Windows 2.1x

Windows 2.1 is a major release of Microsoft Windows. It was released to manufacturing on May 27, 1988, as a successor to Windows 2.0.

Windows 2.1x
A version of the Microsoft Windows operating system
Logo of Microsoft Windows 2.1x versions
Windows 2.1.png
Screenshot of Microsoft Windows 2.1
DeveloperMicrosoft
OS familyMicrosoft Windows
Source modelClosed source
Released to
manufacturing
May 27, 1988; 34 years ago (1988-05-27)
Latest release2.11 / March 13, 1989; 33 years ago (1989-03-13)
LicenseCommercial software
Preceded byWindows 2.0x (1987)
Succeeded byWindows 3.0 (1990)
Support status
Unsupported as of December 31, 2001

It was released with two different variants with differing CPU compatibility, also known as Windows/286 and Windows/386; the versions are considered to be similar to its predecessor. In comparison, the Windows/386 variant is considered to be better than the 286 one, since it provides support for EMS emulation and is designed to use both conventional and extended memory. Changes to the user interface did not occur in this version, and rather, its performance was increased and enhanced memory management was added. The version is also noted to be the first one to require a hard disk drive. A minor update version, Windows 2.11, was released in March 1989.

Enhancements that were introduced were considered to have improved the operating environment, while the Windows/386 variant was noted to have a good level of functionality. It was considered to be one of the most popular 80386-based systems. The sales of Microsoft Windows continued to go up after its release, and in May 1990, it was succeeded by Windows 3.0, which is considered to be the first Windows version to perform well both critically and commercially. Microsoft ended its support on December 31, 2001.

Release versionsEdit

Windows 2.1Edit

Like its predecessor, Windows 2.0, the operating environment was released with two different variants with differing CPU compatibility. However, the cosmetic naming convention was changed to "Windows/286" and "Windows/386".[1] It was released on May 27, 1988, and it was the first version of Windows to require a hard disk drive.[2][3]

Despite its name, Windows/286 was fully operational on an 8088 or 8086 processor, although, it would not use the high memory area since it did not exist on an 8086 processor.[4][5] It is a rehash of its predecessor, Windows 2.03. The variant uses additional 64KB of the extended 286 KB memory in real mode. In order to access the additional memory, HIMEM.SYS is needed.[6] A few PC vendors shipped Windows/286 with Intel 8086 hardware; one such example was IBM's PS/2 Model 25, which included Windows/286, resulting in some customer confusion.[7][8]

The other variant, Windows/386, is more advanced since it had introduced a protected mode kernel, and it allows several MS-DOS programs to run in a parallel in "virtual 8086" CPU mode, rather than suspending background applications.[9] It has also provided support for EMS emulation, in order to make the RAM beyond the 640 KB limit.[10] It has spruced-up rendering of the 80386 version, and its setup program is considered to be better than the Windows/286 one.[6] Windows/386 is designed to use both conventional and extended memory, although it ignores expanded memory.[11]: 121  The facilities for converting extended memory into expanded memory are built into Windows/386, although, any EMS that is separately controlled would not be available on Windows/386.[12]: 329  In order to customize Windows/386, users would have to manually change the CONFIG.SYS file.[12]: 336  Microsoft ended its support for Windows 2.1 on December 31, 2001.[13][14]

Windows 2.11Edit

Windows 2.11 was released on March 13, 1989.[15] As the successor of Windows 2.1, it was also released in Windows/286 and Windows/386 editions, with some minor changes in memory management and updates regarding printing options.[16][17] It was noted that costs for organizations that ran Windows 2.11 were lower.[18]

FeaturesEdit

Changes to the user interface did not occur in this version, and instead, Microsoft has increased its performance and added enhanced memory management.[19] The Windows/286 variant introduced LIM 4.0 boards to store and swap executable code. Both variants had also introduced support towards more devices, while its printer support has been improved.[6] Windows/386 allows sharing a single printer to a number of windows. Microsoft has also introduced a disk-caching program, SmartDrive,[11]: 124  while third-party developers had introduced more apps to Windows 2.1 and 2.11.[20][21]

System requirementsEdit

The official system requirements for Windows 2.1 include the following.

