The Info List - Windows 3.1

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WINDOWS 3.1X (codenamed Janus) is a series of 16-bit operating environments produced by Microsoft
for use on personal computers. The series began with Windows 3.1, which was first sold during April 1992 as a successor to Windows 3.0 . Subsequent versions were released between 1992 and 1994 until the series was superseded by Windows 95 . During its lifespan, Windows 3.1 introduced several enhancements to the still MS-DOS –based platform, including improved system stability, expanded support for multimedia, TrueType fonts , and workgroup networking .

Windows 3.1 was originally released on April 6, 1992; official support for Windows 3.1 ended on December 31, 2001, and OEM licensing for Windows for Workgroups 3.11 on embedded systems continued to be available until November 1, 2008.


* 1 Editions

* 1.1 Windows 3.1

* 1.1.1 Improvements over Windows 3.0

* 1.2 Windows 3.1 for Central and Eastern Europe * 1.3 Modular Windows * 1.4 Windows 3.11 * 1.5 Windows 3.2

* 2 Windows for Workgroups

* 2.1 Windows for Workgroups 3.1 * 2.2 Windows for Workgroups 3.11

* 3 Add-ons

* 3.1 Video for Windows * 3.2 Windows for Pen Computing * 3.3 Win32s * 3.4 WinG

* 4 Applications

* 4.1 Program Manager * 4.2 Internet Explorer

* 5 Promotion and reception

* 6 Controversy

* 6.1 DR-DOS compatibility

* 7 Legacy * 8 See also * 9 References * 10 Further reading



Windows 3.1 (originally codenamed Janus
), released on April 6, 1992, introduced a TrueType font system (and a set of highly legible fonts), which effectively made Windows a viable desktop publishing platform for the first time. Similar functionality was available for Windows 3.0 through Adobe Type Manager (ATM) font system from Adobe .

Windows 3.1 was designed to have backward compatibility with older Windows platforms. As with Windows 3.0 , version 3.1 had File
Manager and Program Manager , but unlike all previous versions, Windows 3.1 cannot run in real mode . It included Minesweeper as a replacement for Reversi (though Reversi was still included in some copies).

Windows 3.1 Multimedia PC Version (Beta only, released Nov 1992 – codenamed Bombay) included a media viewer, and the ability to play video files. It was targeted to the new Multimedia PC standard and included sound and video integration with CD-ROM support.

Improvements Over Windows 3.0

Windows 3.1, showing some of the personalization options available

Windows 3.1 dropped real mode support and required a minimum of a 286 PC with 1 MB of RAM to run. The effect of this was to increase system stability over the crash-prone Windows 3.0. Some older features were removed, like CGA graphics support (although Windows 3.0's CGA driver still worked on 3.1) and compatibility with real-mode Windows 2.x applications.

Truetype font support was added, providing scalable fonts to Windows applications, without having to resort to using a third-party font technology such as Adobe Type Manager . Windows 3.1 included the following fonts: Arial, Courier New, and Times New Roman, in regular, bold, italic, and bold-italic versions, as well as Symbol (a collection of scalable symbols). Truetype fonts could be scaled to any size and rotated, depending on the calling application.

In 386 Enhanced Mode, windowed DOS
applications gained the ability for users to manipulate menus and other objects in the program using the Windows mouse pointer, provided that a DOS
application supported mice. A few DOS
applications, such as late releases of Microsoft
Word, could access Windows Clipboard. Windows' own drivers couldn't work directly with DOS
applications; hardware such as mice required a DOS driver to be loaded before starting Windows.

Icons could be dragged and dropped for the first time, in addition to having a more detailed appearance. A file could be dragged onto the Print Manager icon and the file would be printed by the current printer, assuming it was associated with an application capable of printing, such as a word processor. Alternatively, the file could be dragged out of File
Manager and dropped onto an application icon or window for processing.

While Windows 3.0 was limited to 16 MB maximum memory, Windows 3.1 can access a theoretical 4 GB in 386 Enhanced Mode. (The actual practical ceiling is 256 MB. ) However, no single process can use more than 16 MB. File
Manager was significantly improved over Windows 3.0. Multimedia
support was enhanced over what was available in Windows 3.0 with Multimedia
Extensions and available to all Windows 3.1 users.

Windows 3.1 was available via 720 KB, 1.2 MB, and 1.44 MB floppy distributions. It was also the first version of Windows to be distributed on CD-ROM — although this was more common for Windows for Workgroups 3.11, which typically came with MS-DOS 6.22 on one CD. Installed size on the hard disk was between 10 MB and 15 MB.

32-bit disk access (386 Enhanced Mode only) brought improved performance by using a 32-bit protected mode driver instead of the 16-bit BIOS functions (which necessitate Windows temporarily dropping out of protected mode).

