Microsoft® Windows®–
Past, Present, and Future
Daniel Ogden
SIG Co-Leader
Application Developer Issues SIG
http://appdevissues.tripod.com
September 21, 2002
Scope of Presentation

A very brief history of Windows

Discussion and comparison of the two
tracks Microsoft took beginning with
Windows 95 and Windows NT 3.1
resulting in two operating system lines
and how they have become unified. Only
client or desktop versions of Windows
will be discussed-no server versions,

A very brief overview of future Windows
directions

Recommendations

This is not a “how-to” or demo
presentation of various Windows OSes
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
A Very Brief History of
Microsoft Windows

The idea of a “windowing” operating
system was planted in the minds of Bill
Gates and Paul Allen (and Steve Jobs as
well) when they visited Xerox PARC
Labs in the late 1970s

Microsoft in 1981 developed a character
mode OS (which it bought from another
party, Seattle Computer) for IBM’s new
PC that became MS-DOS
In 1983, Microsoft began work on a new
operating environment it called
“Windows”. Only much later would
Windows become a operating system.
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future

A Very Brief History of
Microsoft Windows

Windows 1.0 was released in 1985. It
could only operate in character-mode
and its windows were not overlapping. It
ran on top of DOS as an operating
environment.

Windows 2.0 was released in 1987. It
featured overlapping windows, but was
still character-mode operating
environment.

Windows 2.11 was released in 1989 in two
versions-Windows 286 (for i286 PCs) and
Windows 386 (for i386 PCs). It was the
first graphical version of Windows but
was still an operating environment.
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
A Very Brief History of
Microsoft Windows

Windows 3.0 was released in 1990 to
much fanfare. It was the first real usable
version of Windows and had greatly
improved graphics and file management.

Windows 3.1 was released in 1992 at
Spring Comdex in Chicago. It continued
to improve on graphics, multimedia,
communications and ease of use. Many
users still consider Win3.1 to be the
“real” version of Windows.
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
A Very Brief History of
Microsoft Windows

Windows for Workgroups 3.11 was
released in 1993. It was the first version
of Windows to feature networking
support as a client. It also had
rudimentary support for the Internet
built in. Perhaps its most important
innovation was 32 bit disk access, which
speeded up disk operations considerably.
WFW 3.11 is the last version of Windows
that was an operating environment
running on top of DOS which relies on
DOS for most or all of its hardware calls.
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
A Very Brief History of
Microsoft Windows

In 1985, Microsoft and IBM began joint
development of a new operating system
that would not need DOS at all. They
called it OS/2 (for obvious reasons).

OS/2 1.0 was released in 1987. While it
was a true operating system, it was only
16 bit and character-mode based. It was a
miserable failure in the marketplace, as
was its follow-up, OS/2 1.3.

IBM and Microsoft planned to remedy
OS/2’s weak market reception with
future versions that would be 32 bit and
graphical in nature.
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
A Very Brief History of
Microsoft Windows

IBM and Microsoft decided to develop
two new versions of OS/2 in concert. IBM
would develop OS/2 2.0 (which would be
a 32 bit, graphical OS) and Microsoft
would develop OS/2 3.0 (which would be
multi-platform in nature, i.e., run on nonIntel platforms, and have other advanced
features).

After Microsoft saw the market success
of Windows 3.0 and the continuing
market failure of OS/2 1.x, it dropped its
development of OS/2 3.0, and left future
OS/2 development solely to IBM.
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
A Very Brief History of
Microsoft Windows

Microsoft also had other ideas in mind for
Windows. It realized the limitations inherent
in a 16 bit OS, and also wanted to develop an
advanced OS that would be Unix-like in
architecture, reliability, robustness,
security, and portability. In essence, it took
its work on OS/2 3.0 and turned it into
Windows NT.

Microsoft hired Dave Cutler from DEC to
create NT (Cutler was one of the architects
of DEC VMS). NT was to be a radical
departure for Windows (and PCs in general)
as for the first time Windows would be
completely uncoupled from DOS and its 16
bit, real mode architecture.
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
A Very Brief History of
Microsoft Windows

Windows NT 3.1 was released in 1993. It had the
same GUI that Win3.x had, but that was about the
only similarity. It had the ability to run 16 bit
Win3.x apps, 32 bit Win32 apps, 16 bit OS/2 1.3
apps, and POSIX (a brand of Unix apps).

NT was such a radical departure in terms of
hardware requirements and software support
from Win3.x that Microsoft realized that if the
typical Windows user was going to be able to
reap the benefits of 32 bit computing, it would
need to upgrade Win3.x in an OS line separate
from NT that would provide backward hardware
and software compatibility for PCs that ran
Win3.x. This led to the hybrid 16/32 bit OS line of
Windows 95 and its successors, Windows 98 and
Windows Millennium Edition.
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
A Very Brief History of
Microsoft Windows

Windows NT itself was upgraded to
version 3.5 and then 3.51, before
receiving the Win95 GUI in version 4.0 in
1996.

