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Encyclopedia > Windows 3.x
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Windows 3.x

A typical Windows 3.0 workspace
Company/developer: Microsoft
OS family: Windows 3.x/DOS
Source model: Closed source
Latest stable release: Windows 3.11
(December 1993)
Kernel type: See article
License: Microsoft EULA
Working state: Unsupported as of December 31, 2001
Website: Microsoft Support Lifecycle

The Windows 3.x family of Microsoft Windows operating systems were released from 1990 to 1994. The 3.0 release was the first widely successful version of Windows (see history of Microsoft Windows), enabling Microsoft to compete with Apple Computer's Macintosh and the Commodore Amiga on the GUI front. Jump to: navigation, search Image File history File links Windows_3. ... The term software company could be applied to; a) a company that produces software or b) a company that distributes software from a third party or c) a company that provides services for software Early Software companies list here. ... A software developer is an entity, either a company or individual, that creates software. ... Jump to: navigation, search Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) (HKSE: 4338) is the worlds largest software company, with global annual sales in the tens of billions of US dollars and nearly 60,000 employees in more than 90 countries. ... The text below is generated by a template, which has been proposed for deletion. ... Jump to: navigation, search 1993 (MCMXCIII) is a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and marked the Beginning of the International Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (1993-2003). ... A software license is a type of proprietary or gratuitous license as well as a memorandum of contract between a producer and a user of computer software — sometimes called an End User License Agreement (EULA) — that specifies the perimeters of the permission granted by the owner to the user. ... Jump to: navigation, search December 31 is the 365th day of the year (366th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... Jump to: navigation, search 2001: A Space Odyssey. ... Jump to: navigation, search The front page of the English Wikipedia Web site. ... Jump to: navigation, search Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) (HKSE: 4338) is the worlds largest software company, with global annual sales in the tens of billions of US dollars and nearly 60,000 employees in more than 90 countries. ... Jump to: navigation, search Microsoft Windows is a range of operating environments and operating systems for personal computers and servers. ... Jump to: navigation, search For the Temptations album, see 1990 (Temptations album) MCMXC redirects here; for the Enigma album, see MCMXC a. ... Jump to: navigation, search 1994 was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International year of the Family. ... Jump to: navigation, search Windows logo In 1983 Microsoft announced its development of Windows, a graphical user interface (GUI) for its own operating system (MS-DOS) that had shipped for IBM PC and compatible computers since 1981. ... Jump to: navigation, search Apple Computer, Inc. ... Jump to: navigation, search Apple iMac G5 desktop computer with Apple Remote attached to the side, and FrontRow on the display. ... Amiga is the name of a range of home/personal computers using the Motorola 68000 processor family, whose development started in 1982. ... Gui is short for Guilherme or Guilhermo or an iteration of that, in English it translates to Will. ...

Contents


Windows 3.0

Windows 3.0 was released on May 22, 1990 and included a significantly revamped user interface as well as technical improvements to make better use of the memory management capabilities of Intel's 80286 and 80386 processors. Text-mode programs written for MS-DOS could be run within a window (a feature previously available in a more limited form with Windows/386 2.1), making the system usable as a crude multitasking base for legacy programs, though this was of limited use for the home market, where most games and entertainment programs continued to require raw DOS access. Jump to: navigation, search May 22 is the 142nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (143rd in leap years). ... Jump to: navigation, search For the Temptations album, see 1990 (Temptations album) MCMXC redirects here; for the Enigma album, see MCMXC a. ... Memory management is the act of managing computer memory. ... Jump to: navigation, search Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) (HKSE: 4335) (founded 1968) is a U.S.-based multinational corporation that is best known for designing and manufacturing microprocessors and specialized integrated circuits. ... Jump to: navigation, search An Intel 80286 Microprocessor The Intel 80286 is an x86-family 16-bit microprocessor that was introduced by Intel on February 1, 1982. ... Jump to: navigation, search An Intel 80386 Microprocessor The Intel 80386 is a microprocessor which was used as the central processing unit (CPU) of many personal computers from 1986 until 1994 and later. ... Microsofts disk operating system, MS-DOS, was Microsofts implementation of DOS, which was the first popular operating system for the IBM PC, and until recently, was widely used on the PC compatible platform. ... In computing, multitasking is a method by which multiple tasks, also known as processes, share common processing resources such as a CPU. In the case of a computer with a single CPU, only one task is said to be running at any point in time, meaning that the CPU is...