Windows 3.1's calendar saves its files ending with .cal.

Windows 3.1 also introduced Windows Registry , a centralized database that can store configuration information and settings for various operating systems components and applications.

Windows 3.1 was the first version of Windows that could also launch Windows programs via Command.com while running Windows.


A special version named Windows 3.1 for Central and Eastern Europe was released that allowed use of Cyrillic and had fonts with diacritical marks characteristic of Central and Eastern European languages. Microsoft
introduced its own code page ( Windows-1250 ) and supported its use in violation of many countries' ISO standards (e.g., the official Polish codepage is ISO-8859-2 , which was ignored by Microsoft
but is supported by contemporary Internet Explorer versions). Similarly, Microsoft
also released Windows 3.1J with support for Japanese, which shipped 1.46 million copies in its first year on the market (1993) in Japan.


Modular Windows is a special version of Windows 3.1, designed to run on Tandy Video Information System .


Windows 3.11 was released on November 8, 1993. It did not add any feature improvements over Windows 3.1; it only corrected problems. Microsoft
replaced all retail versions of Windows 3.1 with Windows 3.11 and provided a free upgrade to anyone who currently owned Windows 3.1.


On November 22, 1993, Microsoft
released a Simplified Chinese version of Windows for the Chinese market. A year later, an update was released, which identified itself as Windows 3.2. Thus, Windows 3.2 is an updated version of the Chinese version of Windows 3.1. The update was limited to this language version, as it only fixed issues related to the complex input system for the Chinese language.

Windows 3.2 was generally sold by computer manufacturers with a ten-disk version of MS-DOS that also had Simplified Chinese characters in basic output and some translated utilities.


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 SMB protocol over NetBIOS .


Windows for Workgroups 3.1 (originally codenamed Winball and later Sparta), released in October 1992, is an extended version of Windows 3.1 that features native networking support. It comes with SMB file sharing support via NetBIOS -based NBF and/or IPX network transport protocols and introduces the Hearts card game and VSHARE.386, a VxD version of SHARE.EXE (a terminate-and-stay-resident program ).


Windows for Workgroups 3.11 (originally codenamed Snowball) was released on August 11, 1993, and shipped in November 1993. It supported 32-bit file access , full 32-bit network redirectors, and VCACHE.386 file cache, shared between them. WFW 3.11 dropped standard mode support and requires a 386 machine to run.

A Winsock package was required to support TCP/IP
networking in Windows 3.x. Usually third-party packages were used, but in August 1994, Microsoft
released an add-on package (codenamed Wolverine) that provided TCP/IP
support in Windows for Workgroups 3.11. Wolverine was a 32-bit stack (accessible from 16-bit Windows applications via WinSock Thunk ), which gave it superior performance to most of the third-party TCP/IP
Windows stacks available. However, it was only compatible with Windows for Workgroups 3.11, and lacked support for dial-up. Wolverine stack was an early version of the TCP/IP
stack that would later ship with Windows 95, and provided an early testbed for the 16-to-32-bit compatibility layer that was crucial to Windows 95's success.

Following the release of MS-DOS 6.22 in 1994, WFW 3.11 largely replaced Windows 3.1 for OEM installations on new PCs due to its improved capabilities and greater stability.



Main article: Video for Windows

Video for Windows was first introduced in November 1992 as a reaction to Apple Computer 's QuickTime technology which added digital video to Macintosh . Costing around $200, the software included editing and encoding programs for use with video input boards. A runtime version for viewing videos only was also made available. Originally released as a free add-on to Windows 3.1 and Windows 3.11, it then became an integral component of Windows 95 and later. Like QuickTime there were three components in Video for Windows. The technology introduced a file format designed to store digital video, Audio Video Interleave (AVI). The technology provided an application programming interface that allowed Windows software developers to add the ability to play or manipulate digital video to their own applications. Lastly, it included a suite of software for playing and manipulating digital video.


Main article: Windows for Pen Computing

Windows for Pen Computing was a series of Microsoft
-produced add-ons for Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows
versions in the mid-1990s with additional tools for tablet PCs . Windows for Pen Computing (also known as Pen Windows and W4PC) was developed as Microsoft's pen computing response to PenPoint OS by GO Corporation . Windows for Pen Computing was rendered obsolete by Tablet PC support for Windows XP
Windows XP
Tablet PC Edition in 2002.


Main article: Win32s

Windows 3.1x was given limited compatibility with the then-new 32-bit Windows API used by Windows NT
Windows NT
by another add-on package, Win32s . There was a rumor that Microsoft
did not want to increase 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, though Windows NT 3.1 and 3.5 were both 32-bit operating systems that looked similar in appearance. A game called FreeCell was included for testing the new Win32s functions.


