Windows 3.0

Microsoft Windows 3.0 is the third version of the then - DOS operating system essay developed by Microsoft Microsoft Windows. It was published on 22 May 1990.


In the summer of 1988 the programmer Murray Sargent received from Microsoft the task of writing a compatible with the 80286 DOS extender. This should serve to Microsoft's debugging program code view to be able to use outside of conventional memory and thus free from any influence by other DOS applications. Sargent wrote the necessary routines first in a developed his own debugger to outsource them upon completion in a separate program.

End of June, Murray met with the Windows developer David ways. On the note that the then newly released Windows / 286 with the High Memory Area could use only 64 kB more than normal DOS applications, both decided to let Windows run in protected mode, so as not similar to DOS extenders and hold the conventional memory to be limited. Since Microsoft's focus was at this time on OS / 2, the two developers stopped the project over a period of one month secret. When the first dislocation between Microsoft and IBM regarding OS / 2 created, used, the chance and showed Steve Ballmer his progress in the Windows project. Ballmer was convinced and gave then the development of this version of Windows officially commissioned.

The first information about Windows 3.0 were announced in early 1989. The storage management, which was considered inefficient in earlier versions of Windows should be greatly improved in the new version. The user interface should be changed and the Presentation Manager in OS / 2 1.x to be aligned. In May 1989, a first trial in more than 900 hardware dealer was delivered.


The graphical user interface has been completely redesigned in Windows 3.0 and adapted to the Presentation Manager. The MS -DOS window, which appeared in earlier versions of Windows after the start, was replaced by two programs. The Program Manager will appear right after the start and contains references to programs that are installed on the computer, in the form of icons. These programs are grouped into so-called program groups. The File Manager is used to manage files and folders on the disks of your computer. For this purpose, it shows in a window the directory tree of the drive. By double clicking on a single directory will open a new window in which all files are listed within this directory. By File Associations File extensions can be associated with a program to open these files directly from the File Manager. The interface itself uses 3D buttons and icons are no longer limited to the colors black and white, but can now include colors.

The installation of the operating system is already taking place under the graphical user interface. The setup program can also be accessed after installation to change settings like the graphics mode, which still required a complete reinstall of the operating system in previous versions. During installation, installed applications already searched and stored automatically created icons in the file manager, so that these programs can be used immediately after installation.

Was under DOS a network installed, this Windows 3.0 was detected during installation. Functions such as creating network drives can be performed from the graphical user interface, without having to switch back to the DOS prompt. Windows 3.0 includes support elements including Novell NetWare, Banyan Vines, 3Com 3 LAN Manager, and Share in the delivery.

Windows 3.0 changed the control panel completely. In her now is a window similar to the program manager, appear in the Icons. These icons call on certain windows, making it possible to adjust the settings of Windows. The configuration options have been extended, so the operating system now offers the possibility to display a background image on the desktop.

The accessory was added in Windows 3.0. The drawing program Paint used in previous versions of Windows has been replaced by Paintbrush, which offers the first color support. The new program recorder allows you to record macros, which consist of keyboard and mouse commands. They can be stored and played back as desired. With Windows 3.0 was holding a new hypertext - based help system catchment, linked to the various topics under each other. Bookmarks can be set to retrieve the help pages faster later, and with the built-in search can be searched for specific words in the help document. The computer has been extended to a scientific mode, the complex calculations and conversion between different number bases allows.


Windows 3.0 was not sold in contrast to its predecessor Windows 2.x, in different versions depending on the processor type, but only in a single version for all processor types. The operating system can be run in three different modes depending on the processor type. At the start of the optimum for the particular computer configuration mode is automatically selected, however, it is possible to force a particular mode on the command line with parameters.

The real-mode is mainly for compatibility with older Windows applications. It also supports old 8086 processors and computers with less than one megabyte of memory. The default mode uses the protected mode of the 80286 processor to address memory above 1 MB. The Advanced mode for 386 PCs requires a 80386 processor with at least 2 MB of RAM. The virtual 8086 mode Similar to Windows 2.x can be exploited to run MS -DOS programs independently. Windows 3.0 supported on a 386 PC using a swap file to increase the available memory by using the hard disk is used as temporary storage. In addition, settings for the distribution of processor time can be used in a menu item 386 of the Control Panel are made extended.

Windows 3.0 ruled preemptive multitasking is very limited. It is only supported for MS -DOS programs, and even then only when it is run on systems that are compatible with the 80386 processor. Windows programs are running in the cooperative multitasking, must explicitly relinquish control to the other in the programs.


Windows 3.0

Windows 3.0 was released on 22 May 1990 and sold until 1992. In the first four months, a million copies were sold at a price of 150 U.S. dollars. It is the first Windows with VGA support, but still mitliefert drivers for very old XT computers and their graphic standards.

Robotron sales for the system A7150 a modified Microsoft Windows 3.0, under the name of KWS ( Karl- Marx-Stadt Window System ).

Windows 3.00a

Windows 3.00a was released on 31 October 1990. This version was used solely resolve many bugs, otherwise there are no changes to Windows 3.0.

Windows 3.0 with Multimedia Extensions 1.0 (Windows 3.00a, October 1991)

Published in late 1991, it is the first Windows at all, which is able to address sound card. Basically, however, it involves only a revamped Windows 3.0. The real mode and support for 8086 processors fell away. Additions are:

  • Media playback; for playback of Wave and MIDI files.
  • Sound Recorder; to record audio tracks in wave format
  • A CD player
  • An advanced clock that can play at programmed times signals.
  • Screen saver; the most famous one " Starfield ", the scurrying star simulates a flight through space.

This version of Windows was sold exclusively on CD- ROM ( the first Windows at all) and was not widely used because multimedia computers ( computers with CD - ROM drives and sound card with midi interface ) were very expensive equipment at that time. The remaining hardware requirements with at least 10 MHz 286 processor, 2 MB RAM and 30 MB hard disk correspond to the technology at that time stand to (DR -DOS or a compatible operating system, such as the widely used back then ) is MS- DOS V3.1 or higher required.


The system requirements of the system are dependent on the mode. The absolute minimum required to start the operating system in real mode, was a 8088/8086 and 384 kB of free memory. The default mode put a 80286 processor with 192 kB ahead free extended memory. To start Windows in 386 enhanced mode PCs, a 80386 with 1 MB of extended memory was necessary. It should be noted that the data are rounded to the memory; the actual memory requirements of the operating system depend on the configuration and are not fixed.

Windows 3.0 was both to 5.25 - delivered floppy "and 3.5 ". In the first case, five 1.2 - MB floppy disks were supplied, in the second case, seven 720- KB floppy disks.


Windows 3.0 was the breakthrough for Microsoft. After the release, 72 percent of all companies known to want to use Windows 3.0. Since many developers in the meantime ready prepared applications for Windows, there was at the time of publication sufficient incentives to switch to the graphical user interface. In the first six months, three million copies of the operating system have been sold.

There was also criticism. Even the installation process has received criticism because it was poorly thought out, most disks should be inserted during the installation several times. Although Windows 3.0 was also on an IBM XT run, but a sensible use is possible only with a 286 computer.