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Windows NT Turns 20 213

Posted by timothy
from the in-many-ways-it-never-really-went-away dept.
An anonymous reader writes with a link to the observation from ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley of Windows NT's 20th birthday (it came out on July 27th, 1993): ""In 1993, Microsoft launched Windows NT 3.1. It was followed up by NT 3.5, 3.51 and 4.0. Microsoft's Windows releases still rely on NT-inspired numbering conventions. Windows 7's build numbers commenced with 6.1; Windows 8's with 6.2; and Windows 8.1 with 6.3." The article also reminds us that "NT's not ancient history, in spite of its age. The NT 'core' is what's inside Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows Phone 8, Windows Azure and the Xbox One.""
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Windows NT Turns 20

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  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@@@hackish...org> on Friday July 26, 2013 @06:50PM (#44395927)

    I've heard there are still places running VMS-based hardware.

    Hell, VMS-on-VAX was Digital's replacement for the PDP line of minicomputers (phased in in 1977), and even their predecessors are still running [slashdot.org] in a few places.

  • Seriously? (Score:4, Informative)

    by BobNET (119675) on Friday July 26, 2013 @07:18PM (#44396119)

    An article for WinNT turning 20, but nothing for Slackware when it did the same [slackware.com] 10 days ago? What is wrong with you, Slashdot?

    Wait, don't answer that...

  • Re:Lesson One (Score:3, Informative)

    by msobkow (48369) on Friday July 26, 2013 @07:24PM (#44396167) Homepage Journal

    VMS pre-dated BSD substantially, and NT is basically a rewrite of the VMS kernel.

  • Re:OS/2 was better (Score:2, Informative)

    by dfghjk (711126) on Friday July 26, 2013 @07:25PM (#44396179)

    No they didn't. OS/2 1.x was primarily done by IBM using IBM's tools. Many portions were so poorly understood by MS that they wouldn't change any of it or release its source to OEMs.

    OS/2, from the very beginning, was by IBM for IBM. It was an OS designed for the 286, a processor designed by IBM for IBM, and it was defeated by Intel who took ownership of the 32-bit follow-on processor and by MS, who took ownership of the 32-bit follow-on OS. IBM was solely responsible for the trash that was OS/2 and the 286. MS was on the good side of that fight and we are better off for it.

    As an engineer that had to fly to Redmond to work on pre-1.0 OS/2 ports, I am quite familiar with who wrote it and what MS thought of it. It's quite clear that you are not.

  • by devman (1163205) on Friday July 26, 2013 @07:51PM (#44396323)
    DOS stopped being in the core with WinME. WinNT was based on VMS and never had DOS lineage.
  • by mlts (1038732) * on Friday July 26, 2013 @08:22PM (#44396523)

    Being my usual devil's advocate, there have been some innovations which have been useful that MS has made. They are not revolutionary as NT (which was nice at the time because it was completely pre-emptive, while Windows and System 7/8 were cooperative multi-tasking operating systems.)

    One of the bigger ones was the jump from NT 4.0 with all its service packs to Windows 2000. The old domain structure got tossed for a new directory server model, which has proven to stand the test of time in companies. Nothing is perfect, but AD has been decently reliable and secure. I don't often hear about complete compromise of AD unless someone managed to get complete rights on an AD server.

    GPOs are another item. This is something that has zero value to all but enterprises, but are extremely useful when they come to play. The enterprise-tier management tools in Windows are not perfect, but they are extremely useful. If I want to lock access to USB flash drives to certain users, I can easily do that with security groups and OUs. This isn't flashy, but it makes life easier to turn the legal department writings into stuff I can say I can implement.

    Then, there are some cool features. Windows Server 2012 has disk deduplication. This will come in handy on VM servers. It isn't perfect deduplication, as it is a two stage thing (writes are done normally, and a background task removes the duplicated blocks with links), but it is something useful.

    There are also things that get the "A for best effort" award. .NET comes to mind because it does help with some basic security issues, and allows one to use their language of choice (I even remember visual ADA.)

    To me, MS is a mixed bag. They do some cool things in the enterprise. However, on the user front, they need some help/polish. They need to focus on developer morale so a new platform would get a critical mass of apps/games on it when it comes out.

  • Re:DLL nightmare (Score:2, Informative)

    by ArchieBunker (132337) on Friday July 26, 2013 @10:11PM (#44396983) Homepage

    Oh why didn't I think of that? Because a package was not available! Hence my need of compiling from source.

    VMS=Virtual Memory System
    WNT=Windows New Technology

    Your point?

  • Re:Lesson One (Score:2, Informative)

    by Guy Harris (3803) <guy@alum.mit.edu> on Saturday July 27, 2013 @01:25AM (#44397529)

    The core of OSX is a Mach microkernel,

    Nothing "micro" about it, sorry.

    BSD sits on top of Mach.

    And rather a lot of the programming interface for kernel modules, and the system call interface to the kernel, comes from the BSD part, not the Mach part.

    OSX has an Unix personality but it isn't a proper one.

    And what might be a "proper" personality for OS X? If you've actually looked at the bits atop the core OS (yes, I have), it's a combination of BSD calls and Mach messaging to other processes.

  • Re:Here's to Kernels (Score:4, Informative)

    by colinrichardday (768814) <colin.day.6@hotmail.com> on Saturday July 27, 2013 @11:32AM (#44400141)

    Perhaps the GP meant that the NT kernel hasn't turned 21 yet.

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