Windows 3.1

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Windows 3.1
Basic Information
Microsoft Corporation
Microsoft Corporation
Operating System
80286 and IA-32
Microsoft Windows
Windows 3.00a
Windows 3.11, Windows for Workgroups 3.1
United Nations International Release Date(s)
April 61992
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Windows 3.1 (codenamed Sparta) is a graphical operating system released by Microsoft Corporation in April 1992. Support officially ended on December 31, 2001. Its business counterpart was Windows for Workgroups 3.1.

Features[edit | edit source]

Windows 3.1 featured many changes over its predecessor Windows 3.00a, such as:

  • Windows 3.1 cannot be run in Real Mode, effectively dropping support for Intel 8086 and 8088 processors; Windows 3.1 requires a minimum of an Intel 80286 CPU.
  • Virtual Memory, a technique for swapping between RAM and disk space that increases the number of applications that can be run simultaneously.
  • Data sharing by applications using Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) and Object Linking and Embedding (OLE)
  • TrueType Fonts, which are displayed in WYSIWYG fashion and can be scaled to any size. This made Windows 3.1 a viable platform for desktop publishing.
  • Network-aware File Manager and Print Manager utilities, which enables access to shared network drives and printers. The File Manager itself was significantly improved over the one shipped with Windows 3.0.
  • While Windows 3.1 could access a theoretical 4 GB of RAM in 386 Enhanced Mode, the practical upper limit for system memory was 256 MB.