The MS-DOS Executive file manager/program launcher was replaced with an icon-based Program Manager and a list-based File Manager, thereby simplifying the launching of applications. The MS-DOS Executive was still included as an alternative user interface program. The Control Panel, previously available as a standard-looking applet, had been re-modeled after the one in Mac OS. It centralized system settings, including limited control over the color scheme of the interface. A number of simple applications were included, such as the text editor Notepad and the word processor Write (both inherited from earlier versions of Windows), a macro recorder (new; later dropped), and a calculator (also inherited). The earlier Reversi game was complemented with a card puzzle named Solitaire. The Program Manager in the Windows 3. ... An applet is a Java compliant software component that runs in the context of web application on a client computer. ... Jump to: navigation, search Mac OS, which stands for Macintosh Operating System, is a range of graphical user interface-based operating systems developed by Apple Computer for the Macintosh computers. ... Notepad is a simple text editor included with Microsoft Windows. ... Jump to: navigation, search Screen dump of WZebra 4. ... Klondike is a solitaire card game often known purely by the name of Solitaire. It is probably the most well known solo card game. ...


Windows 3.0 was the last version of Windows to advertise 100% compatibility with older Windows applications.


The Multimedia Extensions

The Multimedia Extensions were released in Fall 1991 to support CD-ROM drives and sound cards, which were then becoming available. The Multimedia Extensions were released to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), mainly CD-ROM drive and sound card manufacturers, and added basic multimedia support for audio input and output and a CD audio player application to Windows 3.0. The Multimedia Extensions' new features were not available in Windows 3.0 real mode. Windows 3.1 would later incorporate many of its features. Jump to: navigation, search 1991 (MCMXCI) is a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The CD-ROM (an abbreviation for Compact Disc Read-Only Memory (ROM)) is a non-volatile optical data storage medium using the same physical format as audio compact discs, readable by a computer with a CD-ROM drive. ... OEM is an acronym for either of the following: Original Equipment Manufacturer Office of Emergency Management. ... Jump to: navigation, search Multimedia is the use of several different media to convey information (text, audio, graphics, animation, video, and interactivity). ... Jump to: navigation, search Interference colors. ...


Windows 3.1

A typical Windows 3.1x workspace
A typical Windows 3.1x workspace

Windows 3.1 (originally codenamed Janus), released on March 18, 1992, included a TrueType font system (and a set of highly legible fonts already installed) which effectively made Windows a serious desktop publishing platform for the first time. (Similar functionality was available for Windows 3.0 through the Adobe Type Manager (ATM) font system from Adobe.) This is a screenshot of copyrighted computer software. ... This is a screenshot of copyrighted computer software. ... Jump to: navigation, search March 18 is the 77th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (78th in leap years). ... Jump to: navigation, search 1992 was a leap year starting on Wednesday. ... TrueType is an outline font standard originally developed by Apple Computer in the late 1980s as a competitor to Adobes Type 1 fonts used in PostScript. ... Jump to: navigation, search This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Jump to: navigation, search Desktop publishing, or DTP, is the process of editing and layout of printed material intended for publication, such as books, magazines, and brochures, using a personal computer. ... Jump to: navigation, search Adobe Type Manager (ATM) is the name of four different computer programs created and marketed by Adobe Systems. ... Jump to: navigation, search Adobe Systems (NASDAQ: ADBE) is a computer software company headquartered in San Jose, California that was founded in December 1982 by John Warnock and Charles Geschke. ...