Main article: WinG

To entice game manufacturers to move from DOS
to Windows, Microsoft provided a first attempt at high-speed graphics and animation capabilities for Windows 3.1x, introduced in September 1994. Windows' GDI capabilities were originally designed with static images in-mind, allowing only for write-only graphics calls. WinG
provided a device-independent interface to graphics and printer hardware, and allowed programs to have both read and write capabilities to the WinGDC ( WinG
device context).


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 environment, called Microsoft
Home , Microsoft
Bob being one of the programs.

As the first versions of Windows to enjoy major commercial success and software support, Windows 3.1 and WFW 3.11 quickly replaced DOS
as the platform for application software on PC compatibles. Multimedia software (especially games) proliferated, although many games continued to run on DOS
until Windows 95.


Main article: Program Manager

Program Manager was included in all versions of Windows from version 3.0 until Windows XP
Windows XP
Service Pack 1. A non-operable icon library named progman.exe is included in Windows XP
Windows XP
Service Pack 2, and the file was removed entirely from Windows Vista
Windows Vista


Internet Explorer 2 through Internet Explorer 5 were released for Windows 3.1.


began a television advertising campaign for the first time on March 1, 1992. The advertisements, developed by Ogilvy -webkit-column-width: 30em; column-width: 30em; list-style-type: decimal;">

* ^ "Windows Version History". Support. Microsoft
. July 14, 2005. * ^ Dandumont, Pierre (October 7, 2009). "LNDCDJ : Janus
/ Windows 3.1". Tom\'s Hardware (in French). Retrieved July 13, 2014. * ^ " Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows
3.1". Old Computer Museum. Retrieved July 13, 2014. * ^ Grabham, Dan (October 16, 2009). "Windows retrospective: boot screens through the ages". TechRadar . Archived from the original on October 19, 2009. Retrieved July 13, 2014. * ^ Fiveash, Kelly (November 5, 2008). " Microsoft
retires Windows 3.11 on 18th birthday". theregister.co.uk. * ^ Edson, Kate (March 1993). "Windows 3.1 and TrueType Fonts". PC Update, the magazine of Melbourne PC User Group, Australia. Archived from the original on May 11, 2002. Retrieved 24 October 2014. * ^ Livingston, Brian (1993). More Windows 3.1 Secrets. San Mateo, CA: UDG Books Worldwide. ISBN 1-56884-019-5 . * ^ "Windows 3.1 Memory Limits". Support. Microsoft
. Archived from the original on May 18, 2015. * ^ Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows
3.1 Programmer\'s Reference. Volume 4: Resources. Microsoft
Corporation. 1992. ISBN 1-55615-494-1 . * ^ Virginia Kouyoumdjian (August 1994). "DOS/V, Windows, Prices, and the Future...". Computing Japan. Retrieved September 4, 2009. * ^ "Windows 3.11". WinWorld. Syngress MCSA/MCSE Managing and Maintaining a Windows Server
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2003 Environment, Page 6. Retrieved 11 March 2015. * ^ A B " Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows
Simplified Chinese 3.2 Upgrade Is Available". microsoft.com. Microsoft. October 30, 2003. Archived from the original on November 8, 2006. * ^ "Windows for Workgroups Version History". Support. Microsoft. November 14, 2003. Archived from the original on November 7, 2006. Retrieved September 23, 2010. * ^ "Windows 3.1". GUIdebook. Retrieved September 4, 2009. * ^ "Windows history". PC Museum. June 17, 2002. Archived from the original on March 16, 2002. Retrieved September 4, 2009. * ^ PC Plus. Future Publishing. May 1993. p. 61. * ^ Eller, Marlin ; Edstrom, Jennifer (1998). Barbarians Led by Bill Gates . Owl Books. * ^ Hecker, Chris (1 June 1997). "A Whirlwind Tour of WinG". Gamasutra . Gamasutra. Archived from the original on 27 February 2008. Retrieved 17 November 2014. * ^ "Old Version of Internet Explorer for Windows 3.1". OldApps.com. Retrieved 17 September 2014. * ^ " Microsoft
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History 1993". Microsoft. Archived from the original on October 17, 1996. Retrieved September 4, 2009. Internet Archive * ^ Dan Goodin (April 28, 1999). " Microsoft
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– the settlement". BBC News. Retrieved September 4, 2009. * ^ Mark Ward (November 5, 2008). "The end of an era – Windows 3.x". BBC News. Retrieved September 4, 2009. * ^ John Coyne (July 9, 2008). "It\'s the End for 3.11!!". Microsoft. Retrieved September 4, 2009. * ^ Linus Torvalds (July 14, 2013). "Linux 3.11 Kernel Commit".


* "Windows Version History" . Support. Microsoft
. * "Windows for Workgroups Version History" . Support. Microsoft
. * "Windows 3.1 Hardware Compatibility List" . Support. Microsoft

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