Advantages of Windows NT

Getting old software/games running on older hardware.

Advantages of Windows NT

Postby fsmith2003 » 2018-8-11 @ 19:34

I have never dove into the world of Windows NT. Mostly because I don't exactly understand its use. I've always heard of people using it in some version since it was released. So I was curious if it could be explained what advantages it has over the other versions released at the same time. Is it something I should try out for any reason on some of my retro builds? What exactly does it do differently than the others?
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Re: Advantages of Windows NT

Postby derSammler » 2018-8-11 @ 19:44

NT was Microsoft's continuation of OS/2 after they split with IBM. It's a true 32-bit OS with no 16-bit crap, does not rely on DOS, and it's very stable. We are all using Windows NT now, since Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 8.x, and 10 are all part of the Windows NT line, even if "NT" was dropped from the name during development of Windows 2000 (which was called NT 5.0 up to RC1).
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Re: Advantages of Windows NT

Postby Errius » 2018-8-11 @ 19:53

Performance, stability and security. However it won't run DOS games at all, and will only run a minority of Windows games.

One nice thing about NT 4.0 is that it still networks smoothly with Windows 7.
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Re: Advantages of Windows NT

Postby fsmith2003 » 2018-8-12 @ 01:38

So basically NT is the beginnings of what we use today? Since it is not based off of DOS then are there some notable programs or games that did use this technology prior to the release of Windows 2000?
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Re: Advantages of Windows NT

Postby Jo22 » 2018-8-12 @ 03:07

fsmith2003 wrote:So basically NT is the beginnings of what we use today?

Yes, pretty much. NT prior NT 5.1 (Win XP) had some interersting features.
* NT up to 3.5x ran GDI in User Space (NT4 GDI ran in Kernal Space. Vista was same again)
* NT 3.x or 4.0 still can read HPFS volumes
* NT had a better/more complete network stack than 9x
* NT 5.0 (Win 2000) still contained IPX/SPX (optional in XP)
* NT 3.1 supported multi-processor setups with 386 CPUs
* NT 5.0 (Win 2000) was the last OS for the PC-98 platform (and inofficially, the 486)
* NT up to 4.0 or 5.0 (Win 2000) sill supported OS/2 text mode apps
(and 16-Bit PM apps with the OS2 Presentation Manager For NT.)

fsmith2003 wrote:Since it is not based off of DOS then are there some notable programs or games that did use this technology prior to the release of Windows 2000?

I don't know for sure. But programs that used threading did perhaps benefit from its better multi-tasking abilities.
Windows 3.1 and 9x did not support multi-processor setups, even though Dual-Pentium mainboards existed in the 90s.
On such a system, Windows NT was perhaps much smoother than anything else.
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Re: Advantages of Windows NT

Postby feipoa » 2018-8-12 @ 03:48

I used Windows 95 for 2 years before switching to NT 4.0 and was blown away at how stable the OS was in comparison. On my retro systems, I tend to install NT4 along with w9x on separate partitions. I think there is a list on Vogons somewhere which listed games that run well on NT4. Obviously the Quakes all run on NT4.
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