Windows 3.1 was designed to have a large degree of backward compatibility with older Windows platforms. As with Windows 3.0, version 3.1 had File Manager and Program Manager. But unlike all previous versions, Windows 3.1 and later supported 32-bit disk access, couldn't run in real mode, and included Minesweeper instead of Reversi. Jump to: navigation, search In technology, especially computing, a product is said to be backward compatible when it is able to take the place of an older product, by interoperating with other products that were designed for the older product. ... Minesweeper is a single-player computer game invented by Robert Donner in 1989. ...


A special version named Windows 3.1 for Central and Eastern Europe was released that allowed the use of Cyrillic and had fonts with diacritical marks, characteristic for the Central and Eastern European languages.


Microsoft also released an update for Windows 3.1 which (aside from installing new files) changed the Windows version displayed in "About" dialog boxes to 3.11. Thus, Windows 3.11 wasn't a standalone version of Windows, but rather a sub-edition of Windows 3.1, much like modern Windows service packs. A Service Pack (more commonly, SP) is a software program that corrects known bugs, problems, or adds new features. ...


There existed an OS which identified itself as Windows 3.2, had all labels, messages, and help files translated to Chinese, included a few font-related and text conversion utilities specific to Chinese language, and was otherwise identical to Windows 3.1.


Windows for Workgroups

Windows for Workgroups 3.11 startup logo
Windows for Workgroups 3.11 startup logo

Windows for Workgroups 3.1 (originally codenamed Kato), released in October 1992, featured native networking support. WfW 3.1 is an extended version of Windows 3.1 which came with SMB file sharing support via the NetBEUI and/or IPX network protocols, included the Hearts card game, and introduced VSHARE.386, the Virtual Device Driver version of the SHARE.EXE TSR. This is a screenshot of copyrighted computer software. ... This is a screenshot of copyrighted computer software. ... 1992 was a leap year starting on Wednesday. ... Jump to: navigation, search This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... NetBEUI is the commonly confused name for NETBEUI. NETBEUI (pronounced net-booey) is an acronym for NetBIOS Extended User Interface. ... Jump to: navigation, search Internetwork Packet Exchange (IPX) is at the Network layer of the OSI model and is part of the IPX/SPX protocol stack. ... Jump to: navigation, search Hearts is a trick-taking game, usually played with a standard deck of 52 cards, in which the object is to avoid taking certain cards in tricks. ...


Finally, Windows for Workgroups 3.11 (originally codenamed Snowball) was released in December 1993. It supported 32-bit file access, full 32-bit network redirectors, and the VCACHE.386 file cache, shared between them. Standard mode is no longer supported in Windows for Workgroups 3.11. WfW 3.11 was also the last version of Windows to ignore right clicks and to have no 'copy and paste' functionality. Users had to use File Manager to copy their files to a diskette. 1993 is a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and marked the Beginning of the International Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination (1993-2003). ...


A Winsock package was required to support TCP/IP networking in Windows 3.x. Usually third-party packages were used, but in August 1994 Microsoft released an add-on package (codenamed Wolverine) which provided limited TCP/IP support in Windows for Workgroups 3.11. Winsock 2 logo In computing, Winsock (short for Windows Sockets) is a specification that defines how Windows network software should access network services, especially TCP/IP. // Background Early Microsoft operating systems, both MS-DOS and Windows, offered limited networking capability, chiefly based on NetBIOS (a technology that Microsoft adopted from... The Internet protocol suite is the set of communications protocols that implement the protocol stack on which the Internet runs. ... Jump to: navigation, search A computer network is a system for communication between computers. ... 1994 was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International year of the Family. ...


Limited compatibility with the new 32-bit Windows API used by Windows NT was provided by another add-on package, Win32s. Jump to: navigation, search The Windows API is the name given by Microsoft to the core set of application programming interfaces available in the Microsoft Windows operating systems. ... Windows NT is a family of operating systems produced by Microsoft, and was succeeded by Windows 2000 (still based on Windows NT). ... Win32s is an extension for the 16-bit Microsoft Windows 3. ...


