Windows 3.0

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Windows 3.0

(operating system)
A complete rework of Microsoft Windows with many new facilities such as the ability to address memory beyond 640k. It was released in 1990, and vigorous development of applications by third parties helped Microsoft sell over 10 million copies.

Windows 3.0

The version of Windows that "put Windows on the map." Introduced in 1990, Windows 3.0 replaced the clunky MS-DOS Executive in Windows 2.0 and Windows/386 with a colorful and functional user interface comprising Program Manager and File Manager. Within a couple years, Windows became the major desktop OS worldwide.

It Still Booted Into DOS
Although the PC still booted up in DOS, Windows 3.0 included a DOS extender that broke DOS's infamous one megabyte memory barrier and allowed programs to use up to 16MB of RAM, a huge amount for that time. Windows 3.0 ran 16-bit Windows applications and DOS applications, and much of its popularity in the beginning was due to multitasking DOS programs. Requiring at least a 16-bit 286 CPU, Windows 3.0 would not run in the first 8086/8088 PCs (see 286). See Windows 3.1 and Windows 3.x modes.


Windows 3.X
The Windows 3.x Program Manager user interface (GUI) was a vast improvement over previous versions of Windows. See Program Manager.
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