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Microsoft Windows GUI Operating Systems Technology

Microsoft Windows 3.0 Is 20 Years Today 307

Posted by timothy
from the great-platform-for-playing-jeopardy dept.
siliconbits writes "Some say that the Windows 3.0 GUI (remember, it needed MS-DOS or DR-DOS to work) was the single most important version, as it allowed Microsoft to get its day. The first truly successful Windows operating system is 20 years old today; Windows 3.0 was launched on 22 May 1990 and was the successor to Windows 2.1x."
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Microsoft Windows 3.0 Is 20 Years Today

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  • dr-dos? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 22, 2010 @02:41PM (#32307306)

    you dont have good memory, eh?

    read up about undocumented dos functions in ms-dos and what happened when you tried to run windows 3 in dr-dos...

    digital research went to court about it and roughly 10 years later they won .... only that they were already moved out of os market because of microsofts behaviour (oh these memories)

  • by ClosedSource (238333) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @02:41PM (#32307308)

    because it had truetype fonts. The combination of Windows 3.1 and HP's deskjet printers made it possible to perform desktop publishing for hundreds of dollars less than using other alternatives.

  • Re:Win 3.1 emulator (Score:4, Informative)

    by yuhong (1378501) <.moc.liamtoh. .ta. .683_oabgnohuy.> on Saturday May 22, 2010 @03:40PM (#32307810) Homepage
    No, it was the same on the real 3.x calculator, making it targets of jokes: []
  • by Richard_at_work (517087) <> on Saturday May 22, 2010 @04:14PM (#32308134)

    The Amiga was large in the UK home user market, and I think Germany as well - most of my friends had an Amiga, while only a select few had PCs and I cannot think of one that had a Mac (and only a single one had an Atari).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 22, 2010 @04:32PM (#32308336)

    I was under the impression that "everyone" who had a computer had an Amiga in Sweden at the time. Many friends had one and I've had a few. And if people didn't have an Amiga, they had an Atari.

  • Is there a point? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Blakey Rat (99501) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @04:49PM (#32308472)

    Is there a point to this story, other than "hur hur let's make fun of Microsoft! hur hur hur!"

    Now if you found someone still using it today, that might be newsworthy.

  • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @05:23PM (#32308724)

    I accept the Apple Lisa was not popular outside the US but the Amiga had a much higher percentage of users in Europe than in the US.

  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @08:36PM (#32310184) Journal

    Although I'm impressed that the OS and software fit inside just 0.008 gigabytes of RAM,

    8MB? You're off by quite a bit. More than 4MB of RAM was quite rare for Windows 3.1, and a few machines shipped with 2MB (although that was very cramped). The machine I had that ran 3.0 only had 640KB of RAM.

  • by Bing Tsher E (943915) on Saturday May 22, 2010 @10:03PM (#32310766) Journal

    Windows 95 only had cooperative multitasking as well. You had to upgrade to Windows NT 3.x to get preemptive multitasking. (and then downgrade to NT 4.0 which was a big step backwards.)
    The 95/98/me series was just a bunch of stuff piled on top of old DOS- not really an OS at all, just a wad of runtime stuff running on top of DOS.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 22, 2010 @11:49PM (#32311188)

    Preemptive multitasking:

    1- A periodical hardware interrupt occurs()
    2- Running process is *pre-empted* and an interrupt handler is called, regardless of what the program was doing.
    3- Handler saves the state of the running process and restores another process' state before returning from the interrupt.

    Cooperative multitasking:

    1- Program voluntarily calls yield
    2- Yield() saves the state and restores

    Calling int whatever when int whatever contains Yield is a book example of cooperative multitasking. Even if the programs weren't written with cooperation in mind. If you want it is the DOS emulator cooperating, but it is still a case of cooperative multitasking.

    You could do preemptive multitasking without hardware interrupts by dynamically modifying the programs' code but this DOS box multitasking is not preemptive however you look at it.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Sunday May 23, 2010 @01:13AM (#32311604) Journal

    Windows 95 only had cooperative multitasking as well.

    You're completely wrong. Win9x had proper preemptive multitasking. You could CreateThread() two different threads, and they'd just run on their own, with no need for either one to yield. Whereas, Win 3.x didn't have CreateThread at all, and "process" switches happened during message pumping.

    However, due to the lack of any notion of process boundaries or memory safety in 9x, any programs could break this extremely easily.

    The 95/98/me series was just a bunch of stuff piled on top of old DOS- not really an OS at all, just a wad of runtime stuff running on top of DOS.

    Well, 9x had its own kernel containing a thread and process scheduler, a virtual memory managemer, and a driver API - I'd say that qualifies as an OS. DOS was used as a bootloader for the kernel, effectively. Parts of it were also used when you ran DOS apps in Windows (which was a source of many problems, actually), but so long as you stuck to Win32 apps, DOS wasn't engaged.

The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side. -- James Baldwin