Windows 3.x was eventually superseded by Windows 95, Windows 98, and later versions which integrated the MS-DOS and Windows components into a single product. Jump to: navigation, search Windows 95 (codename Chicago) is a hybrid 16-bit/32-bit graphical user interface-based operating system released on August 24, 1995 by the Microsoft Corporation. ... Jump to: navigation, search Windows 98 (codename Memphis) is a graphical operating system released on June 25, 1998 by Microsoft. ...


Windows 3.2

Released in 1994, available in Simplified Chinese only. Jump to: navigation, search 1994 was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International year of the Family. ... Simplified Chinese characters (Simplified Chinese: 简体字; Traditional Chinese: 簡體字; pinyin: jiǎntǐzì; also called 简化字/簡化字, jiǎnhuàzì) are one of two standard character sets of printed contemporary Chinese written language. ...


Memory modes

The Windows 3.x family could be run in three different memory modes:

  • Real mode, intended for older computers with a CPU below 286, and corresponding to its real CPU mode;
  • Standard mode, intended for computers with a 286 processor, and corresponding to its protected CPU mode;
  • 386 Enhanced mode, intended for newer computers with a 386 processor or above, and corresponding to its protected mode.

Real mode set the CPU to run as though it were an 8086/8088, including the limitation that it could only address 1 MB RAM. The expanded memory scheme was used to utilize any memory the computer had beyond 1 MB. This slowed down the computer significantly, and was used only by users of legacy applications that would crash in protected mode. Windows 3.0 was the last version of Windows that could run in real mode. Jump to: navigation, search An Intel 80286 Microprocessor The Intel 80286 is an x86-family 16-bit microprocessor that was introduced by Intel on February 1, 1982. ... Real mode is an operating mode of 80286 and later x86-compatible CPUs. ... Jump to: navigation, search Protected mode (sometimes abbreviated pmode) is an operational mode of x86-compatible CPUs of the 80286 series or later. ... Jump to: navigation, search An Intel 80386 Microprocessor The Intel 80386 is a microprocessor which was used as the central processing unit (CPU) of many personal computers from 1986 until 1994 and later. ... An Intel 8086 Microprocessor The 8086 is a 16-bit microprocessor chip designed by Intel in 1978, which gave rise to the x86 architecture. ... An Intel 8088 Microprocessor The Intel 8088 is an Intel microprocessor based on the 8086, with 16-bit registers and an 8-bit external data bus. ... mb, Mb, and MB may stand for: Bachelor of Medicine (academic degree) Honda MB is a Honda 50cc motorcycle from the early 80s. ... Jump to: navigation, search Random access memory (sometimes random-access memory), commonly known by its acronym RAM, is a type of computer storage (in practice only computer chips) whose contents can be accessed in any (i. ... Expanded Memory is memory on an IBM PC compatible computer that is used through the Expanded Memory Specification (EMS) memory paging scheme, enabling access to extra RAM above the 1MB conventional memory area while the processor is in real mode. ... A legacy system is an antiquated computer system or application program which continues to be used because the user (typically an organization) does not want to replace or redesign it. ...


Standard mode let the CPU directly access up to 16 MB of RAM at once, enabled virtual memory, and used memory protection to make Windows more stable in the event of an application fault. Note that standard mode is no longer supported in Windows for Workgroups 3.11. Jump to: navigation, search Virtual memory is intended to help the programmer by taking care of some memory housekeeping duties. ... Memory protection is a system that prevents one process from corrupting the memory of another process running on the same computer at the same time. ...


386 Enhanced mode implemented all the benefits of Standard mode, plus 32-bit addressing and paging for faster memory access, plus virtual 8086 mode for safer execution of MS-DOS programs: each of them now ran in a virtual machine. In this mode, multiple MS-DOS programs could be run simultaneously in separate windows; in previous modes, they could only be run in full-screen, and only the program currently active was executing.


