Windows 3.1

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Windows 3.1
Basic Information
Microsoft Corporation
Microsoft Corporation
Type(s)
Operating System
Status(es)
Unsupported
Microsoft Windows
Predecessor
Windows 3.0 with Multimedia Extensions 1.0
Successor
Windows 3.11
Codename(s)
Sparta
United Nations International Release Date(s)
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Windows 3.1 (codenamed Sparta) is a graphical operating system released by Microsoft Corporation in April 1992. Support officially ended on December 31, 2001.

Features[edit | edit source]

Windows 3.1 featured many changes over its predecessor Windows 3.0 with Multimedia Extensions 1.0, such as:

  • Windows 3.1 no longer had real mode support, and now required a minimum of an Intel 80286 CPU and 1 MiB of RAM.
  • Introduction of 386 Enhanced Mode, available to users who have an Intel 80386 CPU or better.
  • Virtual Memory, a technique for swapping between RAM and disk space that increases the number of applications that can be run simultaneously.
  • Data sharing by applications using Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) and Object Linking and Embedding (OLE)
  • TrueType Fonts, which are displayed in WYSIWYG fashion and can be scaled to any size. This made Windows 3.1 a viable platform for desktop publishing.
  • Network-aware File Manager and Print Manager utilities, which enables access to shared network drives and printers. The File Manager itself was significantly improved over Windows 3.0.
  • While could access a theoretical 4 GiB of RAM in 386 Enhanced Mode, the practical upper limit for system memory was 256 MiB.