Next kiriban is 250,000
! Good luck! Follow me on Twitter
It was on this date way back in 1992 that Windows 3.1 was released. Windows 3.1 was released to manufacturing on the 10th of March 1992 as a successor to Windows 3.0. Further editions of Windows 3.1 were released between April 1992 to February 1994 until the series was superseded by Windows 95, the first consumer oriented 32-bit graphical operating system. Important FeaturesWindows 3.1
was the successor to Windows 3.0 (released on 22 May 1990) and it included significant improvements over Windows 3.0.
Windows 3.1 dropped support for Real Mode support and required a 6 MHz Intel 80286 PC with at least 1 MB of memory to run. The effect of this was to increase the system stability over the crash-prone Windows 3.0. Windows 3.1 removed CGA graphics support even though it still works in Windows 3.1 and compatibility with Windows 1.x and 2.x applications were removed as well.
Here are the brief list of changes in Windows 3.1:
Available in upgrade or full package (upgrade does not require earlier version)
Improved Setup program offers express, custom, network and troubleshooting setup
Computer-based Windows 3.1 tutorial
Consistent dialog boxes
Improved online Help
OLE Drag and drop, OLE support in many applications
Improved File Manager
Improved printer support through use of UNIdriver
New video drivers support MS-DOS graphics in a window
WD1003 virtual hard drive controller
Virtual memory changeable in Control Panel
Standard and enhanced mode operation only
TrueType scalable font support
Includes multimedia extensions (inclusions)
Includes new SMARTDrive version 4.0, HIMEM XMS manager 3.0, new EMM386.EXE
Standard mode can now run with EMM386.EXE running
Documentation includes "Getting Started" manual
266 different types of printers supported
In 386 Enhanced Mode, Windows DOS applications gained the ability for users to manipulate menus and other objects in the programme using the Windows mouse pointer that were provided that the DOS-based application supported mice. A few DOS-based applications such as late releases of Microsoft Word can access the Windows Clipboard. Because Windows' own drivers cannot directly work with DOS applications, hardware such as much require a DOS driver to be loaded prior to starting Windows.
For the first time, icons could be dragged and dropped in addition to looking more detailed. While Windows 3.1 in Standard Mode can address up to 512 MB of memory (16 MB of memory on a 80286-based PC), the OS could theoretically address up to 4 GB of memory with no single application that can ever use more than 16 MB of memory. In stand alone versions of MS-DOS (up to version 6.22), Windows 3.1 can only address up to 64 MB of system memory with up to 256 MB of memory for a swap file.
Windows 3.1 was the first version of Windows to be distributed on CD-ROM (this was more common for Windows for Workgroups 3.11 which typically came with MS-DOS 6.22 on one CD) in addition to 720 KB, 1.2 MB and 1.44 MB floppy distributions.
Several editions of Windows 3.1 were released between the 1992 to 1994 period:1. Versions with special font support:
A special version named Windows 3.1 for Central and Eastern Europe
was released that allowed the use of Cyrillic and had fonts with diacritical marks characteristics of Central and Eastern European languages. At the time of its release, Microsoft introduced its own codepage (Windows-1250) and supported its use in violation of many countries' ISO standards. Microsoft ignored the official Polish codepage of ISO-8859-2, but is supported by contemporary Internet Explorer versions. In addition to this, Microsoft also released Windows 3.1J
with support for the Japanese language, for which it shipped 1.46 million copies in its first year on the market (1993) in Japan.
In early 1994, Microsoft released a Simplified Chinese version of Windows 3.1 for the Chinese market. The updated system identified itself as Windows 3.2
. This Windows 3.2 is the Chinese version of Windows 3.11. This update was limited to this language version as it fixed only issues related to the compliex writing system of the Chinese language.