Full OS or MS-DOS shell?

Pre-NT Windows systems, not only 3.x and earlier but also 95, 98 and ME, have a complex, original, hybrid and not fully documented internal structure. Most notably, they require MS-DOS in order to run, and run 'on top' of MS-DOS. As a consequence, it can be difficult to decide whether they are operating systems or MS-DOS extension shells. Many users consider them to be operating systems, because they appear to behave as such, while other people, often having used other environments, refute this label. Jump to: navigation, search It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Shell_(computing). ...


Windows 3.x requires pre-installation of MS-DOS, which must be booted on PC startup. Windows is started as an application program, and can be terminated at any time, returning the user to the MS-DOS prompt. MS-DOS also provides device drivers for certain tasks such as CD-ROM or network access, specifically remote disk drive or remote printer access; these drivers run in real mode. However, in 386 enhanced mode of Windows for Workgroups, the networking drivers are running in protected mode. On the other hand, Windows requires specifically written applications, and has a specific on-disk file format, which is much more complicated than the format of MS-DOS executables. It has many of its own device drivers and for the most part its own memory management system. A BOOTING is any exercise of the verb to boot. ... Real mode is an operating mode of 80286 and later x86-compatible CPUs. ... Application has the following meanings: In general, an application is using something abstract for a more concrete use. ... A device driver, often called a driver for short, is a computer program that enables another program, typically, an operating system (OS) (e. ... Memory management is the act of managing computer memory. ...


Other considerations include the fact that MS-DOS does not isolate applications from the hardware and does not protect itself from applications. The memory-resident part of MS-DOS is akin to a library of routines for dealing with disk-type peripherals and loading applications from them; an MS-DOS program is free to do whatever it desires, notably replacing or bypassing part or all of MS-DOS code, temporarily or permanently. Windows took advantage of this, and the degree to which bypassing was performed increased with every new release. Windows 3.1 and its 32-bit Disk Access superseded the BIOS code for accessing disks, while 32-bit File Access of Windows for Workgroups 3.11 bypassed the native MS-DOS code for accessing files. This opened the way for Windows 95's support for long file names, which made DOS file code and related 8.3 utilities obsolete. Jump to: navigation, search Modern-style library In its traditional sense, a library is a collection of books and periodicals. ... A routine can be any activity that recurs. ... A peripheral ***is ***a ***type ******of ***************computer ***hardware************ ***that ***is ***added ***to ***a ***host ******computer*** ******in ***order ************to ***expand ***its abilities***. ***More ***specifica************lly ***the term ***is ***used ***to describe ***those ***devices ***that ***are optional ***in ***nature***, as ***opposed ***t*********o ***hardware ***that ***is ***either ***demanded***, ***or ***always r*********equired... Application has the following meanings: In general, an application is using something abstract for a more concrete use. ... 8. ...


Furthermore, an MS-DOS program running in the Windows environment could take advantage of those features of Windows which were natively unsupported by DOS. An MS-DOS program running on Windows for Workgroups 3.11 would automatically use 32-bit File Access rather than the native MS-DOS file and disk access routines. Similarly, a specially written MS-DOS program running on Windows 95 can access long file names.


The same operating principles applied to Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows Me which still mixed 16-bit and 32-bit code. With each successive version, however, 16-bit code became less apparent. Jump to: navigation, search Windows 95 (codename Chicago) is a hybrid 16-bit/32-bit graphical user interface-based operating system released on August 24, 1995 by the Microsoft Corporation. ... Jump to: navigation, search Windows 98 (codename Memphis) is a graphical operating system released on June 25, 1998 by Microsoft. ... Jump to: navigation, search Windows Millennium Edition (originally codenamed Millennium), also known as Windows Me, is a 32-bit graphical operating system released on September 14, 2000 by Microsoft. ...


