Windows 3.x Finally Discontinued 18 Years On

Yep, it really wasn't already...

I suspect many of you didn’t even realise you could still ”buy” Windows 3.x…

Well here’s a shock because 18 years after it first went on sale Microsoft has only just announced that the sale of licences for the game-changing OS have now finally been stopped this month.

Of course mainstream support for the platform finished way back in December 2001, but the rock solid, lightening quick platform had since found a new home on embedded systems including everything from cash registers to in-flight entertainment units (no, they weren’t controlling the plane… yes, even on Ryanair).

Why was the OS still popular? Well just take a look at the specs required to run it:

  • Intel 80286 (or higher) processor running at 10MHz
  • 1MB or more of memory (640K conventional and 256K extended)
  • 6.5MB of free disk space (9 MB is recommended)

So mind blowingly tiny is this compared to modern day OSes that it doesn’t even bare thought. Instead here’s another comparison: a single typical lossless audio track can occupy 10x the space of a Windows 3.x installation with the processing power to play it back running into even greater multiples.

Windows 3.x we’ll miss you and while, if we’re honest, we had already consigned you to memory lane realising you were still there in the background – being bumped around from thankless task to thankless task – it brings all the hurt back again. And in this final epitaph I’ll say this for you: you certainly didn’t bug us to death with UAC pop-ups…

via BBC News

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