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Win32s (Win32 subset) was an API layer for Windows 3.1 and Windows for Workgroups that allowed some Win32 applications that compiled with the subset of Windows NT API functions supported through 32->16 bit thunks. Certain functions such as threading and OpenGL were not supported. As Windows 3.1 was cooperatively multi-tasked, so are Win32s applications on 3.1 and memory space is still shared.


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Windows 1.0 was the first release of what eventually made it onto almost every desktop computer in the entire world. Many of you are probably unaware of this release from 1985; conceived from ideas found in the original Lisa/Macintosh and Xerox Star system, Windows 1.0 was Microsoft's attempt at a graphical multitasking operating environment for the IBM PC.


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Windows 2000 was a modernization of Windows NT 4.0 which brought many of the desktop changes, including Active Desktop, to Microsoft's Windows NT line. Four editions of Windows 2000 were released, Professional, Server, Advanced Server, Datacenter Server. Improvements over NT 4.0 include new Accessibility Options, increased language and locale support, NTFS 3.0, the Encrypting File System and Active Directory. Windows 2000 was first planned to replace both Windows 98 and Windows NT 4.0 although using the NT kernel for consumer and professional editions would not happen until Windows 2000's successor, Windows XP.


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The Microsoft Windows 2000 High Encryption pack adds 128-bit encryption to Windows 2000 RTM. It was provided as a separate package from Windows 2000 RTM due to silly crypto export laws.


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Windows 3.x was the first to gain significant development and commercial traction. It combined the 8086, 286, and 386 modes of Windows 2 in to one package. It replaced the MSDOS Executive with a Program Manager and File Manager similar to those in OS/2 1.x. Much of its success was spurred by the availability and success of Microsoft Office. Although Microsoft would have had you believe otherwise, Windows 3.x was the direct foundation for Chicago/Windows 95.


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Windows 95 offered, at long last, a well designed document-oriented desktop shell that worked much like the 1984 Macintosh Finder. It also included a new way of finding installed applications through a "Start" menu. And it included the same networking abilities as Windows for Workgroups.


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Windows 98 is a continuation of the Windows 95 product. The major change is an insanely heavy focus on web integration. The help system, many applications, and even the desktop are redesigned to make use of Internet Explorer. Windows 98 runs on top of the same "MS-DOS 7.1" with FAT32 support as Windows 95 OSR2, and it includes support for USB. Windows 98 had two major releases - a First Edition and a Second Edition. It was followed up by Windows ME.


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The Windows for Pen Computing add-on adds pen input capabilities through drivers, a virtual keyboard and handwriting input.


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Windows Longhorn was the pre-release codename for Windows Vista and was the successor to Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 (built from NT 5.2 codebase). Development on the OS started in May 2001 and went through two unique development cycles separated by a development reset in 2004. The reset occurred as Microsoft's development staff had lost focus on the project as a whole and what was required to be done in order to bring it to market. Features were being written into the OS at an alarming rate with a significant lack of QA or vision of true requirement. This combined with Microsoft's trustworthy computing initiatives caused the reset.


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The media player built-into Windows


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Windows Nashville is a cancelled Windows 9x release scheduled between Windows 95 and 98. It is also known as Windows 96.


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Windows Neptune was a canceled version of Windows 2000 oriented towards the home market. It had featured elements brought over from Windows ME as well as new concepts such as activity centers. No final release of Neptune shipped and most work was rolled into Whistler


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Windows NT 3.1 was the first of the Windows NT series. Sporting the same face as its consumer counterpart Windows 3.1, it was completely different under the hood. A true 32-bit native operating system, Windows NT descended from the work Microsoft did while collaborating with IBM on OS/2 after the great split, and bringing in former DEC employees like Dave Cutler, bringing a VMS influence into the system. It was followed up by Windows NT 4.0.


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Windows NT 4.0 is the successor to the Windows NT 3.x release. In this release, the user interface from Windows 95 was integrated, making NT just as easy to use as its consumer counterpart. Internet Explorer was bundled, providing a web browser out of the box. Speed was improved by moving components into kernel-mode, at the expense of security and reliability - changes Windows is suffering from today, and is being reverted. NT 4 was followed up by Windows 2000.


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Supplimentry tools for managing and deploying Microsoft Windows.


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The Windows SDK and DDK gives you the libraries and headers needed to do software and driver development for Windows.


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Windows Whistler was the pre-release codename for Windows XP, or NT 5.1. It is the successor to Windows 2000. XP was the first that did not compete against a DOS based version of Windows, effectively finally unifying the Windows line in to a single pure 32-bit product. Below are various Beta releases. Winworld does not host the final RTM versions.


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The Microsoft Workgroup Add-On for MS-DOS is the easy way to connect users of MS-DOS to networks based on Microsoft windows. Now you can share documents, messages, and printers among PCs running MS-DOS and connect to Windows-based PCs too. It could be just what you need to make the most of older PCs and start networking.