Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 22nd May 2010 21:33 UTC
Windows "The first truly successful Microsoft Windows operating system is twenty years old today; Windows 3.0 was launched on the 22nd of May 1990 and was the successor to Windows 2.1x. The Graphics User interface (technically it was not an operating system) sat on top of MS-DOS and could run applications for the operating system from within a Window and many might fondly remember that it was available on 5.25-inch high density floppy disks. More significantly, it proved to be the perfect partner for Intel's then-new range of 386 processor, which bought protected mode and extended memory capabilities to the market."
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RE[4]: Technical detail
by kedwards on Sun 23rd May 2010 09:03 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Technical detail"
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By the time of Windows 3.1, it seems like the distinction is blurred. Windows 3.1 used DOS as a bootloader and for some file access operations (and could even bypass those). Otherwise, it handled interrupts, memory management, task management, etc. in 32-bit protected mode. It may not be the best architecture, but it really sounds like a real operating system not merely a graphical shell or operating environment.

Windows 3.1 still relied upon DOS very heavily. It wasn't until Windows For Workgroups 3.11 that brought over some of the 32bit features that were in Windows 95. WFW 3.11 still required DOS for a few DOS drivers like CD-ROM and SCSI support. It was considered just an operating environment because DOS was required to be installed(and booted) first before you could install(and boot) Windows 3.XX.

Edited 2010-05-23 09:12 UTC

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