WinNT 4.0 was upgraded again to
Windows 2000 in 1999. Win2K received
much of the Win98 GUI.

The two Windows lines of the Win9x
hybrid 16 bit/32 bit OSes and the WinNTx
fully 32 bit OSes were finally merged
with the release of Windows XP in 2001.
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
A Very Brief History of
Microsoft Windows

Windows 2000 is which version of Windows?
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
A Very Brief History of
Microsoft Windows

Windows XP is which version of Windows?
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Windows Roadmap
Professional
Home
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Comparison of hybrid 16 bit/32 bit
Windows OSes to fully 32 bit
Windows OSes

A fully 32 bit Windows OS running on Intel
architecture CPUs (including AMD CPUs)
offers the following benefits when compared to
a 16 bit or a hybrid 16 bit/32 bit Windows OS.
• Protected memory versus shared memory

Software code running in protected memory can
not be overwritten by other software code, while
software code running in shared memory can. This
is probably the number one cause of OS crashes.
• Protected mode versus real mode

All hardware access in protected mode is
controlled by the OS rather than by individual
apps, as it is in real mode. This leads to greater
stability as errors in software code are less likely
to crash the entire OS.
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Comparison of hybrid 16 bit/32 bit
Windows OSes to fully 32 bit
Windows OSes
• Preemptive multitasking versus cooperative
multitasking

In preemptive multitasking the OS controls which
apps get CPU time, thereby operating in a sense
as a traffic cop. In cooperative multitasking, each
app decides when it surrenders CPU time, leading
to CPU-hogging apps. Cooperative multitasking
greatly decreases user efficiency as quite often
you will have to wait until a process is completely
finished before you can do something else.
• Flat memory versus memory segmentation

A flat memory model offers memory resources
and scalability limited only by the OSes own
capabilities. For example, system resources are
essentially unlimited and adding additional
memory allows the OS to scale.
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Comparison of hybrid 16 bit/32 bit
Windows OSes to fully 32 bit
Windows OSes

All versions of Windows through WFW 3.11
are purely 16 bit, meaning that they suffer
from all of the disadvantages of 16 bit
computing. WFW 3.11 does have 32 bit disk
access, which does increase disk
efficiency, but this does nothing to
eliminate the inherent disadvantages of
being a 16 bit OS.

Starting with Windows 95, the Win9x line
of Windows are hybrid 16 bit/32 bit OSes.
Unlike Win3.x, the Win9.x line are true
operating systems, albeit they still require
DOS for some functions.
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Comparison of hybrid 16 bit/32 bit
Windows OSes to fully 32 bit
Windows OSes

Win9x OSes are hybrid 16 bit/32 bit
Windows OSes in the following manner• Their hybrid 16 bit/32 bit nature is necessary
in order to maintain certain backward
hardware and software compatibility. For
example, many games and utilities require
direct access to hardware, something not
allowed in a fully 32 bit OS.
• Many OS calls and functions remain 16 bit in
nature for backward compatibility purposes,
while other OS calls and functions are 32 bit,
which they can be when they don’t have a
significant impact on backward compatibility.
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Comparison of hybrid 16 bit/32 bit
Windows OSes to fully 32 bit
Windows OSes
• OS hybrid 16 bit/32 bit limitations




OS calls and functions that are 16 bit run in
shared memory while OS calls and functions
that are 32 bit run in protected memory.
OS calls and functions that are 16 bit run in real
mode while OS calls and functions that are 32
bit run in protected mode.
OS calls and functions that are 16 bit are
cooperatively multitasked while OS calls and
functions that are 32 bit are preemptively
multitasked
System resources, while significantly improved
over Win3.x, still are limited
Memory model is segmented and therefore the
OS does not scale merely by adding more
memory- 64 MB is about the limit for scability.
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Comparison of hybrid 16 bit/32 bit
Windows OSes to fully 32 bit
Windows OSes
• Windows application hybrid 16 bit/32 bit
limitations


Win16 apps run in shared memory while Win32
apps run in protected memory.
Win16 apps run in real mode while Win32 apps
run in protected mode.
Win16 apps are cooperatively multitasked while
Win32 apps are preemptively multitasked.
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Comparison of hybrid 16 bit/32 bit
Windows OSes to fully 32 bit
Windows OSes

WinNT/Win2K/WinXP are all fully 32 bit
OSes and therefore suffer from non of
the disadvantages of the hybrid 16 bit/32
bit Windows Oses

WinNT/Win2K/WinXP, however, offer
varying degrees of backward
compatibility in both hardware and
software

Key to compatibility is that software can
not directly address hardware and that
all hardware must have OS supported
drivers
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Comparison of hybrid 16 bit/32 bit
Windows OSes to fully 32 bit
Windows OSes

