It is the third major release of Microsoft Windows , and was released on 22 May 1990. It became the first widely successful version of Windows and a powerful rival to Apple Macintosh and the Commodore Amiga on the GUI front. It was followed by Windows 3.1. WHAT IS WINDOWS 3.0
The Windows 3.0 is the Windows platform from Microsoft offered improved performance, advanced graphics with 16 colors, and full support of the more powerful Intel 386 processor. A new wave of 386 PCs helped drive the popularity of Windows 3.0, which offered a wide range of useful features and capabilities, including: • Program Manager, File Manager, and Print Manager. • A completely rewritten application development environment. • An improved set of Windows icons. The popularity of Windows 3.0 grew with the release of a new Windows software development kit (SDK), which helped software developers focus more on writing applications and less on writing device drivers. Widespread acceptance among third-party hardware and software developers helped fuel the success of Windows 3.0.
Features : Windows 3.0 succeeded Windows 2.1x and included a significantly revamped user interface as well as technical improvements to make better use of the memory management capabilities of Intel's 80286 and 80386 processors . Text-mode programs written for MS-DOS could be run within a window (a feature previously available in a more limited form with Windows/386 2.1), making the system usable as a crude multitasking base for legacy programs. However, this was of limited use for the home market, where most games and entertainment programs continued to require raw DOS access. The MS-DOS Executive file manager/program launcher was replaced with the icon-based Program Manager and the list-based File Manager , thereby simplifying the launching of applications.
The MS-DOS Executive is also included as an alternative to these. The Control Panel, previously available as a standard-looking applet , was re-modeled after the one in Mac OS . It centralized system settings, including limited control over the color scheme of the interface. A number of simple applications were included, such as the text editor Notepad and the word processor Write (both inherited from earlier versions of Windows), a macro recorder (new; later dropped), the paint program Paintbrush (inherited but substantially improved), and a calculator (also inherited). The earlier Reversi game was complemented with a card game named Solitaire but Reversi was still included. The Windows icons and graphics were redesigned to take advantage of VGA' s 16-color mode. Earlier versions only supported eight colors though could run on monochrome video adapters. Windows 3.0 also allowed the user to use a 256 color video adapter, whereas previous versions only supported 16 colors.
Windows 3.0 includes a Protected/Enhanced mode which allows Windows applications to use more memory in a more painless manner than their DOS counterparts could. It can run in any of Real, Standard, or 386 Enhanced modes, and is compatible with any Intel processor from the 8086/8088 up to 80286 and 80386. Windows 3.0 tries to auto detect which mode to run in, although it can be forced to run in a specific mode using the switches: /r (real mode), /s ("standard" 286 protected mode) and /3 (386 enhanced protected mode) respectively. This was the first version to run Windows programs in protected mode, although the 386 enhanced mode kernel was an enhanced version of the protected mode kernel in Windows/386. Due to this backward compatibility, Windows 3.0 applications also must be compiled in a 16-bit environment, without ever using the full 32-bit capabilities of the 386 CPU.
A "multimedia" version, Windows 3.0 with Multimedia Extensions 1.0, was released several months later. This was bundled with "multimedia upgrade kits", comprising a CD-ROM drive and a sound card, such as the Creative Labs Sound Blaster Pro. This version was the precursor to the multimedia features available in Windows 3.1 and later, and was part of the specification for Microsoft's specification for the Multimedia PC. Windows 3.0 was the last version of Windows to advertise 100% compatibility with older Windows applications. [ This only applies to real mode.
Windows 3.0 also includes a completely revamped control panel.
The Windows 3.0 control panel also allows you to change the background to display a specified pattern or bit-mapped graphic.
Windows 3.0 also includes a new, very advanced hypertext help system.
Another new application that was included with Windows 3.0 is Windows Paintbrush, a replacement for the old Microsoft Paint program in 1.x and 2.x.
The infamous Windows Solitaire is now included with Windows!
System requirements The official system requirements for Windows 3.0: <ul><li>8086 / 8088 processor or better. </li></ul><ul><li>640K conventional memory, though 1 MB of extended memory recommended. </li></ul><ul><li>a hard disk with 6-7MB of free space </li></ul><ul><li>CGA / EGA / VGA / Hercules / 8514/A graphics and an appropriate and compatible monitor </li></ul>
Also, a Microsoft-compatible mouse is recommended. Memory modes: Windows 3.0 was the only version of Windows that could be run in three different memory modes: Real mode , intended for older computers with a CPU below Intel 80286 , and corresponding to its real mode ; Standard mode , intended for computers with an 80286 processor, and corresponding to its protected mode ; 386 Enhanced mode , intended for newer computers with an Intel 80386 processor or above, and corresponding to its protected mode and virtual 8086 mode .
