20 Years of Microsoft Windows NT

Microsoft’s Windows NT turned 20 years old on 27 July 2013. Microsoft Windows NT was the first powerful high level language based processor-independent, multiprocessing and multiuser 32-bit operating system.

All other operating systems such as, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows Home Server, Windows Server 2008, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Windows RT and Windows Server 2012 were members of the Windows NT family.

The main design goal of NT was hardware and software portability. Various versions of NT family operating systems were released based on this notion.

NT supported rich set of security permissions that can be applied to systems and services. NT supported Windows network protocols, inheriting the previous OS/2 LAN Manager networking, as well as TCP/IP networking (for which Microsoft would implement a TCP/IP stack derived at first from a STREAMS-based stack from Spider Systems.

Microsoft Windows NTThe first version launched by Windows NT was 3.1. Windows NT 3.1 utilized 32-bit “flat” virtual memory addressing on 32-bit processors. It featured a core kernel that provide a system API, running in supervisor mode (ring 0 in x86; referred to in Windows NT as “kernel mode” on all platforms), and a set of user-space environments.

In Windows NT 3.x, several I/O driver subsystems, were user-mode subsystems. However, in Windows NT 4, these I/O driver subsystems were moved into kernel mode. Windows NT’s first GUI was strongly influenced by (and programmatically compatible with) that from Windows 3.1. Windows NT 4’s interface was redesigned to match the brand new Windows 95 design.

Windows NT had introduced its own driver model. Windows NT driver model was the first model introduced with Windows 98, an enhanced version of this model called Windows Driver Model comes with Windows 2000.

All these years Microsoft has put forward an great experience and competitiveness in the field of computing, it will stay for long. Here we salute the Microsoft team for their great efforts.

Releases till now

VersionNameEditionsRelease date
NT 3.1Windows NT 3.1Workstation, Advanced Server27 July 1993
NT 3.5Windows NT 3.5Workstation, Server21 September 1994
NT 3.51Windows NT 3.51Workstation, Server30 May 1995
NT 4.0Windows NT 4.0Workstation, Server, Embedded, Server Enterprise Edition, Terminal Server29 July 1996
NT 5.0Windows 2000Professional, Server, Advanced Server17 February 2000
Datacenter Server26 September 2000
NT 5.1Windows XPHome, Professional , Tablet PC (original and 2005), Home N, Professional N25 October 2001
NT 5.2Windows XP64-bit Edition Version 200328 March 2003
Windows Sever 2003Standard, Web, Enterprise, Datacenter, Small Business Server, Compute Cluster, Storage24 April 2003
Windows XPProfessional x64 Edition25 April 2005
Windows Server 2003 R2Standard, Enterprise, Datacenter, Web, Storage, Small Business Server, Compute Cluster6 December 2005
NT 6.0Windows VistaStarter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Enterprise, Ultimate, Home Basic N, Business N30 November 2006 (Business)
30 January 2007 (Consumer)
Windows Server 2008Foundation, Standard, Enterprise, Datacenter, Web Server, HPC Server, Itanium-Based Systems27 February 2008
NT 6.1Windows 7Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, Ultimate22 October 2009
Windows Server 2008 R2Foundation, Standard, Enterprise, Datacenter, Web Server, HPC Server, Itanium-Based Systems22 October 2009
NT 6.2Windows 8Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 8 Enterprise26 October 2012
Windows Server 2012Foundation, Essentials, Standard, Datacenter4 September 2012
NT 6.3Windows 8.1Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 8.1 Enterprise

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