Windows/286[6] Windows/386[6][11]: 124 [22][23]: 34 
CPU 80286 processor 80386 processor
RAM 512 KB of memory 1 MB of memory
Storage A hard disk 2 MB of hard disk space
Video EGA or VGA adapters
OS MS-DOS 3.0 or higher MS-DOS 3.1 or higher
Mouse A Microsoft-compatible pointing device is recommended, but not required

Windows 2.1 is shipped with 1.2 MB 5¼-inch or 720K 3½-k inch floppy disks.[6] The Windows/386 variant also comes with user's guides, a quick-reference card and a manual that explains the features of the 386 variant.[22]

ReceptionEdit

The enhancements that were introduced in Windows 2.1 are considered to have had improved the operating environment.[6] The Windows/386 variant has good level of functionality, and it lets applications run in full- or partial-screen windows, while the operating environment also slows down when running graphic-based applications. InfoWorld rated Windows/386 an excellent value.[22] Alongside DESQview 386, they were considered to be the most popular 386 environments by 1989, although DESQview 386 is considered to be more flexible than Windows/386.[12]: 329–336  Compared to other 80386-based systems, Windows/386 requires less DOS memory.[23]: 33 

The price tag for Windows/286 sat at $99, while the Windows/386 variant cost $195.[6] By January 1990, the sales of Microsoft Windows had reached less than two million.[24] It was succeeded by Windows 3.0, which was released in 1990, and is considered to be the first version of Microsoft Windows to perform well both critically and commercially.[25][26][27]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "High-Impact Graphics". PC Magazine. Vol. 7, no. 16. Ziff Davis, Inc. September 27, 1988. p. 38. ISSN 0888-8507. Archived from the original on July 2, 2022. Retrieved April 18, 2022.
  2. ^ Purcaru, Bogdan Ion (2014). Games vs. Hardware. The History of PC video games: The 80's. p. 415.
  3. ^ Sexton, Michael Justin Allen (November 12, 2016). "History of Microsoft Windows". Tom's Hardware. Archived from the original on September 22, 2022. Retrieved July 9, 2022.
  4. ^ "High-Impact Graphics". PC Magazine. Vol. 7, no. 16. Ziff Davis, Inc. September 27, 1988. p. 38. ISSN 0888-8507. Archived from the original on July 2, 2022. Retrieved April 18, 2022.
  5. ^ Patton, Carole; Mace, Scott (July 4, 1988). "Windows Gets More Memory With Upgrade". Info World. Vol. 10. InfoWorld Media Group, Inc. p. 1. ISSN 0199-6649. Archived from the original on September 22, 2022. Retrieved July 9, 2022.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h "High-Impact Graphics". PC Magazine. Vol. 7. Ziff Davis, Inc. September 27, 1988. p. 38. ISSN 0888-8507. Archived from the original on July 2, 2022. Retrieved April 18, 2022.
  7. ^ IBM Personal System 2 and IBM Personal Computer Product Reference. 4. New York: IBM. 1988. p. 78.
  8. ^ Miller, Michael (August 17, 1987). "First Look". Info World. Vol. 9. InfoWorld Media Group, Inc. p. 44. ISSN 0199-6649. Archived from the original on April 8, 2022. Retrieved July 9, 2022.
  9. ^ "Graphical: The Better Interface". PC Magazine. Vol. 8. Ziff Davis, Inc. September 12, 1989. p. 115. ISSN 0888-8507. Archived from the original on July 2, 2022. Retrieved April 18, 2022.
  10. ^ "PC labs tests 24 VGA monitors". PC Magazine. Vol. 9. Ziff Davis, Inc. May 15, 1990. p. 240. ISSN 0888-8507. Archived from the original on July 2, 2022. Retrieved April 18, 2022.