Prerequisites for a Modern Operating
System
• Reliable-Crash Proof
• Functional-Usability
• Robust-Performance
• Secure-Hack Proof
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Advantages to Using Windows
2000/XP over Win9x- Reliability

Fully 32 bit OSes

Protected mode- no real mode

Memory protection

Multitasking of Win32 apps

Multitasking of Win16 apps (VDMs)

System file protection

NT File System
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Advantages to Using Windows
2000/XP over Win9x- Functionality

Win98 interface/WinXP interface

Fully Plug and Play/Device manager

DirectX 8.x/AGP

USB 2.0/IEEE 1394/Infrared

Mobile support- PCMCIA/ACPI

Multilingual- > 60 languages

Peer Networking

Dual View monitors
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Advantages to Using Windows
2000/XP over Win9x- Robustness

CPU- Optimized for 32 bit/Pentium

Video- Equivalent

Disk- Caching/Paging

Memory- Flat memory model
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Business Winstone
99 Score
Advantages to Using Windows
2000/XP over Win9x- Robustness
25.0
20.6
20.0
18.4
15.0
10.0
14.0 14.5
14.8 15.8
10.1 10.1 10.3
5.0
0.0
32 MB
Windows 95

Windows 98
64 MB
128 MB
Windows 2000 Professional
On systems with 64 MB and 128 MB RAM,
Windows 2000 Professional is significantly
faster than Windows 95 and Windows 98 (> 25%)
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Advantages to Using Windows
2000/XP over Win9x- Security

Kerberos

NTFS Encryption

TCP/IP

IP Security

Smart Cards
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Disadvantages to Using Windows
2000/XP Over Win9x- Reliability

None
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Disadvantages to Using Windows
2000/XP Over Win9x- Functionality

Unable to use real mode drivers

Unable to make real mode DOS calls

Unable to write directly to screen

Unable to write directly to disk

Unable to use Win95/98 VXDs

Unable to use 386/486 machines
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Disadvantages to Using Windows
2000/XP Over Win9x- Robustness

Certain video operations
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Disadvantages to Using Windows
2000/XP Over Win9x- Security

None
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Advantages to Using Windows
2000/XP Over NT 4.0- Reliability

Kernel driver memory protection

System file protection

Driver signing

Reduced memory leaks

Multithreaded explorer.exe
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Advantages to Using Windows
2000/XP Over NT 4.0- Functionality

Win98 interface/FAT32 support

Reduced reboots/Safe boot mode

Recovery Console

Plug and Play/Device Manager

DirectX 8.x/AGP

USB/IEEE 1394/Infrared

Mobile support- PCMCIA/ACPI

Modem sharing

COM+
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Advantages to Using Windows
2000/XP Over NT 4.0- Robustness

Registry Caching

Faster boot and shutdown

Faster chkdsk

Improved caching performance

Built-in defrag

Network performance
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Advantages to Using Windows
2000/XP Over NT 4.0Faster on High-end Workstations
29.9
30
28
26.6
26
24
Windows NT Workstation 4.0
Windows 2000 Professional
Source: IT Week, 10/25/99
• Based on High-end Winstone benchmarking of systems
with 128 MB RAM, Windows 2000 Professional is faster
than Windows NT Workstation 4.0
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Advantages to Using Windows
2000/XP Over NT 4.0- Security

Kerberos authentication

NTFS file encryption

TCP/IP installed by default

IP Security

DNS machine naming

Stealth NetBios port
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Disadvantages to Using Windows
2000/XP Over NT 4.0- Reliability

None
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Disadvantages to Using Windows
2000/XP Over NT 4.0- Functionality

Unable to use 486 machines

Automatic upgrade of NTFS 4.0-does not
support any version of NT4 prior to SP5

Memory requirements- 32 vs 64 mb
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Disadvantages to Using Windows
2000/XP Over NT 4.0- Robustness

None
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Disadvantages to Using Windows
2000/XP Over NT 4.0- Security

None
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Advantages to Using Windows XP
Over Windows 2000- Reliability

Improved driver signing & verification

Improved OS code protection

Reduced memory leaks

Side-by-side DLL support-no more “DLL
hell”

Less BSODs in general
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Advantages to Using Windows XP
Over Windows 2000- Functionality

New GUI interface-can use Win2k
interface

Reduced reboots

Better standby/hibernate support

Better multimedia support for pictures

Integrated CD burning

Cleartype

Remote assistance/desktop

Improved network awareness

System Restore/Device driver rollback
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Advantages to Using Windows XP
Over Windows 2000- Robustness

Faster boot and shutdown
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Advantages to Using Windows XP
Over Windows 2000- Security

Internet connection firewall

Netbios not installed by default-can be
installed as option (on WinXP disc)
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Disadvantages to Using Windows
XP Over Windows 2000- Reliability

None
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Disadvantages to Using Windows XP
Over Windows 2000- Functionality

Activation required

Memory requirements- 128 mb vs. 64 mb
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Disadvantages to Using Windows
XP Over Windows 2000- Robustness

WinXP GUI is slower than Win2K GUI
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Disadvantages to Using Windows
XP Over Windows 2000- Security

Activation may create a security hole
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Windows XP Home & Professional
Version Differences

Professional version has everything that Home
version has plus

Remote desktop-provides the ability to have a
Windows XP Pro PC run in host mode that allows
other Windows 95 or later PCs to remotely
control it.

