Windows NT was released by Microsoft Corporation in 1993 as a successor to the previous versions of Windows. It was designed to be a powerful, high-level language based processor independent operating system with features compatible to Unix systems. This version of Windows complemented work station versions running on MS-DOS.
A main design goal of Windows NT was hardware and software portability. Versions of this operating system were available for a variety of processor architectures. Broad software compatibility was achieved for various platforms.
Windows NT was the first fully 32-bit version of Windows where its consumer-oriented counterparts Windows 3x and 9x were hybrids of 16-bit and 32-bit technology. Windows NT utilized 32-bit “flat” virtual memory addressing on 32-bit processors. Its companion product, Windows 3.1, used segmented addressing and switches from 16-bit to 32-bit addressing in pages.
Notably in Windows NT were several input/output driver subsystems such as video and printing which were user-mode subsystems. The video, server, and printer spooler subsystems were integrated into the kernel as never before. The first graphical user interface n Windows NT was influenced by and compatible with that from Windows 3.1.
The interface of Windows NT was redesigned to match that of Windows 95. What that means is that the interface moved from the program manager to the start menu/taskbar design that we know even today with newer versions of Windows.
Basically, Windows NT was designed for professional purposes as a workstation operating system. One of the biggest changes to Windows NT was a new startup screen. No longer would users see the black MS-DOS screen requiring a command prompt to load the operating system. Now, users would see a blue screen with the Windows logo as the OS loaded to the desktop automatically.
The 32-bit capability was designed in anticipation of the release of Windows 95 for personal computer users. This technology made it easier to run various programs including software like Microsoft Office as well as games and applications. This was groundbreaking as previous versions of Windows would not support newer applications thus making computer users update their operating system just to run common programs.
In future years, we will see other updates of Windows NT including more user-friendly interfaces and eye-popping graphics. As the years pass, Windows will continue to be the predominant operating system for most computers. Windows NT was just the start. Emerging technology would prove to be ground breaking in the field of operating systems, and Microsoft would be leading the way.
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