Windows 3.2 was generally sold by computer manufacturers with a ten-disk version of MS-DOS that also had Simplified Chinese characters in basic output and some translated utilities.2. Windows 3.11:
In November 1993, Microsoft released an update for Windows 3.1 known as Windows 3.11
. Windows 3.11 is not a standalone version of Windows, but rather than a software update. For those who did not own Windows 3.1, full disk sets of Windows 3.11 were available at the time. Windows 3.11 corrected problems, most of which were Novell network related and it was the first version to include Certificate of Authenticity with a more sophisticated hologram and a Microsoft (3M) sticker on the box. An 800 number to call (in the United States and Canada) and check for product legitimacy. Windows 3.11 also included updated drivers and five updated core files.3. Modular Windows:
For special versions of Windows 3.1, Modular Windows
, an embedded operating system is designed to run on the Tandy Memorex Video Information System (VIS). Microsoft claimed that they created a new, incompatible version of Modular Windows 1.1 shortly after the VIS was shipped. No products are known to have used Modular Windows 1.1. The VIS included a 12 MHz AMD-80286 processor, of 1 MB ROM containing minimal MS-DOS 3.x, a few drivers and Modular Windows, a built in Mitsumi 1x CD-DROM drive and PS/2 mouse or keyboard interface. 1 MB of system RAM (640 KB base memory+384 KB extended), on-board audio and a modem.4. Windows for Workgroups:
Windows for Workgroups is an extension that allowed users to share their resources and to request those of others without a centralised authentication server.Windows for Workgroups 3.1
was released in October 1992 and it featured native networking support. The networked based OS is a extended version of Windows 3.1 that came with Server Message Blocking (SMB) file sharing support via the NetBIOS based NBF and/or IPX network transport protocols. WFW 3.1 included the Hearts card game and introduced VSHARE.386, the Virtual Device Driver version of the SHARE.EXE Terminate and Stay Resident programme.Windows for Workgroups 3.11
was released to manufacturing in August 1993 and was shipped in November 1993. WFW 3.11 supported 32-bit file access, full 32-bit network re-directors and the VCACHE.386 file cache, shared between them. WFW 3.11 dropped standard mode (Intel 80286) support and required a Intel 80386 machine to run. A Winsock package was required to support TCP/IP networking in Windows 3.1x. Third-party packages were used, but in August 1994, Microsoft released an add-on package that provided TCP/IP support in Windows for Workgroups 3.11.
Following the release of MS-DOS 6.22 in June 1994, WFW 3.11 largely replaced Windows 3.1 for OEM installations on then-new PCs due to its improved capabilities and greater stability.</ol>There were numerous add-ons that improved the functionality in Windows 3.1:
Video for Windows included editing and encoding programmes for use with video input boards. A runtime version for viewing videos only was also made available. Originally released as a free add-on to Windows 3.1x, it then became a integral component of Windows 95 and later. System Requirements
Windows for Pen Computing was a series of Microsoft-produced add-ons for Microsoft Windows versions in the early to mid-1990s with additional tools for tablet PCs. In response to the PenPoint OS by GO Corportation, Windows for Pen Computing was developed by Microsoft. In 2002, Windows for Pen Computing was rendered obsolete by the tablet PC support in Windows XP Tablet PC Edition.
Win32s, a add-on package was given a limited compatibility for Windows 3.1x with the then-new 32-bit Windows API used by Windows NT 3.1 and Windows NT 3.5. For testing of the new Win32s functions, the game FreeCell was included.
Microsoft released versions of Internet Explorer from version 2.0 up to the first release of Internet Explorer 5 in early 1999.
Here are the official system requirements for Microsoft Windows 3.0 and they're very easy to install on any PC or emulator:
MS-DOS 3.1 or later Marketing Campaign
A IBM or AMD compatible 80286 processor running at 6 MHZ or better (80386 recommended)
640 KB of base memory + 256 KB of extended memory (XMS 2.0 or later); 1 MB extended memory recommended for Standard Mode and 2 MB extended memory recommended for 386 Enhanced Mode
5.25" (high density) or 3.5" floppy drive
A hard disk with at least 6 MB of free disk space (10 MB recommended)
EGA or VGA compatible card (SVGA recommended) and monitor
On the 1st of March 1992, Microsoft began a television advertising campaign for the first time, the advertisements, developed by Ogilvy & Mather, were designed to introduced a broader audience to Windows. From the day Windows 3.1 was shipped, 3 million copies of the OS were sold two months later. The year of Windows 3.1's release was so successful for Microsoft, it was named the "Most Innovative Company Operating in the US" by Forbes Magazine, while Windows became the most widely-used GUI-based operating environment. Windows 3.1 Today
Windows 3.1 was superseded by the release of Windows 95 on the 24th of August 1995. Microsoft ended all support for Windows 3.1 and older versions of Windows on the 31st of December 2001. After Windows 3.1 became obsolete in the PC world, it found a niche market as a embedded operating system. During that time, both Virgin Atlantic and Qantas employed it for some of the on-board entertainment systems on long-distance jets. And it see continued use as a embedded OS in retail cash tills.
Microsoft made an announcement on the 9th of July 2008 that Windows for Workgroups 3.11 (and other versions of Windows 3.x) for the embedded devices channel would no longer be made available for OEM distribution on the 1st of November 2008.
In all, Windows 3.1 became the best selling graphical user interface in the history of computing! What are your thoughts on Windows 3.1 and how it has changed the way how we used Windows-based PCs?