In discussing Windows 3.1 last week, danSamara mentioned
Your complex and multifaceted system worked in my OS / 2 virtual machine, which was already truly 32-bit and multi-tasking, and your harsh, multi-faceted truth looked wretched and awkward.
How did it happen that poor and unpretentious Windows strangled powerful and perfect OS / 2?
Tell the developers:Raymond Chen:
“killer prog” for Windows 1.0 — the one for which people were ready to buy a new OS — was Adobe PageMaker. Then Excel also appeared.Larry Osterman:
in fact, Pagemaker and Excel were “killer programs” for MacIntosh; later they were released for Windows.
As far as I remember, under Windows there was no “killer prog” at all. Windows 1.0 and 1.1 were sold in modest print runs of a couple thousand copies per month. Windows 386 (version 2.0) was selling better because it allowed you to run several DOS applications at the same time. Not any applications could be run at the same time; in fact, it was hardly possible to run something more complicated than multiple copies of GWBasic.
Everything changed when Windows 3.0 came out.
In Windows 3.0, two more important new features appeared:
- Support for protected mode 286. Now the application was available memory outside the classic 640KB. (The extended memory tricks were used before, but in the protected mode, everything was much simpler.)
- Support for more than 16-color displays.
I remember going once to Aaron Reynolds; I was working on Lan Manager 2.0, and I needed to figure out some questions about Windows 2.0. Aaron, David Weiss and Ralph Pipe showed me what they were working on in Windows 3.0. The only thing I could say after what I saw was: “Guys, Steve will kill you, do you know about that?”
At this time, Microsoft and IBM were fully focused on OS / 2. Everything
we did in the area of operating systems went to OS / 2. (The exception was a small parallel project called NT OS / 2.) Only when the developers had too much time, could they afford to work on Windows and DOS.
And these guys are thinking here version of Windows, which is absolutely all will break. Yes, Steve would give birth to a calf if he found out that they are working on an OS / 2 killer. That is what happened when Windows 3.0 came out: it strangled OS / 2 to death. (I don’t know about the calf.)
Overnight, Windows has evolved from a toy into a promising operating system; we sold millions of copies per month — even before new applications came out for Windows 3.0.Raymond Chen:
Larry made a little mistake with the order of the events, so I will correct him.
Windows 2.0 supported protected mode in the version of Windows / 386; This version came out earlier than Windows 3.0. It was in Windows / 386 that we first used the “virtual 8086” mode in order to run several DOS programs at the same time. Switching between running DOS programs took place automatically, in contrast to native Windows programs that explicitly transferred control to the operating system.
When Windows / 386 came out, we renamed the “regular” Windows 2.0 to Windows / 286; The version numbers of both systems are the same.
Thus, Windows could work in three modes: “real” (like Windows 1.0), “standard” (like Windows / 286), and “advanced” (like Windows / 386). It is amazing that although the operating system in these three modes worked in completely different ways, the programs for the “real mode” continued to work without any changes in the two new modes. It was possible to write one program that supports all three operating systems.
(The most noticeable difference between the three modes of Windows 3.0 - the amount of available memory)
And then Windows 3.0 came out, and everything changed. Sales volumes jumped so that they pierced the roof. I remember that one of our major distributors (Egghead?) Was so excited about the success of Windows 3.0 that they bought every Microsoft employee an ice cream cone. (Even to employees like me who actually worked on OS / 2.) I’m sitting in my office, all of a sudden people come in with a large box of ice cream, and draw me with the words: “This is for you from Egghead. Thanks for Windows 3.0. Great job. ”
I felt strange: I was not just thanked for the product I was not working on. I was thanked for a product that completely destroyed everything that I worked on!Joel Spolsky:
That ice cream was overdue for several months. I was even surprised how tasteless it was. Probably, Egghead just got rid of stale goods from their supermarkets.
Original: blogs.msdn.com/b/oldnewthing/archive/2004/03/11/87941.aspx and