Multimedia Extensions The Multimedia Extensions were released in autumn 1991 to support sound cards , as well as CD-ROM drives, which were then becoming increasingly available. The Multimedia Extensions were released to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) , mainly CD-ROM drive and sound card manufacturers, and added basic multimedia support for audio input and output and a CD audio player application to Windows 3.0. The Multimedia Extensions' new features were not available in Windows 3.0 real mode. Windows 3.1x would later incorporate many of its features. Microsoft developed the Windows Sound System sound card specification to complement these extensions.
Marketing This version of Windows was the first to be pre-installed on hard drives by PC-compatible manufacturers. Zenith Data Systems had previously shipped all of its computers with Windows 1.0 or later 2.x on diskettes but committed early in the development of Windows 3.0 to shipping it pre-installed. Indeed, the Zenith division had pushed Microsoft hard to develop the graphical user interface because of Zenith's direct competition with Apple in the college & university market. Windows 3.0 was not available as a run-time version, as was the case with its predecessors. A limited-use version of Windows 2.x was often bundled with other applications (i.e. Ami Pro ) due to the low market penetration of Windows itself.
Windows 3.1x Windows 3.1x is a series of operating systems produced by Microsoft for use on personal computers . The series began with Windows 3.1, which was first sold during March 1992 as a successor to Windows 3.0 . Further editions were released between 1992 and 1994 until the series was superseded by Windows 95 .
Editions of 3.1x Base version Windows 3.1 (originally codenamed Janus , of which two betas were published), released on April, 1992, includes a TrueType font system (and a set of highly legible fonts already installed), which effectively made Windows a serious desktop publishing platform for the first time. Similar functionality was available for Windows 3.0 through the Adobe Type Manager (ATM) font system from Adobe.
Windows for Workgroups 3.1 Advanced network capabilities of Windows for Workgroups 3.11 Windows for Workgroups is an extension that allowed users to share their resources and to request those of others without a centralized authentication server. It used the SMB protocol over NetBIOS.
Windows for Workgroups 3.1 (originally codenamed Winball and later Sparta ), released in October 1992, features native networking support. Windows for Workgroups 3.1 is an extended version of Windows 3.1 that comes with SMB file sharing support via the NetBIOS based NBF and/or IPX network transport protocols, includes the Hearts card game, and introduced VSHARE.386, the Virtual Device Driver version of the SHARE.EXE Terminate and Stay Resident program.
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS <ul><li>Windows 3.1x Hardware </li></ul><ul><ul><li>386 processor or better </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Minimum 15 MB free disk space </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Minimum 8 MB RAM </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A memory manager </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Software </li></ul><ul><ul><li>OS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Novell DOS 7 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MS-DOS 5.x, 6.x, or 7.0 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PC-DOS 5.x, 6.x, or 7.0 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Windows for Workgroups 3.11 </li></ul></ul>
Windows 3.1x was given limited compatibility with the (then-new) 32-bit Windows API used by Windows NT by another add-on package, Win32s. There was a rumor that Microsoft didn't want to increment any mainstream Windows 3.1x version to something like "Windows 3.2" because it could be confused with the Win32 API or otherwise distract consumers from upgrading to a "real 32-bit OS" like the then-upcoming Windows 95 was.
Applications Windows 3.1x introduced new possibilities for applications, especially multimedia applications. During this era, Microsoft developed a new range of software that was implemented on this operating system, called Microsoft Home, Microsoft Bob being one of the programs. Microsoft released versions of Internet Explorer from 2.0 up to the first release of Internet Explorer 5.0 for Windows 3.1.
Program Manager Program Manager was included in all versions of Windows from version 3.0 until Windows XP Service Pack 1. A non-operable icon library named progman.exe is included in Windows XP Service Pack 2, and the file was removed entirely from Windows Vista. If Program Manager is started under Windows XP Service Pack 2 and later, it does not appear to run, but when a .grp file created for Windows 3.1 is processed, it converts the .grp file contents to a Start Menu folder.