 8088
Type: Graphical



Name Version Size Language Architecture Contents
Digital Research GEM Desktop 1.1 (5.25-360k)  1.0 200.94 KB English x86 5.25" Floppy
Digital Research GEM Desktop 1.2 (5.25-360k)  1.2 307.11 KB English x86 5.25" Floppy
Digital Research GEM Desktop 1.2 for Tandy (5.25-360k)  1.2 for Tandy 224.73 KB English x86 5.25" Floppy