This is an article written 20 years ago by Mark Russinovich, which compares VMS and Windows NT.
When Microsoft released the first version of Windows NT in April 1993, the company’s marketing and public relations campaign heavily emphasized the NT (i.e., New Technology) in the operating system’s (OS’s) name. Microsoft promoted NT as a cutting-edge OS that included all the features users expected in an OS for workstations and small to midsized servers. Although NT was a new OS in 1993, with a new API (i.e., Win32) and new user and systems-management tools, the roots of NT’s core architecture and implementation extend back to the mid-1970s.
And now… The rest of the story: I’ll take you on a short tour of NT’s lineage, which leads back to Digital and its VMS OS. Most of NT’s lead developers, including VMS’s chief architect, came from Digital, and their background heavily influenced NT’s development. After I talk about NT’s roots, I’ll discuss the more-than-coincidental similarities between NT and VMS, and how Digital reacted to NT’s release.
Pascal Zachary’s book “Showstopper! The Breakneck Race to Create Windows NT and the Next Generation at Microsoft” is also great reading for anyone interested in how NT came to be.
Especially the information around the software environments (I forget their technical term for it) that it would support. NT could run OS/2 programs, win16 programs, win32 programs, POSIX programs, and one other one, I think.
And the creation of the HAL lead to it being usable on x86, MIPS, PowerPC, amd64, Itanium, and probably others I’m forgetting about.
Edited 2018-06-22 21:49 UTC