Windows NT, Windows 2000, and their successors represent operating systems completely separate from MS-DOS legacy and entirely composed of 32-bit code. MS-DOS programs run inside virtual DOS machines, which are implemented over the normal system API rather than underlying the system. Windows NT is a family of operating systems produced by Microsoft, and was succeeded by Windows 2000 (still based on Windows NT). ... Jump to: navigation, search Windows 2000 (also referred to as Win2K, W2K or Windows NT 5. ... Virtual DOS machine (VDM) is the name of Microsofts technologies allowing to run MS-DOS programs on Intel 80386 or higher computers when there is already another operating system running and controlling the hardware. ...



History of Microsoft Windows
MS-DOS–based: 1.0 | 2.0 | 3.x | 95 | 98 | Me
NT-based: NT 3.1 | NT 3.5 | NT 3.51 | NT 4.0 | 2000 | XP | Server 2003
CE-based: CE 3.0 | Mobile | CE 5.0
Forthcoming: Vista | Server "Longhorn" | Blackcomb

Jump to: navigation, search Windows logo In 1983 Microsoft announced its development of Windows, a graphical user interface (GUI) for its own operating system (MS-DOS) that had shipped for IBM PC and compatible computers since 1981. ... Microsofts disk operating system, MS-DOS, was Microsofts implementation of DOS, which was the first popular operating system for the IBM PC, and until recently, was widely used on the PC compatible platform. ... Jump to: navigation, search Microsoft Windows 1. ... Jump to: navigation, search Microsoft Windows 2. ... Jump to: navigation, search Windows 95 (codename Chicago) is a hybrid 16-bit/32-bit graphical user interface-based operating system released on August 24, 1995 by the Microsoft Corporation. ... Jump to: navigation, search Windows 98 (codename Memphis) is a graphical operating system released on June 25, 1998 by Microsoft. ... Jump to: navigation, search Windows Millennium Edition (originally codenamed Millennium), also known as Windows Me, is a 32-bit graphical operating system released on September 14, 2000 by Microsoft. ... Windows NT is a family of operating systems produced by Microsoft, and was succeeded by Windows 2000 (still based on Windows NT). ... Windows NT is an operating system produced by Microsoft. ... Windows NT is an operating system produced by Microsoft. ... Windows NT is an operating system produced by Microsoft. ... Windows NT 4. ... Jump to: navigation, search Windows 2000 (also referred to as Win2K, W2K or Windows NT 5. ... Jump to: navigation, search As of 2005, Windows XP is the current client version of the Microsoft Windows operating system. ... Jump to: navigation, search The successor to Windows 2000 Server, Microsofts Windows Server 2003 (codename Whistler Server, also known as Windows NT 5. ... Jump to: navigation, search Windows CE for Handheld PC 3. ... Microsoft Windows CE 3. ... Jump to: navigation, search Windows Mobile is a compact operating system for mobile devices based on the Microsoft Win32 API. Devices which run Windows Mobile include Pocket PCs, Smartphones, and Portable Media Centers. ... Windows CE 5. ... Jump to: navigation, search Windows Vista (also referred to as WinVI) is Microsofts next version of its Windows operating system, superseding Windows XP. It was previously known by its codename Longhorn (see the other Microsoft codenames). ... Jump to: navigation, search Windows Server Longhorn is the codename for the next server operating system from Microsoft. ... Jump to: navigation, search Windows Blackcomb is Microsofts codename for the successor to Microsoft Windows Vista and Longhorn Server, originally announced in February 2000, but since subject to major delays and rescheduling. ...

External links

  • Technical articles discussing the Windows 3.1 architecture
  • GUIdebook: Windows 3.0 Gallery - A website dedicated to preserving and showcasing Graphical User Interfaces
  • GUIdebook: Windows 3.1 Gallery - A website dedicated to preserving and showcasing Graphical User Interfaces
  • Windows 3.0 Gallery - Windows 3.0 Screenshots

 
 

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