Linked Questions

33 votes
8 answers
12k views

How exactly did Windows become the OS of the home PC?

As far as I understand it, the whole personal computing revolution that Microsoft Windows did was not entirely by its own design. Is it true that the Windows OS at its core was originally designed to ...
Neil Meyer's user avatar
  • 6,869
23 votes
9 answers
8k views

Why did "protected-mode MS-DOS" never happen?

Software written for MS-DOS used DOS extenders as early as on PC/AT (DOS/16M), and starting from i386-based systems, DOS extenders became really widespread. I'd think it was pretty obvious at the time ...
DmytroL's user avatar
  • 2,222
17 votes
8 answers
8k views

Why was the DOS kernel discarded?

I've read that the last DOS kernel based Windows was ME. Later versions use the NT kernel. Why did Microsoft rewrite the whole kernel? Why was the DOS kernel discarded?
zomega's user avatar
  • 5,372
25 votes
9 answers
4k views

What were the early PC applications requiring a hard disk?

I had to wait about 5 years before hard drives (HDs) became affordable enough to begin moving off of floppies. During this time, I remember my desire for an HD being based on convenience. All the ...
Brian H's user avatar
  • 60.9k
16 votes
2 answers
10k views

Why did Microsoft start Windows NT at all?

A related question is: why was the existing Windows not ported to the Intel i860? In 1985 Windows 1.0 was released. AFAIK it had everything: Win32 API, DOS support, multi-tasking. The last OS of this ...
zomega's user avatar
  • 5,372
31 votes
3 answers
7k views

386SX, NES and how much did data lines really cost anyway?

In 1988, Intel introduced the 80386SX, most often referred to as the 386SX, a cut-down version of the 80386 with a 16-bit data bus mainly intended for lower-cost PCs aimed at the home, educational, ...
rwallace's user avatar
  • 62.8k
22 votes
6 answers
5k views

What caused the downfall of Pascal? [closed]

From 1985 to 1990 Borland's Turbo Pascal was at least as popular as C for DOS systems. Turbo Pascal was especially popular because of it's ground breaking BGI graphics interface while C was stalled in ...
jwzumwalt's user avatar
  • 4,489
26 votes
5 answers
4k views

Why is the RM Nimbus PC-186 not IBM PC compatible?

The RM Nimbus range of computers were popular in British schools during the late 80s and into the 90s. When I was at high school Nimbus PC-186 machines were all over the place. Many web pages that ...
Richard Downer's user avatar
23 votes
4 answers
4k views

Why was NEC able to wrestle PC graphics standards away from IBM?

The dominant standards for PC graphics in the 1980s were the ones introduced by IBM. This included MDA and CGA with the original IBM PC, followed by EGA shortly after the PC/AT, and then VGA with the ...
Brian H's user avatar
  • 60.9k
9 votes
5 answers
4k views

How does the ‘real mode flat model’ work?

I am interested in old Intel processors. I'll try to be as concise as possible. I have been studying both Jeff Duntemann's Assembly Language Step-by-Step - Chapter 4 and Modes of Memory Addressing on ...
Ady's user avatar
  • 139
13 votes
3 answers
3k views

Were Windows 3.x applications dependent upon 80286 instructions?

While Windows 3.x operating system stuck to the 80286 platform, did applications compiled for Windows 3.x have to use 80286 instructions explicitly or be aware of the 80286 memory layout? Or was it ...
Schezuk's user avatar
  • 3,754
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

Was it Microsoft that started the war between Application and OS vendors?

I think there is a long history of application vendors going to great lengths to complain or litigate against Operating System vendors to compete fairly. Specifically, I am talking about "fairness" ...
Brian H's user avatar
  • 60.9k