Encypting File System (EFS)-provides the ability
to encrypt files on NTFS partitions

Networking- provides the ability to participate in
a domain-based network where you want to be
joined to and managed by the domain, enter your
domain credentials a single time, or use
advanced security features such as IP Security
and digital certificates. In general, XP Home
networking is very lame
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Windows XP Home & Professional
Version Differences
• Internet Information Services- provides the
ability to run Web/FTP/SMTP servers
• System Restore-provides the ability to use
system restore to do device driver rollbacks,
boot to a last known good configuration, and
record key system changes
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Windows XP Requirements

PC with 300 MHz or higher CPU
recommended; 233 MHz minimum
required; Intel Pentium/Celeron or AMD
K6/Athlon/Duron

128 MB of RAM or higher
recommended (64 MB minimum
supported; may limit performance and
some features)

1.5 GB of available hard disk space.

Super VGA (800 × 600) or higher
resolution video adapter and monitor

CD-ROM or DVD drive
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Windows XP Requirements

Keyboard and mouse or compatible
pointing device

For sound: Sound card and speakers or
headphones

For Internet access: 14.4 Kbps or higherspeed modem

For networking: network adapter
appropriate for the type of local-area,
wide-area, wireless, or home network
you wish to connect to, and access to an
appropriate network infrastructure
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Windows XP Requirements

For instant messaging, both parties need:
Microsoft .NET Passport account and
Internet access

For voice and video conferencing, both
parties need: 33.6 Kbps or higher-speed
modem, or a network connection;
microphone and sound card with
speakers or headset; video conferencing
camera

For application sharing, both parties
need: 33.6 Kbps or higher-speed modem,
or a network connection
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Windows XP Requirements

For remote assistance: Both parties must
be running Windows XP and be
connected by a network

For remote desktop: a Windows 95 or
later–based computer, and the two
machines must be connected by a
network

For DVD video playback: DVD drive and
DVD decoder card or DVD decoder
software, and 8 MB of video RAM
For Windows Movie Maker: video
capture feature requires appropriate
digital or analog video capture device,
and a 400-MHz or higher processor for
digital video camera capture
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future

Windows XP Upgrade Advisor

The Upgrade Advisor is a tool that
checks your system hardware and
software to see if it is ready for upgrade
to Windows XP. If you run Upgrade
Advisor while you are connected to the
Internet, and if your system needs
updates that are available on the
Windows Update Web site, Upgrade
Advisor will find and install the updates
for you.
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Windows Upgrade Options

Win3.x to Win95/Win98

Win95 to Win98/WinME/WinNT

Win98 to WinME/WinNT/Win2k/WinXP

WinME to Win2K/WinXP

WinNT to Win2K/WinXP Pro only

Win2k to WinXP Pro only

WinXP Home to WinXP Pro
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Future Windows Versions

Windows.NET- will be the server
equivalent of Windows XP, RC2 out

“Longhorn”- will add certain GUI
enhancements and support for the data
store being developed for the next
version of SQL Server (“Yukon”), which
will be in a new file system called the
“Windows File System”

“Blackcomb”- will further overhaul GUI
and add new functions
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Recommendations

Do a clean installation

Set up dual booting if you are concerned
about hardware/software compatibility

Use WinXP Home if you are not networked;
you don’t need file encryption or advanced
security; you don’t use your PC as an
Internet server; and you don’t need to
remotely control your PC or you use another
remote control app

Use WinXP Pro if you want extra features
Pro offers

Use Win2K if you want to avoid activation
issues

In any event, use either WinXP or Win2K
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
Windows XP Resources

Windows XP comparisons to prior Windows
versionshttp://www.microsoft.com/windowsXP/pro/evalua
tion/whyupgrade/compare.asp

Windows XP Evaluation Guidehttp://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/pro/evaluat
ion/overviews/revguide.asp

Windows XP Technical Overviewhttp://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/pro/techinf
o/planning/techoverview/default.asp

Windows XP Compatibility Informationhttp://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/compatibili
ty/default.asp

Windows Upgrade Advisorhttp://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/home/howt
obuy/upgrading/advisor.asp
Microsoft® Windows®–Past, Present and Future
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