Remember Windows 3? The Operating System that in many ways helped Microsoft become the behemoth that it is today. Windows v1 and v2.x didn’t exactly set the world on fire. The Windows juggernaut really got rolling with the release of Windows v3.
Why am I blogging about Windows 3x while the rest of the world is going gaga over Windows 7? Because Microsoft killed off Win 3x at the end of last month. Yes, you read it right. Although Win 3x is a long forgotten thing of the past for most of us, Microsoft was actually issuing licenses for Windows 3x till October 2008. So who was buying it?
Desktop sales of Windows 3x ceased to exist long back. But it managed to live on as an embedded system. Most notably it found a place in Qantas and Virgin Atlantic’s onboard entertainment systems. Other uses included powering ticketing systems and retail cash tills.
Adios Windows 3x.
Notable Facts about Windows 3x
The now legendary Minesweeper made its debut in Windows 3.1.
Was 100% compatible with older MS-DOS applications.
Windows 3x included updated program, file, and print managers that closed the gap between Windows and Mac. For the first time drag and drop was supported.
Windows 3.1 improved on the protected mode feature introduced by its predecessors Windows/286 and Windows/386. It included two protected modes called standard mode and 386-enhanced mode (that worked with the more powerful 386 processor). The protected modes enabled Windows to support memory larger than 640KB.
Windows 3.1 introduced TrueType scalable fonts.
7 responses to “Good Bye Windows 3”
Windows/286 and windows/386 both used protected mode and were prior to windows 3.x
Yeah. You are right. Fixing the gaffe.
Cool article. However, your statement “Was 100% compatible with older MS-DOS applications.” doesn’t really make much sense, considering Windows 3.x was a program, not an OS. Modern OSes need compatibilty because they are the environment the program runs in.
Windows 3.x is not the environment the programs run in, they run in MS-DOS and Windows 3.x displays them. Therefore, there is not really a compatibility factor.
I wonder who designs the mini-OS’s used on all the random crap today? Airline Movies, Cheap Cellphones, probably some newer Cars.
Microsoft and Apple focus on the big OS’s for Netbooks, PC’s, laptops, etc.
Loved 3.1. Still using it on my old computer. Intro of W95 was a sad, sad day.
At work, we’ve just removed the last Windows 3.1 machine. A slight upgrade from a 3.1 till and 98 backend to a 98 till and xp backend.
It always makes me nostalgic – as a fairly young man my first proper computer (ie, the first one my dad let me use) was a 3.1 box and, all things considered, I don’t actually do much more on my 3.6gHz tri-core with it’s 4gig of ram than I did on that little box with it’s megahertz of processing power and kilobytes (maybe megabytes) of memory. Okay, so web pages are more dynamic, but essentially microsoft word and the internet are the same technology – and the games are more realistic, but I could waste just as many hours back then as I can now.
The most important thing to me, however – the loss of Paintbrush. Paint just doesn’t have the same feel – it isn’t right. I actually hate the windows 7 paint, and preferred Paintbrush to winME/98/XP/vista paint.
On another note, however – does this technically mean that we’re free to download 3.1? Or does it take more than that to count as abandonware?
remind me about 15th years ago 🙂
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