The PowerPC 600 series and Windows NT

The PowerPC is a RISC processor architecture which grew out of IBM’s POWER architecture. Windows NT support was introduced in Windows NT 3.51, and it didn’t last long; the last version to support it was Windows NT 4.0. Despite not being supported by the flagship operating system, it continued to be supported by Windows CE, and a later version of the PowerPC was chosen as the processor for the Xbox 360.

As with all the processor retrospective series, I’m going to focus on how Windows NT used the PowerPC in user mode because the original audience for all of these discussions was user-mode developers trying to get up to speed debugging their programs on PowerPC.

I’ve always been fascinated by the early years of Windows NT, and the non-x86 versions of the then-new operating system specifically, so this article is right up my alley.