  11. ^ a b c "The Software Side of the 386 Equation: PC Labs Test Five 386-based Multitasking Solutions". PC Magazine. Vol. 8. Ziff Davis, Inc. February 28, 1989. pp. 121–131. ISSN 0888-8507. Archived from the original on November 16, 2021. Retrieved April 18, 2022.
  12. ^ a b c "PC Labs Tests Every 80386". PC Magazine. Vol. 8. Ziff Davis, Inc. May 30, 1989. pp. 329–341. ISSN 0888-8507. Archived from the original on July 2, 2022. Retrieved April 18, 2022.
  13. ^ "Obsolete Products". Support. Microsoft. July 25, 2011. Archived from the original on August 14, 2005.
  14. ^ Cowart, Robert (2005). Special edition using Microsoft Windows XP home. Brian Knittel (3 ed.). Indianapolis, Ind.: Que. p. 92. ISBN 0-7897-3279-3. OCLC 56647752. Archived from the original on June 4, 2022. Retrieved April 18, 2022.
  15. ^ Schreuder, Duco A. (2014). Vision and visual perception: the conscious base of seeing. Bloomington, IN: Archway Publishing. p. 428. ISBN 978-1-4808-1294-9. OCLC 898160678. Archived from the original on July 2, 2022. Retrieved April 18, 2022.
  16. ^ Timacheff, Serge; Miller, Michael (June 4, 1990). "Microsoft Windows 3.0: The Graphics Interface Grows up". Info World. Vol. 12. InfoWorld Media Group, Inc. p. 113. ISSN 0199-6649. Archived from the original on September 22, 2022. Retrieved July 9, 2022.
  17. ^ Brownstein, Mark (May 28, 1990). "Windows Drivers For Printers". Info World. Vol. 12. InfoWorld Media Group, Inc. p. 33. ISSN 0199-6649. Archived from the original on August 14, 2021. Retrieved July 9, 2022.
  18. ^ Johnson, Stuart (September 17, 1990). "Hidden Windows Costs Worthwhile". InfoWorld. Vol. 12. InfoWorld Media Group, Inc. p. 13. ISSN 0199-6649. Archived from the original on July 2, 2022. Retrieved April 18, 2022.
  19. ^ "High-end Windows going corporate with graphics, multitasking abilities". Computerworld. IDG Enterprise. June 20, 1988. p. 4. ISSN 0010-4841. Archived from the original on July 2, 2022. Retrieved April 18, 2022.
  20. ^ Quinn, Stephen R. (October 25, 1993). "FileMaker Pro eases interface". InfoWorld. Vol. 15. InfoWorld Media Group, Inc. p. 108. ISSN 0199-6649. Archived from the original on July 2, 2022. Retrieved April 18, 2022.
  21. ^ "Small-Office Software: The Essentials". PC Magazine. Vol. 14. Ziff Davis, Inc. June 13, 1995. p. 120. ISSN 0888-8507. Archived from the original on July 2, 2022. Retrieved April 18, 2022.
  22. ^ a b c "Other Multitasking, Multiuser Environments Capable of Running MS-DOS Applications". InfoWorld. Vol. 11. InfoWorld Media Group, Inc. February 13, 1989. p. 58. ISSN 0199-6649. Archived from the original on June 5, 2021. Retrieved April 18, 2022.
  23. ^ a b Rosch, Winn (December 22, 1987). "Windows/386 Juggles DOS Tasks in Every Bit of RAM". PC Magazine. Vol. 6. Ziff Davis, Inc. pp. 33–34. ISSN 0888-8507. Archived from the original on July 2, 2022. Retrieved April 18, 2022.
  24. ^ McCracken, Harry (May 7, 2013). "A Brief History of Windows Sales Figures, 1985-Present". Time. ISSN 0040-781X. Archived from the original on April 18, 2022. Retrieved April 18, 2022.
  25. ^ "Vision for the Future". The Making of Microsoft: How Bill Gates and His Team Created the World's Most Successful Software Company. Prima Publishing. 1991. p. 239. ISBN 1-55958-071-2. Retrieved January 14, 2020.
  26. ^ "Windows 3.0 ends the wait". Computerworld. Vol. 24, no. 31. July 30, 1990. p. 33. Retrieved December 25, 2019.
  27. ^ Venditto, Gus (July 1990). "Windows 3.0 Brings Icons, Multitasking, and Ends DOS's 640K Program Limit". PC Magazine. Vol. 9, no. 13. pp. 33–35. Archived from the original on February 25, 2021. Retrieved December 21, 2019.

External linksEdit