What did you know about Windows NT?
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Surely everyone knows a lot about the famous Windows operating systems such as Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows XP and Windows 10 today. However, have you ever learned about the Windows NT operating system? What did you know about this operating system of Windows? Join us to discover about Windows NT right now.
What is Windows NT?
Windows NT is a family of operating systems manufactured by Microsoft with the first version released on July 27, 1993. This is a multitasking, multi-user operating system and independent processor.
Meaning of the name “NT”:
It has been suggested that Dave Cutler originally intended to name it WNT but the project was intended to be a sequel to OS/2 and called NT OS/2 before acquiring the Windows brand.
Mark Lucovsky – one of the NT developers, claimed that the name was taken from the original Intel i860 target processor, codenamed N10 (“N-Ten”). However, in a Q&A with Bill Gates in 1998, he revealed that “NT” stands for “New Technology” but no longer has any specific meaning.
And “NT” has disappeared in the name of releases since Windows 2000, although Microsoft described the product as built on NT Technology (the following versions of Microsoft operating systems were developed based on NT technology).
Windows NT development process:
Microsoft decided to create a mobile operating system, compatible with OS / 2 and POSIX, to support multitasking in October 1988. In November 1989, Windows NT was known as OS / 2 3.0, the third version of the operating system jointly developed by Microsoft and IBM.
To ensure portability, developers initially used the Intel i860XR RISC processor, but later switched to the MIPS R3000 processor in late 1989 and then the Intel i386 in 1990.
Windows uses few resources and is based on DOS, leading to the introduction of Windows 3.0 in May 1990. Windows 3 was so successful that Microsoft decided to change the main application programming interface for the unreleased NT OS/2 version (from the extended API OS/2 to the extended Windows API).
This decision has caused a lot of debate between Microsoft and IBM, leading to the termination of cooperation. IBM continued to develop OS/2 while Microsoft continued to work with the newly renamed Windows NT. Although neither of these operating systems was as immediately popular as Microsoft’s MS-DOS or Windows products, Windows NT was still more successful than OS/2.
Microsoft hired a group of developers from Digital Equipment Corporation, run by Dave Cutler, to build Windows NT. They also synthesized many elements of product design and took advantage of Cutler’s previous DEC experience.
The API sets in Windows NT are implemented as subsystems on top of the “native” API that is not publicly documented, resulting in late adoption of the Windows API (on the Win32 subsystem). Windows NT was one of the earliest operating systems to use Unicode.
Windows NT is written in C and C ++ and uses a few low-level languages. The C language is mainly used for kernel code while C ++ is heavily used for user-mode code.
Key features of Windows NT:
- The main design goal of NT is the mobility of hardware and software. Different versions of the NT operating system have been released for many processor architectures, initially IA-32, MIPS and DEC Alpha. PowerPC, Itanium, x86-64 and ARM are supported in the following versions.
- Windows NT 3.1 was the first version of Windows to use 32-bit virtual memory addresses on 32-bit processors. Its companion product, Windows 3.1, used segmented addresses and switched from 16-bit to 32-bit addresses.
- Windows NT 3.1 has a core kernel that provides a system API, running in supervisor mode (Ring O in x86; referred to in Windows NT as “kernel mode” on all platforms).
- One thing worth noting is that in Windows NT 3.x, some I/O driver subsystems like video and print are user-mode subsystems.
- In Windows NT 4, the printer spooler, video and server subsystem is switched to kernel mode. The first graphical user interface of Windows NT was strongly influenced and programmatically compatible with the Windows 3.1 interface.
- The interface of Windows NT 4 has been redesigned to accommodate the new Windows 95, marking the transition from Program Manager design to Windows shell.
- Windows NT has its driver model and is not compatible with older driver frameworks. With Windows 2000, the Windows NT driver model was upgraded to the Windows Driver Model and was first introduced in Windows 98 but based on the NT driver model.
You have just been provided with all the most detailed information about Microsoft’s Windows NT operating system. We hope that this article has been helpful to you.